May 3, 2023
Build a Killer Brand and Rule the World14 min read
So, you’ve heard that having a solid brand identity is pretty important these days, huh? Wow, what a revelation. I mean, who would have thought that standing out and making a good first impression could be valuable for businesses?
But, let’s not kid ourselves – building a brand is no cakewalk. It’s not just about slapping a pretty logo, fancy font, and a catchy slogan on your website and calling it a day. No, no, no – it’s a complex process that involves connecting with your target audience through various channels, nurturing those relationships, and keeping them coming back for more.
It’s a journey, not a destination, folks. And if you want to get it right, you need to follow a well-established branding methodology with several crucial stages that need to be undertaken – all while constantly adjusting to the market’s fluctuations and your customers’ ever-changing needs and expectations.
So, what are these magical 6 stages, you ask? Well, we’re glad you did, because we’re about to break it down for you. And while we highly recommend delegating this task to the branding pros (cough, cough – us), it’s still important to understand the basics so you can collaborate effectively and get the best strategy for your company’s niche, target market, budget, and timeline.
What are you talking about?
Okay, before we jump into the nitty-gritty of the branding process, let’s clear up some confusion around what exactly a brand and brand identity are. Because believe it or not, folks, they are NOT the same thing.
So, what’s the deal? Well, a brand is basically how your company is perceived by the world. It’s the overall impression that people have of your business, and it’s shaped by everything from your products and services to your marketing and customer service. In other words, it’s your company’s personality – and just like people, some personalities are more attractive than others.
On the other hand, brand identity is all about the visual elements that you use to create that personality. It’s the logo, font, colors, images, and other design elements that you use consistently across all your marketing materials. Basically, it’s what makes your brand recognizable and memorable.
So, while your brand is the intangible “feeling” that people get when they think of your company, your brand identity is the tangible stuff that helps create that feeling. Make sense? Good. Now, let’s move on to the juicy stuff – the 6 stages of the branding process.
But why do I need this?
If you’re still not convinced that creating a brand identity is crucial for your business, then allow me to hit you with some mind-boggling statistics. Did you know that consistency in brand presentation and delivery can increase your revenue by a whopping 25%? And that’s not all – color and design can raise brand recognition by a mind-boggling 80%. So, basically, if you want to make some serious dough, you need to get your branding game on point.
But it’s not just about the money, folks. Creating a strong brand identity can benefit your business in so many ways. It can improve your brand awareness, build loyalty, establish trust, drive engagement, create a visual impact, leave a long-lasting impression, provide a competitive advantage, influence the decision-making process, extend your market reach, generate traffic, retain customers, and ensure constant growth of leads and revenue. Phew, that was a mouthful.
In short, a well-thought-out brand identity is the secret sauce that can take your business from meh to magnificent. So, don’t skimp on this stuff, people. It’s important.
Okay… But how does this all work?
The branding process is like a roadmap that helps guide you towards creating a brand that truly resonates with your audience. It’s not just about slapping together a fancy logo and hoping for the best. Nope, it’s a methodical approach that involves conducting brand research, developing a brand strategy, creating a brand identity, and then launching and building your brand over time.
The goal is to create a brand that is consistent, memorable, and instantly recognizable. It’s like the superhero cape that sets you apart from all the other ordinary businesses out there. And let’s be real, who doesn’t want to be a superhero?
But creating a successful brand is no easy feat. It takes time, effort, and a whole lot of creativity. That’s why it’s important to follow the branding process to ensure you’re hitting all the necessary checkpoints along the way.
So buckle up, buttercup, and get ready to take your brand to the next level!
Do we have to do it your way?
We understand that some of you may be skeptical about the need for a branding process, but we assure you that it’s not just some fancy buzzword to throw around in meetings. Our branding process is rooted in the “storybrand” framework, which means we prioritize creating a compelling brand narrative that resonates with your target audience. Here’s why our process is not only necessary but ideal:
It Creates a Clear Vision
Our branding process starts with creating a clear vision of your company. We’ll work with you to define what your business is all about and what makes you stand out from your competitors. This clarity helps guide all aspects of your branding and marketing efforts and ensures that everyone on your team is aligned and working towards the same goals.
It Identifies Your Core Values
Defining your core values is an essential part of our branding process. This step helps you establish what’s important to your business and what you stand for. By identifying your core values, you can ensure that your branding and marketing efforts are authentic and resonate with your audience.
It Sets You Apart from Competitors
One of the main goals of branding is to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Our branding process helps you identify what makes you unique and sets you apart in a crowded market. By creating a distinctive brand narrative, you can attract more customers and stand out in their minds.
It Ensures Consistency in Your Messaging
Consistency is key in branding. Our process helps ensure that your messaging is consistent across all channels and platforms, from your website to your social media profiles. This consistency helps build trust with your audience and reinforces your brand identity.
It Guides Your Marketing Efforts
Our branding process provides a roadmap for your marketing efforts. By establishing your brand narrative and core values, we can identify the best marketing channels and tactics to reach your target audience. This guidance ensures that your marketing efforts are more effective and have a higher return on investment.
We hope this has helped you understand why our branding process is ideal and necessary for your business. By working with us, you can create a strong and compelling brand narrative that resonates with your audience and helps you achieve your business goals.
Do I reeaaaalllly have to do this?
At Drift, we get it. There are a lot of temptations to skip the branding process and take a quick, do-it-yourself approach. After all, there are plenty of logo makers and color scheme generators on the web, right? But let us tell you, skipping the branding process and DIY-ing your brand can cost you more than just a few bucks. It can cost you your reputation.
Sure, losing money can be recovered relatively quickly, but once your reputation is tarnished, it can take years to recover. And according to statistics, re-branding due to a tarnished reputation is one of the most costly and time-consuming things in the business world. That’s why we strongly recommend sticking to the branding process and delegating it to the professionals.
But that’s not the only reason why you should go through the entire branding process. It also gives you an understanding of what a brand is and why investing in it is necessary, creates a solid foundation to build your brand identity and image, and provides a framework to scale your business.
Additionally, the branding process helps your company face market fluctuations, shows you how to prolong your company’s lifecycle, and creates a cohesive, recognizable, and consistent brand identity that builds trust and credibility with customers, even in the early stages.
Skipping any of the branding process stages can lead to loopholes in your company’s foundation, leading to drastic outcomes that may cost you a fortune in the long run. So, while it may take time and effort to go through the entire branding process, it’s worth it to save you time and money down the road. At Drift, we’re here to help you through the branding process, every step of the way.
You sure ’bout that? You sure ’bout that?
While updating your logo or adjusting your messaging might not require a complete overhaul, there are certain scenarios where going through the entire process is necessary.
The first scenario is when launching a brand new company. This is your chance to make a big impression and establish your brand identity from the start. Going through the entire branding process will ensure that your messaging, visuals, and overall brand strategy are all aligned and working together to communicate who you are as a company.
Another scenario where the full branding process is needed is when two companies merge. Mergers can be tricky, but going through the branding process can help ensure that the new company has a clear brand identity that represents both companies equally.
If you’re launching a new product or line, it’s also a good idea to consider the full branding process. This will ensure that your new offering fits seamlessly into your existing brand and that your messaging is clear and consistent across all channels.
Finally, if your brand has been avoiding updates or adjustments for decades, it’s probably time to consider going through the entire branding process. Over time, customer preferences change, and what was once a strong brand identity can become outdated and out of touch. Going through the entire branding process can help bring your brand back up to speed and ensure that it’s relevant and resonating with your target audience.
Of course, these are just a few scenarios where going through the entire branding process might be necessary. If you’re unsure whether your brand needs a complete overhaul or just some minor adjustments, there are brand agencies out there that offer brand equity analysis to help you make the right decision. So don’t hesitate to reach out and get some expert advice!
Is this gonna take forever?
Let’s talk about the dreaded question that everyone has on their mind – how long does the branding process take? Well, as much as we’d like to give you a straight answer, it’s not that simple.
Creating a solid brand positioning and visual identity typically takes anywhere between 10 and 16 weeks. But that’s just the beginning. We haven’t even started talking about the roll-outs and after-launch stages yet!
The length of time it takes to build a brand largely depends on various factors, including the size of the company, the niche it operates in, the market it serves, the number of deliverables needed, the required brand elements and tools, and of course, your budget and timeline.
But that’s not all. Future goals, the people involved, and launch and roll-out fixes also come into play. So, it’s safe to say that the duration of branding can vary widely.
However, one thing is for sure – your commitment to the process plays a crucial role. If you’re consistently missing meetings or delaying feedback, this process could drag on for years. So, it’s essential to stay committed and involved throughout the process to ensure the best possible outcome.
Why can’t we just go fast?
Yeah, rushing things never works out well. I mean, if you’re trying to build a brand that people will remember for years to come, you can’t just half-ass it. Trust me, I’ve seen it all before. Companies that rush through the branding process often end up with a mediocre brand that nobody remembers or cares about.
But, if you take the time to get it right, you can create a brand that really stands out from the crowd. And that’s what we’re all after, right? We want to be the company that people think of when they need a particular product or service. We want to be the one that they trust and come back to time and time again.
So, don’t rush it. Take the time to really nail down your brand positioning, messaging, and visual identity. Work with your agency to get it just right. And remember, this is an investment in your company’s future. A well-built brand can pay off in spades down the line.
Okay, fine… What are we doing?
Hell Yeah! Let’s dive into the stages of the branding process!
Brand Research: In this phase, we dive deep into researching and analyzing your market, industry, competitors, customers, and overall business situation. We’ll conduct interviews, surveys, focus groups, and collect data to develop a comprehensive understanding of your business environment and customer needs.
Brand Strategy: Based on the insights and data collected in the research phase, we’ll work together to develop a strong brand strategy. This will include defining your brand positioning, messaging, values, and personality, as well as setting goals and objectives for your brand.
Brand Identity: Now comes the fun part – creating your brand identity! This stage includes designing your logo, selecting brand colors and typography, and creating visual brand elements like icons and illustrations. We’ll work closely together to ensure that your brand identity accurately reflects your brand strategy and resonates with your target audience.
Brand Tools: With your brand identity in place, we’ll move on to creating brand tools, such as business cards, letterheads, marketing materials, and website design. These tools will help you communicate your brand to your audience effectively and consistently.
Brand Launch: The launch of your brand is an exciting milestone! In this stage, we’ll work together to develop a launch strategy that will introduce your brand to the world effectively. This may include planning events, creating social media campaigns, and running targeted advertising.
Brand Building: Once your brand is launched, we’ll continue to work together to build and maintain your brand. This involves creating content, developing brand partnerships, and monitoring your brand’s reputation and engagement with your audience.
Each stage is critical to the overall success of your brand, and we’re committed to working closely with you to create a brand that truly represents your business and resonates with your target audience.
Brand Workshop Time?
The first stage of the branding process is conducting brand research, and it involves a lot of digging by our team of brand strategists. We start by examining the current position of your company in the market, diving deeply into your target audience, and analyzing your competitors.
Next, we investigate the direction you want your brand to go in, which helps us to identify and maximize your potential. We also conduct a brand audit and research your stakeholders’ needs and perceptions to build a broader overview of your brand.
The result of this research helps us clarify your vision, goals, and values, and write the correct positioning statement. We get a better understanding of your brand’s mission, values, personality, and unique selling proposition, as well as identifying your strengths and weaknesses and any opportunities for growth.
It’s important to note that only when the research is conducted and the comprehensive report is compiled can we move on to the next stage of the branding process, which is developing your brand strategy.
Okay… we talked a lot. Now What?
As the saying goes, “failing to plan is planning to fail.” And believe me, I’ve seen many companies skip this stage and end up regretting it later on. That’s why, as a company, we need to pay extra attention to this phase and make sure that we are crystal clear on what our brand stands for and where we want to take it.
The brand strategists will ask us all sorts of questions to understand our company better and identify what makes us unique. They’ll also dive deep into our target audience and competitors to see what they’re doing right and wrong.
In the end, we’ll come out of this stage with a clear brand strategy that outlines our brand’s vision, purpose, target audience, value, personality, emotion range, positioning, and goals. We’ll also have a set of guidelines to ensure that everyone in the company is on the same page and knows how to uphold our brand’s identity.
Is it time for the fun stuff yet?
Hell yeah it is! The visual identity stage is where the magic happens. We get to play around with colors, fonts, and shapes, and create something that can captivate and engage your audience. And don’t worry; we don’t just pull these designs out of thin air. We’ll work closely with you to make sure that your brand’s identity is authentic, unique, and stands out in a crowded market.
So, get ready to put on your creative hats and join us on this exciting journey of designing a brand that truly reflects who you are and what you stand for. And who knows, we might even throw in a few quirky ideas that will surprise and delight your customers.
Can we build it? Yes! We! Can!
At this stage, we take all the work we’ve done up to this point and use it to create the tools that will help us achieve our goals. This is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. We need to make sure that we have all the necessary tools in place to promote our brand, increase our visibility, and ultimately, drive sales.
One of the most important tools we need is a website. This is where customers will go to learn more about us, our products or services, and how we can help them. We’ll also want to create a blog to keep customers engaged and informed, as well as a video channel to showcase our brand and products.
Social media is another critical tool that we need to develop. We’ll need to set up accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and any other platforms that are relevant to our target audience. We can use social media to engage with our customers, share news and updates, and promote our products or services.
Email newsletters are also a valuable tool for keeping in touch with customers and driving sales. We can use them to share promotions, new products, and other news and updates.
Finally, we may want to consider industry-related conferences and events, awards programs, or even publishing a book or conducting a research project to further establish our brand as a thought leader in our field. All of these tools can help us achieve our goals and build a strong brand that resonates with our target audience.
My main goal is to blow up and act like i don’t know nobody.
As we reach the final stage, it’s time to bring out the confetti and champagne (or sparkling grape juice for the non-drinkers out there) because it’s the brand launch! But hold on a minute, this isn’t the end of the branding process. Before we dive into the festivities, we need to plan out the roll-out carefully.
Depending on the scale and scope of the rebranding, we may need to divide the launch into internal and external phases. We recommend starting with an internal launch, where we announce the new brand identity and hold a series of training sessions for the staff. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and can communicate the new brand’s ideology effectively.
Once we’ve completed the internal launch, it’s time to move on to the external launch. This is where we unveil the new brand identity to the market. We can do this through a single event with a “wow factor” or a series of events that reveal the brand identity in an organic way over several months. Whatever the approach, we need to focus on the target audience and deliver the right message at the right time.
The external launch is crucial as it’s our chance to make a lasting impression. We need to prioritize the customers and ensure that they receive a positive brand experience. After all, a successful brand launch can be the catalyst for sustained growth and success in the future.
I kinda like you, can we keep seeing each other?
Absolutely! As the guide in this brand-building journey, I want to emphasize that the brand launch is just the beginning of the story. Building a brand is a continuous process that requires constant attention and care.
Your market and target audience are always evolving, so your brand needs to evolve too. That means adding new assets when necessary and letting go of outdated approaches that no longer resonate with your audience.
As your guide, We’re here to help you navigate through all the obstacles and challenges that arise along the way. From developing an SEO strategy to creating social media campaigns, running email campaigns, and launching paid advertising, I’ll be with you every step of the way.
The goal of this ongoing brand-building process is to ensure that your company has a solid framework that can weather any storm. By working together, we’ll keep your brand relevant, engaging, and top-of-mind for your audience. So let’s get started on this exciting journey and keep building your brand for years to come!
I’m ready! I’m ready!
Whether you’re up against big names with deep pockets or just trying to make a name for yourself, a strong brand can set you apart from the competition and leave a lasting impression on your customers. And let’s be real, who doesn’t want a base of loyal fans who will keep coming back for more?
But let me be clear, building a brand is no easy feat. You need to follow the branding process with six fundamental stages and give it your all. Don’t skip phases just because they seem redundant or unnecessary – trust me, they’re crucial to success. And please, for the love of all things branding, choose professional teams instead of trying to DIY your way through it.
So, whether you’re just starting or looking to refresh your brand, stick to the process and work with the pros. With a little grit and determination, you’ll reach the peak and enjoy the view from the top.