Seth Godin defines a brand as ‘a set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, when taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.’ A good brand is more than a logo identity, colors, and fonts (although all important pieces!), it should communicate what your company does, how it does that, and why a consumer would choose you over your competition. This is your brand strategy.
When you decide it’s time to refresh your brand, start a new brand project, or completely overhaul your visual brand, there are a few crucial questions you must be able to answer first, to ensure the most successful outcome. In order for us as visual strategists and designers to convey these important details in your visual brand, we must know them and so should you!
1. Who are you?
Start out by asking the most important questions—who are you as a company and what is your unique story? Can you boil down what you do into 3-5 sentences? In other words, what is your USP (unique selling proposition)? Then, start to think a little bit more holistically—what is the narrative or story of your brand? What tactics do you use to accomplish your mission? Are there unique tactics you use that others don’t?
*A special note! If you are planning to overhaul your brand’s messaging, we recommend this is completed BEFORE we begin with the visual work. OR, bring us along for the ride. We love being able to collaborate and bring a design perspective to the messaging work being completed.
2. Who are you Targeting?
Once you know who you are, think about who you’re trying to attract. Who are your 2-3 target audiences? What pain points are they feeling and how do you solve for them? Then, think about how you want your customers to feel. What words best describe the feeling you want your customers to have when they see your brand?
3. Who is your Competition?
A HUGE part of a unique visual brand is ensuring it doesn’t look like anyone else in your space. Who are your competitors, ALL of them? Seriously, the longer the list, the better because we’ll review them all. What colors, elements, and imagery are seen repetitively in your space? Then, think about your willingness to try something new in order to stand out.
The best outcomes happen in any project when you successfully prepare. Do your research up front, pull in the right people to share thoughts and ideas, and set yourself up for success with a brand strategy. A visual brand is most successful when your story is told through visual cues in all elements—colors, patterns, graphics, etc.. The only way to do this is to truly know who you are from the beginning.
Looking for a partner for your next brand project? We’d love to chat!