Blueprint for a brand identity
Repeat after me, ‘my logo is not my brand’. Right, now we’ve got that out the way we can crack on and talk about what a brand is and why it’s so important to your business.
Have you ever met someone so devoid of personality that you glazed over and started daydreaming the moment they opened their mouth? You know the type, they drone on in a monotone voice whilst you politely nod and say “yeah, of course”, “I see” and “hmm” hoping you’re not accidentally agreeing to join a cult.
Well, basically, your business is no different. If it doesn’t have a personality of its own people will soon switch off and ignore your messaging.
What’s a brand when it’s at home anyway?
There are many existential questions in life, some of which are more important than others. This one might not be the most important, but it’s certainly 3rd, right behind “what’s the meaning of life?” and “which would you rather fight: 100 duck sized horses or 1 horse sized duck?”
As we’ve already established, it’s not a logo, it’s also not a colour scheme or a particular font. A brand is about presenting the very essence of your business and reminding everyone you come into contact with what it is you stand for and who you are. It’s what your business looks, sounds and feels like.
Right, I’m sold, how do I build one of these brand thingys?
Much like assembling flat pack furniture, the path to a brand identity looks simple enough but often ends up with a hole in the wall that oddly resembles the exact shape and size of a fist that’s holding an allen key. It’s not a straight line that can be followed like a map. It’s a process that has many threads, some with dead ends, but stick at it and you should always end up where you want to be.
We have our own process for a full-scale branding project at Workhouse Marketing. Keep it between us and you though and we’ll let you borrow it:
Get under the skin of your business
Each and every aspect of your business needs to be explored, disseminated and translated into the brand. Talk to your staff and customers, get honest opinions on how others perceive your business – what you do well, what you don’t do so well.
Know thyself, know thy competitor
In The Art of War, Sun Tzu wrote: “Know thy self, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.” and he was a pretty smart bloke by all accounts. The same rings true in business, you need to know and understand your competitors, even the bad ones. That way you can steal a march on the strongest and learn the lessons failed by the weakest.
Develop brand values
Once you’re all seeing and all knowing you can start to put together your brand values, these are how you define yourself as a business and how you want to appear to your audience. These should be clear and concise statements, such as ‘we are friendly, yet not overly familiar’ or ‘we are wacky and offbeat’.
Sorted. Now, how will I remember all of this and show other people my shiny new brand?
Now that you have the shape of your brand, you’re going to need a ‘brand book’, otherwise known as a ‘brand guideline’ or ‘brand bible’, which can be one of the most important documents your business has. It’s a comprehensive overview of your business and brand, a reference point for designers, writers, employees or anyone who will ultimately represent your brand.
Firstly, it should contain important information on your business, such as targets, goals, strategy and challenges. Secondly, it should outline your brand’s architecture and presentation, such as logo placements, colourways, tone of voice, fonts etc. And finally, it will provide accurate examples of how things should look, including marketing materials, advertisements, uniform and any other touchpoint between you and your customers.
Developing a brand identity is a complex process that requires time and dedication, but luckily for you, we’re great at it! Let Workhouse help you to develop a brand that will really resonate with your customers.
Give us a call on 01254 878956
or email firstname.lastname@example.org