Branding Process - First Steps

This is part 2 in a 6 part series on the process of designing a brand from the ground up. This is the process that 6foot4 uses. We like it but feel free to agree or disagree and tell us about it in the comments. These articles are for Designers and Clients alike. Both groups could benefit from a little more education and discussion. If you are just joining this discussion you should start at the beginning to get some context.

Now What?

So you've found a designer to work with. Good. Get to know each other and share your vision and passion about your venture to the designer. Infect them with your dream. This relationship is going to be key to your success and a high level of trust should be shared between both designer and client. If you can't trust them, why are you doing business with them?

Research, Research and Research Some More

Research is the foundation of any successful project. Something as important as your brand requires a metric butt load of research. This starts by getting a comprehensive understanding of the business. We start by finding out what material already exists. Things like Mission, Vision, Value Propositions, Planning Documents, History, Domains, Market Research etc. It's a pretty thorough process.

You'll need to research the key stakeholders' needs and perceptions. This brings any differences in vision and direction to the front. It is vital to have the stakeholders in agreement before you move too far into the process. We don't deal with the issues at this point we're still just collecting as much info as possible.

Conduct audits in the areas of marketing, competitive technology, and language. Everything is important, and I stress EVERYTHING. It may not seem important by itself but when all put together each individual aspect of a business creates that brand we're wanting to solidify. When all the research is done gather it all together into a report and see what you've learned. What thinking needs to change? No business is perfect, so make sure you learn something from this research. Many businesses, especially small ones don't take the time to do this kind of work. By taking your Brand seriously and doing the research you are already better prepared to be successful.