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How to create a brand

Last month in my blog I talked about when it is best to rebrand your company (you can find it here).  I thought it was quite mean to just stop there, with you deciding, “yes, I need to rebrand” …now what?  Here is your quick and dirty guide to sculpting a brand, secrets that us designers use everyday, laid bare!  Don’t tell other web designers that I am telling you this or I will be kicked out of the pretentious artist club and forced to hand in my mouse and colour swatches.

Your brand is how you want to be perceived not only by your clients but also by your staff and management. It should promote and push your core ideas. It’s your world viewpoint and it should help guide everything you do.

So how do you go about making a brand, what are the secret steps design-o-sauruses like myself employ every day?

Get your company pillars in place

The first thing you need to do is define who your company is and what you represent.  Are you mid-range? High-end, budget, friendly, classy or anything else?  It is essential that your brand reflects these elements.

If you haven’t already got a business name, then follow our process on ‘how to come up with a business name‘, as this will take you through everything in a really easy step-by-step process. You can also browse our cool brand name list for inspiration, if you prefer, as well as out guide to the best business name generators.

Once you have your business name, now you can start thinking about the branding. Take a look at the Media Heroes branding, what do you think we were aiming at with the name of the brand, the logo design and the superhero?  To help you with your pillars there are 3 things that you need to look at; looking at your competitors, finding your X-factor and positioning yourself in the market (learn more about positioning statements here).

Look at your competitors

See what’s going on with your local competitors.  These are the benchmarks that you have to beat (check out our guide on benchmarking for more information).  It’s also a great idea to do a Google image search for whatever industry you are in.  Here you will find logos of people in the same industry and what they are doing.

Find your X-factor

What sets you aside from the competition?  Best quality?  Lowest prices? Amazing customer service?  You need to push this x-factor as much as possible as it is one of your key sales points and your brand should reflect this.

Position yourself in the market

Now you know your pillars and what your competitors are doing. Start positioning yourself where you want to be.

You should know who your target audience is, what sets you aside from the rest of the market, what your competitors are doing and how you want your brand to be perceived.

Research. Research? Research!

The more research you do the better the end result will be.  Look at magazines, TV, web and mood board, everything and anything.  You should now have a clearly defined idea of what you want.  Good branding is based on having a clear defined direction and doing good research.

Trust your designer!

Now you have your ideas fully formed its time to write an amazing brief.  My bearded cohort Richard Ball does a wonderful job of writing down what us designer types want in a brief here. Take a lookie for tips.

Give your designer all your research and point them where you want to be.  With a little trust you should have an amazing new brand that fits your brief. To help them with your job, you should also give them a brand style guide to work with, and ensure they’re up to speed with the latest graphic design trends.

Next Month…

Next month I will take a look at how to integrate your brand fully into your business and bits you may miss. I hope that you will find time to join me.