Guest Blog – Brand Identity, 5 Key Stages
Our guest blog comes from Jo Bayne at Oyster Studios, a local design and advertising agency specialising in brand development. Thank you Jo!
A company’s brand identity creates an emotional connection, and reflects the business positioning and perceived corporate image as a whole. A brand logo is the mark or icon that identifies the business but is only one part of the puzzle! For start ups or businesses updating a corporate identity its important to go back to basics and establish the foundations of the brand and then develop a cohesive, consistent strategy for the brand experience moving forward. Once these building blocks have been defined developing your marketing materials will be a far more efficient and effective process.
So where should you start?
1) Do your research – First, find out everything there is to know about your market, customer and competition.
2) Agree your company mission statement
Develop a mission statement that defines the purpose of your business and its reason for existing. The objective of a mission statement is to guide the actions of the organisation, outline it’s goals and provide a framework to guide strategies and decisions. As part of this process you will need to agree what will make customers buy from you – not the competition? What are your customer’s needs and how will you address them? What are the guiding principles that will define the culture of the business?
3) Outline your strategy & vision for the business.
What are the key products & services you offer and how will these change over time- Where do you want your company to be in three years? How do you want your customers to describe the company? What promise or set of promises will you make to all who work with and buy from your business.
4) Define the personality & essence of the brand.
Do you want your customer experience to be all business like and professional or quirky & fun? What brands in the market place evoke the emotional response that you are aiming for? Are you a traditional business or entrepreneurial & highly innovative? Are you care-free and irreverent? The key priority is to ensure your brand profile is relevant & engaging to your target audience. As part of this process scope out the tone of voice of your brand communications-is it friendly and confident, informative, conservative, unconventional?
5) Agree your brand positioning.
Who is your target customer? Is it an end consumer or a business? What is their demographic or market sector? How does your product or service compare to the competition- what is your value proposition? Will you be entry price point – or Luxury? Are you focussed on delivering quality? Do you intend to differentiate your business through the customer service experience? What solutions will you provide to the problems or needs of your customers that aren’t already being addressed by the competition?
Clearly there are lots of things to consider when developing a Corporate Brand Identity and hopefully this list will provide some food for thought. The reality is your brand I.D will be reflected across the business from the sign on the door to the way your receptionist answers the telephone!
Whether you are a start up or an existing business looking to evaluate and evolve an existing brand I.D to ensure relevant and engaging investing time & resource into this process will be a wise investment!