The 7 Steps in Building a Brand. I will provide a brief overview of the journey a brand takes from the initial stage until it makes its first steps in the world.
Keep in mind that a brand is not just a logo or a name. A brand is a perception that your audience has about the product or service you offer. Entrepreneurs make a promise, and the public evaluates whether this promise has been fulfilled. A solid brand is a promise that customers consider fulfilled.
I will address two types of brand creators who I think need information:
The starting point is the conscious need of an entrepreneur that a brand can help them sell more, at a higher price, or to a larger number of customers.
The branding process is difficult. It requires different skills and a team of specialized people. Some steps cannot be accelerated, such as registering a trademark. To tackle this effort, the energy of a determined entrepreneur is needed. But nothing can stop a determined person.
These are the 7 steps in building a brand. They are presented in the order that I recommend you follow.
The first step in building a brand is structuring the information into a questionnaire/brief. Sometimes, entrepreneurs are very smart and have the ability to think of many things. The brief will put ideas in order. Here, you will answer the essential questions about the future brand's personality. What are the attributes, benefits, who the brand speaks to, and how do you want to be perceived?
When collaborating with a branding agency, I recommend that you sign a contract that clearly specifies the deliverables, the responsibilities of each party, costs, and deadlines. Pay attention to what the contract provides in case a name does not pass the trademark registration test. What happens if you are not subjectively satisfied with the verbal or visual identity?
In this stage, we study the brands we compete with. What is the tone of voice in a certain category of products or services? It is a research stage where we inform ourselves about the competition and the target audience.
The audience we want to speak to is often segmented. Usually, there is not a single type of audience. For example, the mother decides what kind of bread to buy in a household, but the father may choose a certain brand, and if the bread remains on the table because it is not accepted by the children, it will not be purchased again.
It is very important for a brand to have a personality. You should be able to talk about it as if it were a real character. In this stage, we establish how we want to be perceived and how we differentiate ourselves. We choose a positioning for the new brand. The brand strategy will influence the verbal and visual identity and how a brand will communicate in the future. The story is built starting from reality.
An entrepreneur must have an original vision or business idea. The branding agency will translate the business objectives into communication objectives. The clearer and more original the business idea is, the greater the chances of its identity being strong.
Now we establish the verbal identity of the new brand. It is a beautiful stage where the creativity of a branding team is seen. The star of this stage can be the copywriter, the one passionate about words and concepts. Name and slogan proposals will take into account the chosen brand strategy. We recommend selecting a list of potential names. Here you can see an article with the existing types of names.
After we have a shortlist of names we like, we need to check that we can turn these creations into registered trademarks. All products and services are organized into 45 Nice classes. Names are registered in one of these classes. For example, a clothing brand will be registered in Nice Class 25, and a juice brand in Class 32.
The process of researching the availability of trademark registration is professionally done by a company specializing in intellectual property. Ideally, the preferred name should be free and able to be protected as a trademark. Trademarks function as assets owned by a company or individual.
After we have established the name and slogan of the future brand, we need a visual identity with impact. In this stage, it is very useful to have a talented designer or graphic artist. They will choose a visual concept for the new brand: the visual symbol, lettering characters, color palette, and visual elements associated with the brand.
The deliverables of the visual identity construction stage are logo design, master package design, rules for using the logo, brand book, personalized materials to communicate professionally: online signatures, identity elements for social media communication, business cards, PowerPoint or Word templates, etc.
These are the steps we go through when building a brand. I would like to add that a brand needs a constant online presence and a presentation website. Additionally, a brand needs to be supported by a communication mix to increase awareness and sales.
Good luck in building brands!