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A best practice approach to brand development

By Mellanie Wulf, Creative Lead

Does your brand need a refresh? Are you looking to rename and rebrand? Or are you starting out from scratch and need a new brand? No -matter what stage you are at – it is crucial in an era of marketing communications overload that your approach to brand development is clever and tactical.

A brand is not only your logo, it is your identity and fully encompasses who you are as an organisation at every level. Your brand is your story, your people, your key messages and your visual look and feel – it needs to quickly and consistently explain who you are, what you do and engage with your target audiences.

Therefore, with this in mind here is our best practice approach to creating a strong and powerful brand that will connect with your many diverse communities.

Step 1: Discuss, Explore and Analyse

Immerse yourself in your organisation, internally and externally, take a full look at your organisation, your history, your audience and conduct an analysis of your current brand or and current situation. Think about how you want to be perceived and write your mission, vision, values and key words that explain the personality of your organisation.

Review and discuss your industry and competitive landscape – what are other organisation’s brand like, what are their positioning statements and how is your value proposition different?.

If you already have an existing brand to refresh, conduct a brand audit across all of your corporate materials and marketing channels. Consider your presence from a key message and visual perspective – is your brand identity consistent, value focused and clear across all your marketing touch points?

Step 2: Internal and External Audit & Colour Mapping

Conduct a creative and visual review of the landscape, competitive brands and substitute offer brands Australia-wide and globally. Then preparing a visual record of how they look, what they’re doing, how they’re doing it, what they say and (where applicable) brand architectures employed. Place these visually on a colour wheel, so you can consider where your brand will fit in your industry competitive landscape.

Step 3: Name, brand story, key words and brand personality

If you are creating a new name altogether, it is only now this brainstorming should take place for this. The brand name, taglines and visuals will rely on the research that you have completed. At Zadro, we would provide our clients with a few names and tagline combinations at this point and we would also write the brand stories story for each considered name.

Your brand story is at the core of your brand, it is who you are, why you are in business, your purpose, your personality and reason to exist. Check out Zadro’s brand story for inspiration.

Step 4: Design a cohesive visual style including your logo design, brand and tagline

Now is the creative design piece of the puzzle. It is important to note that oAt Zadro, our creative team are a key part of immersed into the full brand development process from the beginning, as they needin order to understand all of the background as welland deliver the best end result. The worst thing you can do is to exclude the design from the previous steps and then just brief them at this point as it will create a ‘disconnect’ for in the identity of your brand.

At this point design your brand concepts – we usually find 3 to 4 is enough before there’s too many to choose from. Use a variety of colours, typography and icons, bringing in the taglines to each to show the options. It can also be good here to showcase a brand In in situ. What we mean by this is to design the brand on the front cover of a brochure, or a business card, etc, to show what it could would look like in a real application.

Once you have concepts, present these to a small leadership audience, however make ensure the key decision makers in your business are present and ideally allow the creative and marketing people to talk through the concepts and how they arrived at these. It is important to take the decision makers on a journey so they can make an informed decision.

Once you have the feedback, your designer can refine the logos down to one concept with colour or typography variations so you can make a final decision.

Step 5: Create a brand style guidelines and key brand collateral

Now you have your brand, you need to create guidelines around how this is to be used in your organisation and across your marketing channels. Your designer will create a brand style guide that includes use of your logo, typography, colour breakdown and guidelines on the use of your taglines and , key messages. It is good to include your brand story in the guidelines so when you implement the new brand everyone in your organisation knows how to use it and your brand is consistent across your communications.

Step 6:
Develop a communications plan for the launch of your new brand

Now you have a new brand, you need to shout about it! Create and implement a launch communications plan across your website, email marketing, social media, marketing collateral or even have a launch party event.

And, finally, a lot of hard work has gone into the development and launch of your fantastic new brand, give yourself a pat-on-the-back! for launching your fabulous new brand!

If you’re thinking about brand development, re-writing your brand story, a brand refresh or creating brand style guidelines – talk to us about how our creative design and marketing experts can help. Contact Debbie Bradley, Group Account Director for a proposal and start your journey to a new brand.

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