Brand development for startups and established businesses.
In such competitive market places, brand loyalty is the holy grail.
Without an effective brand strategy from the beginning and a strong corporate identity that permeates all facets of your business, brand loyalty (and your longevity) is an unachievable dream.
Your brand isn’t just your logo, it’s everything that makes you different to your competitors. It’s your messaging and values, your business name – and even the type of name you choose, your unique selling points, your corporate identity and graphic style, yes – your logo, your document templates and layouts, your culture, your staff environment, your customer experience, and your business structure.
Sending mixed messages through inconsistent identity and miss-matched design confuses your customers and generates a subconscious and unidentified mistrust of your brand and services/products.
Your brand needs to convey a strong, consistent message at all times through all sources. It needs to position your business cleverly, relevantly, and uniquely to your competition – you need to stand above the rest. Each time your clients see you or interact with you, your message and identity should be clear.
Milk can work with you to identify strengths and weaknesses in your overall brand – or if you’re starting up, or merging or acquiring, put together a brand that visually represents to business you want to build.
Our Branding Process
Our brand development process is all inclusive and thorough.
Our brand development process includes some or all of the following steps:
Strategy development > Naming and or Logo Design > Corporate Identity Design (style guide etc) > Launch
Our approach is very logical, methodical and backed by reasoning.
In other words – we know branding can be an emotional thing. So we help you turn those emotions and visions in to something tangible and visual. It also means, if you’ve got a board of say 10 executives, who all have different ideas and preferences, we know how to work with you through the process and get you all agreeing on the same design by the end. We use science, and criteria based on your own feedback so you know the strategy and elements used to craft your brand actually do represent your vision and ideas.
Each brand development project includes all or some of the following phases based on your needs:
Obviously the larger your organisation or more complex the business, the more steps need to be included – or the smaller and simpler your business structure the less needs to be done.
We have a quick chat with you to determine what you need and provide a suggestion on what phases below we think you should include in your development.
Consultation and survey with you
This might mean sitting down with you one on one over a coffee, or a meeting with your board and decision makers – depending on your scale and size of business.
This is the most in depth part of the process – and the most critical.
At this stage we go through a very in-depth serious of questions or a brand survey with you (either as a management team, or as individual stakeholders) and we gather insights in to your values, business, and vision in order to craft your brand criteria.
Questions you get asked here might be something like – who are your biggest competitors, or what makes you different to your competition, or if your brand was a person – what would they look like.
This might sound daunting. But it wont be. We step you through it all and there are no wrong answers.
How much involvement we have here is up to you – we can take you through each insight and put the answers together for you – or we can provide you or your executive team with a survey link and you can fill it out in your own time.
The next step, is we craft together a brand criteria based on your feedback in the consultation.
This is where we present back to you in very concise and clear points on things like your top key values, recommended brand style (design style, naming style, positioning, architecture etc), corporate culture and voice (what style of communication you should use) – all of which best represent your business.
(We don’t have to include all of these elements if they aren’t needed.)
Once you’re happy with the broad strategy we provide here we move on to the next phase.
Competitor analysis and brand design criteria
This is where it gets interesting.
Based on your brand criteria, we assess your competitors, your market, your values and we craft a list of recommendations for what your brand needs to include – as in visually and creatively to meet the criteria we determined previously.
This might include naming (as in, should you use a single word or a surname, or an acronym to name your business), colour – what will make you stand out in the market and what colours (using colour psychology) best reflect the set of values and criteria we developed earlier, and logo shape &/or symbolism – what should your logo represent or stand for? And what shapes or symbols should you avoid or include to send the right message.
Once we present this criteria to you, you’ve provided feedback, and you’re happy with the outcome, we move on to the next phase.
Brand Design Concepts
The fun part.
This is where we design and then present to you actual brand options. Depending on what you’ve asked us to help you with, this might include name suggestions, or just logo concepts and colour options, and we’ll show you how all of these actually reflect the answers you provided in step 1.
Shortlisting process & Selection
This speaks for itself. Based on the design concepts we’ve provided to you, we craft your final identity. This might be a bit of back and forth in changes and revisions or mixing and matching, but at this stage we settle on your brand design and corporate identity.
Corporate identity design, including style guide
Once we’ve crafted your identity, and you’re happy because you know if reflects your business down to a tee, we can then go away and using our talented graphic design skills, put together your full corporate identity. This might include design for stationery (think business cards and letterheads), brochures, advertising design templates, website design, mission and value statement, email signatures, apparel & uniform styles, merchandise & promo gear, capability statements and reporting templates, and everything else you would use that should reflect your identity.
Why should you get us to do this?
Because by this stage we know your brand inside out – and better than anyone else. It’d be easy to pass this off to another freelancer but if they haven’t been involved in the brand development process from the beginning, they don’t have the vision or the feel for the design style to match your brand values.
If you would prefer to have your own in house designer go from here – we suggest you include them (even if just as a by stander) in the process with you from the beginning.
We can also produce all those elements for you – because we’re full service we can do the printing for you as well.
This might be as small as a store opening, or as big as a black tie staff and client function. Either way, how you launch your brand is make or break – and should also be carefully considered to ensure your event gives the same feel as you want your new brand to.
We can event manage your launch – or even just consult – to make sure your event reflects the same style and message and your brand – from start to finish.
Aspects included in the development may include (subject to your needs):
- Colour use
- Stationery design & use
- Style Guide design
- Values & Mission
- Market Positioning
- Brand Architecture
- Competitor Analysis
- Advertising methods
- Advertising layouts
- PR & promo methods
- Online presence
- Target market & audience
- Competition & Industry
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