Creating a successful brand – the journey begins
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Creating a successful brand – the journey begins

Alastair Bruce

Managing Director at Shaw

Whether you’re launching an SME or reinventing a multi-national, there are a series of important questions that we believe are key to getting the basis of your brand just right. Let’s not turn this process into jargon-riddled faux-science: here’s how we work with clients on the brand journey.

1. What do you do?

We start with the simple and very obvious question: what are your key activities — and how do you deliver them?

2. Belief

What do you want people to believe about your business? It’s worth taking time to reflect on the values that are associated with your particular business, what makes it stand apart, and how you want it to be perceived in the future. An honest appraisal is an essential part of the branding brief.

3. Who are your customers?

Define your existing customer and those you want to target. What age are they, what’s their demographic, and where do they live? An ‘in’ to this process is to identify an individual that would be your typical customer and consider exactly what will appeal to him or her.

4. How do you reach them?

Consider your existing and future routes to market. Is it online, through corporate literature or campaigns, getting out and about and meeting people? Are you selling direct to the consumer? Or are you part of a supply chain? If it’s consumer sales, is it online or retail? Your brand will need to adapt to — and work effectively for — all of the appropriate marketplaces.

5. Existing marketing materials

How do you currently communicate with your customers (via your website, brochures, signage, social media etc?). What’s most effective? And why? There’s a lot to learn and build on from past activity. If positive recognition has been built on a particular initiative or piece of collateral with a certain logo, colour route or typography, it may be important to retain some continuity. If not, it may be time for a fresh start.

6. Customer relationships

These may focus on long-term partnership, one-off or repeat sales. Again, think of an example of excellent customer relations and consider what made it so successful and, equally, a less positive customer experience and what made it so.

Put all that together and you have a sound brief for your brand and its delivery — and once the brief is in place, the exciting creative work begins. We all know that a brand is much more than a logo, it is a powerful positioning of your business and one that should provide a sure foundation as you move forward. Not something to be taken lightly!