Guide

Branding: the basics

Branding - the key ingredients

There are four key elements in a successful branding project:

The big idea

The big idea is the starting point for any branding project. It is a summary of your business' or product's 'personality', and what makes it different. To find your big idea, you must first look very carefully at your business and the marketplace you operate in. You need to ask yourself:

  • What are we offering?
  • What makes us different?
  • How can our business stand out?
  • What do our consumers want or need?
  • Where is there a gap in the market?

You may find it helpful to get an outside perspective, perhaps from a management consultant, business development consultant or design consultant. There will be a cost attached to this.

Vision

Your company vision is an understanding of where your business is going, or where you want it to go, so you can plan your journey. Your vision may be large scale - such as switching the emphasis of your business from one core area to another - or simple, such as offering an existing product to a new market.

Values

Values summarise what you believe in as a business, and clarify what your business stands for. Your values are an important part of how people see your business - however, it can be tricky to communicate values. Branding and design consultants can help you communicate your brand values effectively. This could be through language, advertising, graphic design, staff training or the materials used in product manufacture. It is vital that any values you portray are genuine and evident in the way your business operates.

Personality

When you start communicating your brand to consumers, you will also be expressing the personality of your company through the tone, language and design you use.

Your brand personality is about how you want your business or product to come across, so it's vital that these personality traits are appropriate to your type of product or service.

You can convey your company's personality through:

  • graphic design and your visual identity
  • the tone of voice and the language you use
  • your dialogue with customers and how they can contribute ideas and get involved
  • customer service and how staff are trained to communicate with customers

Read more aboutĀ designing a successful brand.