Your Recommended Branding Process

Quote by General Colin Powell

Here we will define your recommended Branding Process. Just like other important journeys in life, your process will be unique.  I cannot possibly recommend a branding process that works for all but I can give you a good overview of the process so you can begin. You can use this outline to get started and then customize it along the way for your particular needs.

Previously I explained my views on choosing a name for your business (What’s in a name? Your Brand). So, you should have that step completed. Now is a good time to review your notes on that process. It will be important to refresh your memory about why you chose the business name that you did and what you hope to accomplish using this name. These thoughts and feelings will be the core of the Branding Process.

What I will do in this post is prepare you for the process. This will be an overview of what you will be working on over the next few posts.

Your Recommended Branding Process

When you are ready to really settle into the process, have a journal or notebook (this could be virtual, depends on your comfort level) and writing instrument or keyboard etc. to take thorough notes and to track brainstorming ideas. Find a quiet private location where you will not be interrupted. Make sure you have water to keep hydrated and don’t start the process hungry, too cold, or too hot. All of these things will be a distraction. Be comfortable so you can focus and let your mind go exploring.

Turn off notifications and cell phone ringers. You will need peace and quiet so that you can create strategies for the success of your business. Remember your “why”? The reasons you started your business? If you truly hope to achieve all of your intentions and goals, you must dedicate this time and set it aside for your process. No one will try as hard to make things happen as you will. It all starts here!

As you contemplate these steps, it will be very important that you answer each question honestly and thoroughly. Or else, what’s the point?


Clarity

Are you launching a new business or rethinking an existing one? Will this be your one-and-only product or service, or will there be several brands within your company? No matter what the answer is, clarity will be a key factor in your success.

Clarity will assist you in targeting the right audience, get attention from the right prospects, and gets them to follow through with calls to action. In the initial steps of naming your business, you should have used insight and understanding into what exactly will be the driving factor for your business.

Once you have that (you should have defined it when naming your business), you build your brand around it, create excitement, and a following. By truly defining your brand and what it is you’re branding, you will be creating the foundation for all the other components to build upon.

To assist you in establishing clarity, ask yourself the following questions and record all thoughts that come to mind:

What are your products and/or services that you plan on offering? Define the benefits of each of these.

What are the guiding principles that dictate behavior and action within your company? What are your fundamental beliefs?

You will need to create a Mission Statement for your business. If you are an artist, you may or may not be aware that galleries these days require an artist statement. (More about this in a future post). I know, you’re probably thinking, “I’m an artist, not a writer! My artwork should speak for itself!” Don’t worry, I have the process explained to you in another post, Your Mission Statement. How To Capture The Essence Of Your Business .

What does your company specialize in? What is its focus? What sets it apart from its competition?

It’s a big world out there. Have you identified your target market? Who are you trying to sell to or provide services to? Who would be attracted to your company?

What is the tagline of your company? What message does your tagline send to your prospects?

Image: The Geico GeckoRemember the GEICO Gecko? The company has had other popular advertising campaigns but now that the gecko has taken the lead in GEICO advertising, you may have noticed they made subtle changes.

The creative director for The Martin Agency, Steve Bassett, states they gave him bigger, more-expressive eyes, more human-like movements, a shorter body and a slight heft to his shoulders.

They have also decided to use only one announcer (versus 3 previously) who speaks with a more common English accent. “As (computer animation) got better and as we got to know the character better, we did a few things, We wanted to make him a little more guy-next-door. And he looks a lot more real than he’s looked before.”

For your company, what qualities stand out? Do you want to appear edgy, bold? Or tried-and-true, dependable, trustworthy? Do you want to be friendly and approachable, engage and excite? Or is your focus to provide information or educate? How do you want it to be perceived?

Review the answers to the questions above. Taking these responses into consideration, create a character or mascot for your company that represents your products, artwork, or services. What is this character like? What qualities stand out? Is this character innovative, energetic, sophisticated, technical?

Image: star divider

 FINAL THOUGHTS

This entire process should assist you in formulating the right brand strategy for your business while creating a clear, precise, and distinctive brand identity in the marketplace. Positioning yourself in the right way will bring you both short-term and long-term success.

 

Image: star divider

If you found this post to be valuable or helpful in some way, please share it on your favorite platform so I can help someone else the way I just helped you. Thank you for sharing!

This entry was posted in branding, business, fine art, photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

38 Comments

  1. Joan Harrington November 1, 2014 at 2:00 PM #

    Hi Deborah,

    Branding is so important if you want to establish yourself online as a business that people will want to come by and check out for answers to their issues :)

    Thanks for providing these awesome tips for branding :) Valuable post!

    Nice share :)

  2. Sonia October 18, 2014 at 11:36 PM #

    A great article Deborah and I look forward to learning more from you with regards to branding.

    I’m in a place where I don’t really know the answers to many of the questions I need to ask myself so will work on these in the meantime :)

    Love your work!
    Sonia recently posted…Prepare To Sell From Pinterest IIMy Profile

    • Deborah October 19, 2014 at 8:55 PM #

      Sonia,

      Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting! And I really look forward to using Pinterest for my sales and learning all about that from you! Blogging is fun and you meet so many special people. This is one of the great benefits of blogging and having an online business – we learn, we grow, we have great networking opportunities!

      Deborah
      Deborah recently posted…WordPress Security Best Practices For New BloggersMy Profile

  3. NT Izuchi October 6, 2014 at 1:31 PM #

    I went through and had a mental checklist of the branding process steps you’ve provided and I seem to be on point, however there are some areas that you brought up that I didn’t consider in terms of the qualities I want my company to stand out for. That was REALLY helpful Deborah! Thanks for the insight!

    • Deborah October 7, 2014 at 7:26 AM #

      Hello NT!

      Glad I could help you. It definitely is a process that we need to revisit from time to time as our focus in our business may change and lead us in new directions.

      Thank you so much for commenting NT!

      Deborah
      Deborah recently posted…Branding Your New BusinessMy Profile

  4. Lesly Federici October 5, 2014 at 4:26 PM #

    Hi Deborah,
    Wonderful article .. branding is a process and it’s always changing. Geico is a great example. More people think of that silly, yet friendly little fellow that tells bad jokes and know the company instantly. Clarity is so important. I see you going through this process as well as you fine tune your own objectives and mission … love your blog …

    • Deborah October 5, 2014 at 8:20 PM #

      Hello Lesly!

      I so appreciate the kind words and support!

      It certainly is a process, a journey, not a destination as they say. As I grow my blog, I will keep revisiting my mission and make sure my brand is reflecting it.

      Thank you for commenting!

      Deborah
      Deborah recently posted…What Is In A Name? Your Brand.My Profile

  5. Nathaniel Kidd October 5, 2014 at 12:27 PM #

    You have posed some great points/questions. I agree that it all starts with remembering your why. I have fallen prey to not thinking this process through myself and I have had to revamp things. Thank you for such a very informative article. As bloggers your points are so very important to us all.

    • Deborah October 5, 2014 at 8:12 PM #

      Nathaniel,

      That’s why I wrote this post and chose to go fairly deep into the branding process itself; people are in a hurry and don’t take the time necessary to do the work!

      Thank you so much for allowing me to assist, if even in just some small way.

      Best wishes Nathaniel! :)

      Deborah
      Deborah recently posted…What Is In A Name? Your Brand.My Profile

  6. Andy Lockhart October 5, 2014 at 8:16 AM #

    Deborah, great questions to ask of people and as we all know the brand is all important and you don’t want to be changing it. When I worked for a large company we were developing vision and mission statements for major departments and that was always a challenge and made people think about what they were about. Thanks for a great post.

    Andy

    • Deborah October 5, 2014 at 8:09 PM #

      Thank you so much Andy!

      I love when people share personal experiences. Mission Statements are challenging. It’s sometimes hard to sum up all that a company or business is about into about a paragraph.

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting Andy.

      Deborah

  7. Jacs Henderson October 5, 2014 at 7:13 AM #

    That was such fun Deborah… and interesting how the Gecko developed ‘into’ the Brand with a few tweeks to make him more ‘human like’

    It makes me smile how we can identify with those little characters!

    In the UK we have a Meerkat who has become the brand for an insurance company… and they have a series of adverts… and if you buy their insurance, they send you one of the meerkat toys from the characters in the adverts

    …and YES! I fell for it – I have 2 !!

    Back to branding, I think you’re so right to start with your mission. That defines where we want to head, so we can choose some paths to get there, using clarity in our direction – rather than wobbling our way forwards… then qualities, character and strategy become clearer.

    You have outlined a fabulous process :)

    Jacs

    • Deborah October 5, 2014 at 7:31 PM #

      Jacs,

      I love learning from people outside the US! I used to watch a program called “Meerkat Manor” on the Animal Planet Channel. They are so intelligent and cute! That’s so funny that you have two of the toys after watching the advertisements for insurance! :)

      That’s a great example of how branding is supposed to work. Stay top-of-mind with our customers, followers, buyers.

      Thanks for the support Jacs!

      Deborah

  8. Sarah Wainwright October 5, 2014 at 4:05 AM #

    Hi Deborah,

    I am currently in the process of creating my brand so I have found your article a very interesting read with some helpful tips and suggestions that I will be following.
    It has certainly shown me that I need to put some more thought into my branding process by following the questions you have outlined.

    Thank You,

    Sarah

    • Deborah October 5, 2014 at 7:28 PM #

      So glad I could help Sarah!

      Even after we have it all set up and feel satisfied that we’re done, at some point in the future, we will need to revisit the process to make sure our choices are still relevant.

      Best wishes and much success to you!

      Deborah

  9. Willena Flewelling October 4, 2014 at 10:58 PM #

    As a writer, I know I have to be clear on who my audience is. For six years, I wrote almost daily to my best friend, who lived 500 miles away. It was easy to write to her, because I knew her and it was as if she were in the room with me. It’s not so easy sometimes, writing stories or a book, because I don’t know exactly who they are. It’s important for a writer to imagine and visualize those readers, and know as closely as possible who they are, how old they are, where they live, etc. The more I can do that, the more real my stories will be.

    • Deborah October 5, 2014 at 7:20 PM #

      Willena, thank you for sharing your experience!

      You really got to the heart of branding! It’s you presenting yourself to the world. The whole world isn’t going to care about who you are, what you do, or what you have to offer. You have to carve out a piece of the market for yourself. You have to know who to market to. Who needs to read your stories? Who will benefit by buying your book?

      That’s such a great idea that you shared; imagine and visualize your buyers. Who are they? What is their lifestyle, age, location? You have to be able to reach them, get to know them, and get them to trust you and to connect with you on a regular basis.

      Best wishes in all your writing endeavors!

      Deborah

  10. Lillian De Jesus October 4, 2014 at 8:08 PM #

    Hi Deborah,

    Great post! Isn’t branding an intriguing process? You think you have it all set but there are many steps to approach to gain clarity of your brand. When I looked at my business, I thought this all out as well.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Lillian

    • Deborah October 5, 2014 at 7:15 PM #

      Hello Lillian:

      Glad you took the time to appreciate the branding process. So many do not! They get caught up in getting to “the fun part” of their business, whatever that may be. But, to succeed, you have to lay a solid foundation first, then enjoy the heart of your business.

      Have a great week!

      Deborah

  11. David Merrill 101 October 3, 2014 at 9:53 PM #

    I so often find myself in a position of trying to help people change their brand from the one they “started out” with, and the one they’re looking to move into.

    Your suggestions will really help to get it right the first time around. When you really have a clear sense of what your mission is, that’s not likely to change. Your business might, or products and services you promote can change, too. But your mission will probably be the same.

    • Deborah October 4, 2014 at 8:10 AM #

      Thank you for commenting David!

      I really think that’s one of the mistakes I see most often; people don’t really define what their mission is. They just get excited, check things off their list, and enter the chaos. This is the most important part! The very foundation of the business.

      As you say, if you have a clear sense of the mission, that’s not likely to change. Then you can build on it.

      Deborah

  12. donna merrill October 3, 2014 at 5:26 PM #

    Hi Deborah,

    Branding certainly is a process! We do have to go over all those questions you mentioned above and ask ourselves so many things.

    As we write them down, we are able to see what is most important…a great process to go through when making business decisions (I do it all the time lol)

    Once we make the decisions of what the goal of our band is, we also have to decide what qualities do we want to stand out. That, to me is the most important component. How do we want others to see us? Only we know that answer inside of us.

    Great process!

    -Donna

    • Deborah October 3, 2014 at 7:00 PM #

      You always have great tips Donna!

      I like that you point out that after we choose what the goal of our brand is, we need to decide what qualities we want to stand out. There are so many options it can make your head spin!

      Thanks for commenting and keep writing! I learn a lot from your blog!

      Deborah

  13. Monisha Kapur October 3, 2014 at 3:08 PM #

    Hi Deborah,

    Thank You for these great branding process tips. It’s definitely important to get clarity as you set out on a new venture. Many tend to over think,or not think enough about these critical questions about their business. Being in the right frame of mind while putting together the foundation of a business is critical.
    Thank you for calling this out!

    Best,
    Monisha

    • Deborah October 3, 2014 at 6:43 PM #

      It’s good to see you here Monisha!

      Mindset is absolutely key, especially in the beginning stages. So glad you enjoyed it!

      Deborah

  14. sean October 3, 2014 at 8:26 AM #

    Some really great questions to ask yourself…The most important being “Who is my target audience” I’m currently in the process of creating my brand, around myself SEAN PURDY and also my website domain name TIPSOLA which is a brand able name but it’s working out the right tagline that i will find most suitable

    • Deborah October 3, 2014 at 11:01 AM #

      Yes Sean, creating your brand takes time. It sounds like you are on the right track!

      Good luck with your tagline. I hope you find one that truly suits your endeavors!

      Deborah

  15. Chery Schmidt October 2, 2014 at 7:29 PM #

    Hello Deborah, Every time I visit here this great feeling just comes over me. What Awesome pictures you have on the landing page of your blog it is so refreshing, you truly are talented my friend.

    As for your post here loved this to. “Clarity” What an a great word HUH? You have given some very good tips on how to go about getting clear on exactly what our intentions are with our business..

    Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work..

    Chery :))

    • Deborah October 3, 2014 at 11:03 AM #

      Chery,

      Thank you so much for your kind words! I work hard at giving value and creating art that will uplift the viewer. It seems I’m heading in the right direction? :)

      I wish you the very best,

      Deborah

  16. Jenni Ryan October 2, 2014 at 6:52 AM #

    Great post . very detailed on how to approach the branding process. Most people probably don’t put that much thought into it and wind up changing their branding several times. Great resource.

    • Deborah October 2, 2014 at 1:15 PM #

      What a great compliment Jenni!

      I felt the post deserved a lot of detail for that very reason. Most people rush the process and stumble along trying to get it right.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Deborah

  17. Miriam Slozberg September 30, 2014 at 3:23 PM #

    Great post about getting clarity when it comes to branding. I have to say this is a very easy thing for business owners to get lost on, and if you are not 100% clear on how you want to brad your business, its not going to work. This is something where advice is definitely needed.

    • Deborah October 2, 2014 at 1:10 PM #

      So glad to see you here Miriam!

      Branding is definitely not something to rush through. You have to have a process, a check list, and even when you think you have it all thought out, it doesn’t hurt to review it again.

      I agree that if you haven’t ever done it before or if you are unsure about the process, reach out and get some help.

      Good luck to you and your business!

      Deborah

  18. donna merrill September 29, 2014 at 1:21 PM #

    Hi Deborah,

    When it comes to Branding.. there is a lot we must think about before we roll out with a blog, or product.

    I like the way you wrote about “clarity” because when we get into a relaxed state of mind, we shut out all the noise. By this I mean not only the noise outside the room we lock ourselves into…. But more importantly the noise that goes on inside our mind.

    I find that when I have to make a decision like this, I like to get into that state of mind, because that’s when I can think clearly, or just relax and let things come to me.

    Then I go over to write my list…pros and cons. Using both sides of our brain will do the trick!

    Great post!

    -Donna
    donna merrill recently posted…List Building With Social MediaMy Profile

    • Deborah September 29, 2014 at 7:10 PM #

      Thank you Donna!

      I really appreciate your comments, it helps to see another perspective. I like where you state to use your “left” brain and “right” brain to really clarify what it is you want to accomplish.

      Best wishes to you!

      Deborah

  19. Monna Ellithorpe September 29, 2014 at 11:41 AM #

    Hi Deborah,
    What a great post. I love that little guy. I never would have thought of putting our own branding in comparison with the Geico Gecko – how creative.

    I will have to do some thinking on this. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Have a great day.
    Monna Ellithorpe recently posted…What Do You Need To Learn To Publish Your Book?My Profile

    • Deborah September 29, 2014 at 7:05 PM #

      Monna, welcome.

      I am a very visual person so, I used the GEICO Gecko! When he first was introduced, he was complaining that he was getting phone calls for GEICO and he was annoyed. Over time, he enjoyed all the attention. Then he decided to audition along with several other “actors” and he became their spokesperson telling people how to same money on their insurance.

      We can brainstorm and come up with a representation as well. It’s just a creative exercise to get you to visualize what you are presenting to the marketplace. It’s a symbol, a design. I know this is a serious topic, but it can be fun!

      Deborah

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