The Big Human Guide to Branding
At Big Human, we help our clients create and recreate their brands every day. We weave their identities into their products and services to create compelling experiences. How the brand looks, feels, and sounds are points of interaction and opportunities to connect with consumers.
When it comes to branding, it’s all about looking at the big picture and organizing its details. It may be time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be hard. From logo design to usage guidelines, here’s a checklist of the branding elements you need to paint a complete picture.
Strategy and Positioning
Before you can define your brand, you have to do your research. You can’t launch a business without first knowing where it fits in the marketplace and how it solves consumers’ needs. Take time to check out the competition. Study how they look, how they talk about themselves and their products, and how they engage with their consumers.
As you do this, think about your target audience. You may have multiple customer personas to consider, but this will help you define and refine your brand and what it offers.
See what we did for Plentiful here.
Messaging and Voice
A brand is only as good as its story (and personality). This is the part of the branding process where you develop your brand’s voice, tone, and mission and vision statements. The mission and vision serve as frames of reference, answering the why and how of your brand. It’s something you, your employees, and your customers can connect with.
Your brand’s voice and tone establishes its personality and communication style. Is your brand friendly and inviting or serious and composed? How does your brand elicit emotion? Make a list of three to five adjectives that sums up the way your brand communicates. Keep in mind, your brand’s messaging may vary across audiences and channels. What works for your website might not work for your social media platforms.
A name brings everything to life. Even if you already have a name picked out, compare it to your brand’s messaging and voice to ensure it’s still a good fit.
However, sometimes picking a name is the longest part of the process. If you’re having trouble, consider it a game of wordplay. Make a list of buzzwords and phrases that resonate with you. Can you change the meaning of a pun? Or can you combine a couple words to create something entirely new?
Remember to do research to make sure the name you like is free from competition and other brand equity.
See what we did for Gemini here.
When it comes to a brand’s visual identity, most people think about the logo. A logo can be a symbol or the brand name in your thoughtfully chosen type. But a brand’s visual identity also comes from a cohesive design system that consists of the color palette, typography, iconography, graphics, illustrations, buttons, and more.
See what we did for Quinn here.
After you establish all of the above, the last step is setting up usage guidelines. This is where you outline your brand strategy, and when and where you use the branded elements (voice, tone, and design system). Include real-life examples for added reference.
Need a hand in creating your brand and building your business? Let’s talk.