Perfect your brief
A comprehensive, well-structured brief has the power to completely transform your brand project by streamlining processes, maintaining a consistent vision, keeping budgets watertight, and achieving a great end result.
Must-have elements of a perfectly polished brief include, but are not limited to:
- An overview of your business – such as its structure, values, mission, and offering – to give much needed context.
- Background – it’s important to define key project prerequisites in order to communicate the motivations to all stakeholders involved
- An outline of the current market – including key competitors, to help define and visualise any differentials that could prove pivotal to growth.
- A budget – to provide an indication of the level and depth of work that can be undertaken to boost your brand and how much involvement an external party could offer.
- A timeframe – deadlines are important in both maintaining momentum throughout the branding process and setting expectations for all parties involved in the project.
- Target audience – because everything should come back to the individuals you need to better communicate with.
- Expected deliverables – such as messaging frameworks and style guides, to guarantee clarity on a project and plan the correct route from the outset.
- Additional information and attachments – to support and clarify the brief you have provided. Examples include likes and dislikes, current assets (available), and testimonials to evidence current perceptions of your brand.
Go out to tender
While you may have a preferred brand partner in mind, it is usually advisable to approach two to three different specialists. The organisation you choose should demonstrate a comprehensive grasp of your brief, ideally a portfolio of experience, and cultural fit.
However, it’s important to consider the incredible behind-the-scenes effort involved in understanding and researching brand projects, so be realistic and fair as to the depth of ideas that will be requested during the pitch process – not all brands will work for free.
Don’t overindulge on visual identity
While appearance is certainly of importance when it comes to brand, it’s vital to remember that there is so much more to the ‘soul’ that gives your business a cohesive personality. Overindulging on visual identity – whether it’s the style of your logo, or your colour palette – and neglecting valuable research and strategy, usually leads to a lacklustre, ‘style over substance’ result.
Stick to guidelines
No matter the size or scope of your business, brand guidelines are a key tool in maintaining consistency and recognisability – without them, the concept you’ve spent so much time and resources curating can quickly become distorted.
Your brand guidelines should include more than just colour and size instructions for logo use, though. They should explore direct and specific clarifications for the use and misuse of various brand assets – including language – to ensure full compliance throughout your organisation and beyond. This makes the time and effort put into your project worthwhile.
Think about launch
Your employees are your business’ most important ambassadors and front-line storytellers, so involving them in every aspect of the brand process and encouraging them to embrace this new chapter, is a must. Through expert workshops, The Engine Room gets under the skin of businesses and finds out what makes them tick as a collective, so the story can unfold in the most passionate and authentic way possible.
To hear more of Lesley’s advice, and to catch up on the thoughts of other panellists, watch the webinar in full, here: https://lnkd.in/dNSs2bbB