When we started off as a business, our goal as a design company was to make our customers happy by delivering what they wanted. However, as time passed, we started to identify a few issues in the industry and this is what we decided to do about them.
As graphic designers, our job was to take orders from our clients, deliver what they wanted, and make them happy. But it didn't take long for us to realize that these things did not really benefit our client’s business in the long term, and we started to see a few problems in the design industry.
1. Business focus was on themselves rather than their market
As a new business owner, it’s only natural that your main concern is your own company, as you’re still trying to figure things out and you might still have some preconceived ideas on what works and what doesn’t.
2. Design, branding and strategy was always an afterthought
Most companies start off with a really bad website or a really bad logo and decide that they will improve the quality of them later on. We believe these things should be thought of before so that they can make a much bigger impact on a business’ success.
3. People waste time and money on targets that they don't understand
During our first consultations, we noticed that a lot of business owners would tell us they spent x amount of money on a marketing plan and didn’t get any results. When we ask them what business they offer and who their target market is, and we try to connect the two, that’s when they realize why they didn’t get any results in the first place.
After finding these issues and thinking of how we could help resolve them, we decided to switch our focus as a business and, rather than just giving our clients exactly what they asked for even if it looks beautiful, we decided to give them our actual expertise to help them build a strategy that would really help their business succeed. Now, our main service is brand strategy, as that’s what we’re most passionate about, but we also want all of the other services we provide like website design, logo design, or marketing plans to have a business strategy behind them, too. We want to make sure we understand what our client’s goal is and how do we get there rather than just throwing money at the problem through marketing tactics.
What is Brand Strategy?
The brand is not just the logo, the colors, or the name. Yes, these are all part of the brand, but it’s way more than that. It’s also how the customer feels about your business. Everything you do as a business, verbal communication, written communication, customer service, etc. is what creates your brand. The brand behind your business is what determines the perception of your product or service, and what it’s worth. And perception is extremely important because that’s the reason why someone will decide to do business with someone else rather than you or vice versa.
If you don’t take advantage of that perception, every marketing or branding effort you make will end up wasting your time and money. This is why strategy is so important.
Here is what Branding Strategy looks like:
Stage 1 - Understanding your business
We need to understand who you are, what are your values are, what’s your purpose and what are your goals in order to help you develop your brands personality in order to determine the tone in which you will connect with your audience
Stage 2 - Understanding your market
How do they feel, what do they need, what are their problems and how are you helping them solve those problems.
Stage 3 - Understanding your place in the market
We also need to understand how you want to position your business: if you want to be the cheapest in the industry, or the best, or the experts… This helps us to determine the visual and written communication you need to have with your audience
Stage 4 - Develop your brand personality
The first 3 steps are the base and foundation for this. Your brand personality is what your business sounds like and how you connect with your audience.
Stage 5 - Define your business goals
We want to understand not only your long-term goals, but also your day to day, what are your revenue goals, and your internal systematic goals.
Stage 6 - Develop your marketing strategy
This is where we brainstorm together with the client and talk about all the ideas we have. We compile all this information and then we come up with a plan.
Stage 7 - Craft your visual brand
This refers to the imagery and style of what your business will look like.
Stage 8 - Analyze and evolve accordingly
This is very important because times change and businesses change, so as a business owner you need to stay up to date with that’ s going on. Constant research is necessary in order to accomplish this. We’re happy to have a consultation with you from time to time to help you go in the right direction.
What We Do Now
Design will always be part of what we do, but the core of everything for us is strategy. Strategy is always a part of every project that we do and every decision that we make as a business. We love to work with business that have vision, and to help them go from point A to point B to achieve their goals. Our objective is, more than just offering graphic design services, to become their partner through ongoing brand consulting.
We’d love to help your business grow, too! Feel free to contact us for a free consultation on how we can build a branding strategy for you.
For more information on this subject, read our blog What Is Brand Strategy?
Why We Decided to Rebrand...Should You? will also provide more insight on this topic.