What comes first , the business plan or the brand?

The truth is, either could come first! Some people will get an idea for a strong brand, and perhaps build a business around that. Others will work out all the details first and then brand that. Either works fine as long as you make sure all the fundamentals are there first! As design company, there are a few things we look for in a business before building a brand, and before we even get started we will make sure that you have the answers!

So here are a few questions that you really need to have answered before you think about building your brand.

What does your business do?

You need to be able to get across what your business does in three sentences. This is usually called your elevator pitch. By whittling down all the information you have about your business into 3 short sentences, you are forced to really think about what your business is and what it does!

When we design your brand, we definitely need to know what your business does! Of course we will take the time to really get to know your business, but to enable us to successfully create something that gets the message across we need to know what the essence of the business does.

What is your business vision?

Where do you see yourself going in the future? What do you want your business to look like in 1, 5 and 10 years?

It helps us to know this when designing your brand so that we can make sure we are creating something timeless that will last as long as your business does. For example, are you planning on expanding into other areas? You may be starting small and intimate, but would you like to become more corporate?

By looking into the future, we can get an idea of where your branding and logo will be going and so we can prepare it for the journey!

Who is your ideal customer?

You need to be able describe who your ideal customers are. Don’t just stop at “Women”. How old is she? What does she do for a living? Does she have a family? Go deeper and figure out who your product or service appeals to. Those particular people will respond better to a brand that resonates with them.

This is one of the most important questions to ask before developing a brand because if you get this wrong, it can have a severe effect on your business. A children’s toy marketed with subtle colours would not catch a child’s attention. A toy brand needs to be bright, colourful and simple.

What message do you want to send to your ideal customers?

How do you want your potential customers to feel about your brand? A charity would want to remind you of their cause and hope. A sports brand wants to make you feel motivated and energised.

This can be manifested not just through your logo but other parts of your brand such as photography and writing.

How do your customers hear about your business?

How do you get your brand in front of your potential customers? We need to create something that speaks to your potential customers in whatever environment they are in. This could be on the web, in a coffee shop, in a magazine face to face or all of the above!

Some types of businesses can be negatively affected by marketing in the wrong place. It wastes money, devalues your brand and in rare cases, could offend people. (A condom ad in a new mothers magazine won’t go down well.)

. . .

Once you have the answers to these questions, you are ready to speak to a professional about your branding! So please do come and speak to us, or fill in our brand identity questionnaire online here: strawberrystudios.net/brand-survey.

Or if you are one of those who got too excited about the branding and not so much about the planning, we would love to help you with that too! Come and chat to us about your business and we will help you formulate a plan and a brand that you will be proud of and that will still be around in 1, 5 or 10 years time.

Samuel & Lorah – Kelly Beard

Strawberry Studios

www.strawberrystudios.net

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