Visioning and branding are a means to an end. That end is a unique compelling and flexible set of verbal visual and spatial tools that express the character capture and project the essence and key attributes of a place. Great projects begin with great ideas. It is those ideas that must be embodied and then projected from the very inception of the project in creative and memorable ways.
In order to successfully and effectively connect in an enduring way to the local culture the market and the community of stakeholders ideas must relate to the unique qualities and values of the place they are to represent. The brand strategy must seamlessly align with both the realities and the aspirations of the market. The brand expression must also reflect the values of the developer and result in outcomes that are seen as compelling and advantageous to all stakeholders
Key Factor: The owner should have a detailed market research analysis performed from a regional and global perspective before brand creation for sustainable development.
What are the overall stages for branding?
There are four stages of branding which needs to be considered and executed.1. Creation to create or articulate a new business model2. Transformation to push a brand into new markets or channels3. Continuation to clarify a brands positioning4. Application to create a consistent brand experienceIn this report we are going to be focusing more on the first stage and how to create a brand from scratch.
What are the initial key principles to consider?
The owner has to consider identifying and articulating the organizing principles and animating ideas behind the new economic development during the initial phase. The brand consultant may also provide professional direction and services during this brainstorming sessions related to the following:
- Cultural Research and Discovery
- Vision Statement Development
- Naming Strategy and Messaging Development
- Visual Identity and Service Mark Development
- Verbal and Visual Articulation of Brand Attributes
Where to start?
Regardless of the industry every project should start with a visioning / kick-off session where owner developers and consultants to analyze and assess ideas based on the vision.The primary purpose of this process is to establish a clear team understanding of owners goals and to create a framework that will inform and become the foundation for subsequent phases which might include the following:
- Tactical directives as they pertain to the brand operations products and services personnel systems (invisible) and customer facing (visible)
- Programmatic issues including usage guidelines.
- Tone of voice (visual & verbal) of print & web ads reports statements industry publications etc.
- Definition of the visitor to the facility/campus/country and the desired message to be communicated.
- Security and user confidentiality issues
The consultant should capture in an illustrative way the overarching vision values and beliefs and identify and recognize the linkage between goals issues and strategies. Seeing ideas expressed in real time significantly reduces miscommunication and misinterpretation and allows all involved to arrive at mutually agreed upon strategies and directions.
What information needs to be analyzed before the kickoff meeting?
First the client should select the consultant carefully especially based on their capabilities of developing the unique brand. This will also impact the roles and responsibilities of expectations from the consultant over the long term of the brand development. The consultant should analyze the following items which include but are not limited to the following:
- Summarize the market study
- Determine the current brand equities
- Determine the future demand
- Define the customer
- Define the service provider
- Describe the product lines
- Attributes of owners style of service
- Key factors such as competition in the market from regional and global perspective
What should the consultant present to the owner during the kickoff meeting?
Information that the owner should anticipate being complete and available to facilitate the project kickoff should include the following:
- Owner internal team structure approval process and progress made relative to the project.
- Detailed information in the form of a briefing or presentation of existing useable images and copy and creative strategy from the marketing and advertising strategists.
- Detailed information on the proposed function and type of the new development
- Existing brand/product display standards or protocols. (i.e. trade show recruitment fair material)
- Summary of market understanding local regional and global
- Personnel staff roles and training approach/guidelines
- What are the initial deliverables and outcomes of the initial study?
The purpose of this study is largely for the consultant to become acquainted with all relevant issues and to gather information. It is a chance to discuss what ifs of an exciting opportunity. The consultant should document all discussions that take place and would suggest information transfer take place in one workshop. The consultant should provide the following deliverables at the end of six to eight weeks based on the location complexity and scale of the development.
- Visual directions: a collage of images that echo owners vision and set the tone and direction for the design
- Name - Exploration and Trade marking
- Identity system - Document Templates/Production/ Brochures
- Tone of voice
- Prototype environment
- Brand Audit - discovery session w/ brand story/mission statement
- Public facing brand experience diagrams Web/ Advertisement templates
- Written documentation of each interview
- Functional requirements summaries
For any product service or economic development strategy to be successful it must contain a clear and easy to understand brand attributes and values. Starting with this approach will ensure the best chance to enter the market and sustain growth over time. After this initial first creation step it is important to maintain the brand through subsequent efforts including transformation continuation and application stages.