TOP 10 TIPS for a successful branding project
Here are our top ten tips to help prepare for a successful branding project. It doesn’t matter where you start your journey. Its where you go that’s important.
Nobody seems to explain what the stages of branding are or how to prepare, because it demands so many different skill sets to complete successfully. It can also be confusing if you listen to some practitioners who like to make it appear more complicated. It isn’t.
Discover some of the many marketing and business challenges that our brand tool can help you to overcome.
Appoint a specialist
Select the right branding consultant or agency partner because you’re going to need specialist expertise to guide you on your journey. Make sure they have the relevant skills and experience. Do they have a tried and tested creative process? Do you think they have the ability to challenge you, guide you and listen to you when needed? Are they able to work collaboratively with you? You’ll achieve a better, more robust result with this type of relationship because it will complement the skills and experience of the individuals you’ve enlisted internally.
This is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make because the difference in the results you can expect from working with the best people - and the rest - could be the difference between success and failure.
Write a clear brief
Provide all the relevant background information to your market, competitors (including any research findings), the project objectives, an indication of budget, any constraints, the timeframe, the approval process and when a response is required.
Set your target for success
What are the deliverables? This should correspond with what you need the project to do for your organisation. How are you going to measure whether you’ve been successful? You can use numbers, or specific qualitative targets or goals. Share these with your agency so they’re clear about what the objectives are, and they’ll rise to the challenge with their proposed creative solution, giving you something solid to judge it against.
Engage decision makers
Engage all key people throughout the entire process. This is especially important when agreeing the positioning for your brand. If everyone is not in agreement with the new proposed position, you’ll never agree on the creative solution to achieve it.
You’ll also need their support and a united front when you introduce your brand to others in your organisation. I appreciate that it isn’t possible to include everybody all of the time and you’ll have to decide when and how to involve them.
Ensure all on board
Make sure everyone is ‘on board’ at the right time in your timeframe. The people in your organisation can make or break your brand so this is an important point. You need to let them know precisely how to personify your brand and any other ways you expect them to help you.
Fix date for launch
Organise a launch event to celebrate and communicate your new or refreshed brand. Set a date and stick to it. The event doesn’t need to be large but do organise a venue that reflects your brand’s personality - and send out invitations. Having a date ‘set in stone’ helps focus minds on a point in time and reduces procrastination and indecision.
Do what you say
Do what you say you’re going to - when you say you’re going to do it. It can be difficult to get everyone on board, to get decisions and feedback on time and to gain consensus, especially with a large group of people. But it’s essential to keep the process on schedule as procrastination can seriously disrupt the whole process.
Make sure you factor in reasonable time for discussion and debate as this will give you a chance to iron out any differences in the time available.
Clear prompt feedback
Be clear, prompt and honest with feedback to your agency partner. Everyone in the team needs to be clear on what they’re doing, when they need to do it and to provide prompt feedback within the agreed timeframe. Otherwise you’ll be at risk of going round in ever decreasing circles which burns up time and money very quickly.
Be brave to be different
The Bible says that the meek shall inherit the earth, but in my experience meek brands are never successful. You have to be brave to be different - to stand out and be noticed. When I say brave, I don’t mean reckless. If you work in a large organisation you may be thinking this is easier said than done. Well it is - but it shouldn’t stop you doing it.
Too many organisations find it easier and safer to blend in with their competitors because they feel clients are all looking for the same sort of service provider. This is a flawed strategy because their clients will find it difficult to pick them out. Differentiation is what they need.
Launching is not the end
Keep your brand moving forward on a continuous basis after the launch. Remember the launch date is a significant milestone on your journey, not the end of the branding process. It’s tempting to launch, then sit back and congratulate yourself, but this is dangerous territory.
Once you’ve introduced your brand to your own people and clients you need to develop and commit to a plan that keeps your brand in front of them on a continuous basis.