A brand is an ecosystem. It’s the sum of many parts – both tangible and intangible – working together to create a clear, cohesive experience for your audience. It’s important to establish the experience you want to convey and work backwards to ensure that what you’re showing and what you’re saying aligns.
Whether you’re establishing a new brand or you’re at a pivotal point for reassessing your existing brand, here are some questions and points to consider along the way.
VALUES – Who are you as a company/organization/team? What is your mission and why do you exist?
Your values provide a critical foundation for your brand because they help you make decisions as your brand matures. Potential new stakeholders, whether that’s partners, clients, volunteers, donors and even employees, should be aware of your value set and align with it. Your values serve as a guide for your brand’s entire strategy and culture.
GOALS – What are you aiming to solve and/or accomplish?
Establishing specific and actionable goals helps everyone within your brand understand what is expected of both the brand as a whole and individuals within it. Plus, it’s the basis for collective motivation. Make sure everyone understands the goals, how they can contribute and check in on progress often.
MESSAGING – What are you saying to convey who you are, what you do and how you do it?
The words you’re saying to convey your brand are crucial. This starts with your name and trickles down to your tagline, website copy, advertising slogans, sales pitches and more. Most, if not all, brands need external buy-in that hinges on inspiration for donations, sales, attendance, etc. The success of people taking appropriate action depends on the strength of your messaging.
TONE + VOICE – How are you saying your messages?
As important as the words you’re saying is how you’re saying them. Your brand’s tone and voice should quickly convey your personality and connect with the target audience(s). The tone you’re using is the difference between your brand coming across as optimistic vs. pessimistic, approachable vs. pretentious, inclusive vs. exclusive.
VISUAL IDENTITY – Does your brand have visual assets beyond your logo? What is your color palette? Imagery? Icons? Patterns?
While your brand is so much more than just your logo, your visual identity is absolutely a core brand element. And equally important to all your visual assets working cohesively together is that they align with the above-mentioned values, goals, messaging and tone of voice. If your logo incorporates a childish typeface but your tone of voice is scholarly, there is a strong chance you could be deterring folks from engaging with your brand.
Taking all these elements into account when creating and assessing your brand makes a huge impact on how successful your brand becomes and how you set yourself apart in the marketplace. Bellmont Partners is passionate about helping brands ensure both the visual and written sides of your brand are strong and in alignment. Feel free to reach out if you’re looking for help with this!