Phases of Brand Creation and Maintenance
Phase One: Create a Brand
Here are a few key steps to creating a brand for your business:
Step One: Identify the human side and personality of the brand. Discover who the brand influencers and advocates are and how they might impact the brand’s image. This is an appropriate stage for a focus group.
Step Two: Find the values behind the brand and what they stand for, as well as the heritage or history of the brand, including stories and key people associated with the brand. Conducting interviews of key personnel and employees is appropriate for this stage.
Step Three: Identify the emotional benefits of the brand; e.g. the promotion of pleasure and the avoidance of failure. Surveys of former and current consumers are arguably the best way, as they have believed enough to buy the product or service.
Step Four: Establish a core belief based on the information and data collected, addressing what ultimately expresses the brand essence accurately. Create a mission statement to frame all succeeding steps.
Step Five: Reduce the mission statement into a core oneline statement. Create a slogan that translates the benefits of the core belief or mission to customers.
Step Six: Develop the appearance of the brand and its artistic elements (for more on brand identity, see below). Use the information from the previous steps to influence the brand identity.
Phase Two: Maintaining Your Brand
When analyzing your website, its product literature or advertising (Web or print), answer the following questions to ensure consistency in the quality of your brand identity:
• Is this material unique (color scheme or logo, for example) to the brand or is there a chance that it will be confused with brand elements of the competition?
• Is the material used consistently across all current marketing and promotion channels?
• Is the material memorable, but in line with the heritage or history of the brand? People tend to remember things that are out of the ordinary — do elements exist that can be tied back to the brand?
• Is the material clear and understandable, and presented in line with the corporate mission and its core beliefs?
• Is the material honest and truthful, making genuine representations in line with the promises of the brand?
• Is the material professional, yet personal, and does it express the values and benefits of the brand?