Featured Designer Series: Indigo Creative

Build a brand with a platform

So many times a client comes to us with the need for a refreshed website, print material, or a new look for a presentation, packaging, etc. And like so many design professionals, we often have to jump right in with the visual design and content development.

That can be a mistake, however, if the client hasn’t really identified their target audience and positioning in the market, or defined their own brand identity and how their offerings provide true benefits to customers.

And that’s when we find the collaboration bogs down, direction shifts, and ambiguity can start to build.The problem is, we have no true guide that can direct our design processes. We’re driving somewhere new without a map.

Define the brand

We all know how to ask our clients: “What is it you do that’s different, and why is that important?” Yet too often we include these valuable discussions as part of our design process.

At Indigo Creative, we try to begin any new project by taking a step back from the requested website, print piece or other tactic. We ask to review our client’s current brand identity, and create a “brand platform” that will serve as the foundation for all of the design and messaging that follows.

Build the platform

In that platform, we provide a snapshot of where our clients are at currently and what opportunities they are targeting.We define three key components that make up their core brand identity.We help them position themselves in their market, and review their competitor’s brand positioning.And we start to develop visual“look and feel”concepts, along with preliminary taglines and messaging that express the brand.

This brand development process inspires our clients to take a good close look at themselves, and really define what they’re all about. It’s heavy lifting, but provides valuable benefits.

Once we have this brand platform in place, then just like an ad agency’s creative brief, all design and messaging decisions can be developed based on its findings.

Aim for consistency

The other key advantage is that we now have an agreed-upon guide, a “Brand Guide,” for all tactics that follow.There’s a consistent visual design that is shared by the website, the print collateral, the digital media, and all other client-facing tactics. And as we’ve learned, consistency is essential to building a strong brand.

For more about how to develop a brand platform as part of your design services, contact us, or visit indigocreativestudio.com

By aigasantabarbara
Published August 8, 2011
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