WHAT DOES A BRANDING COMPANY DO?
What does a branding company do? When I first started my business nearly 15 years ago. I knew very little about branding or identity design.
All I knew is I really liked photoshop and it felt good to see your art or designs being displayed proudly by others. As time went by, I found a fascination with doing company logo designs. Even at this point I was not aware of the importance of branding or identity design. I considered myself a graphic designer. I didn’t even consider what branding was. As the years passed I found myself compelled to learn more and more about branding and what it meant.
I come to realize it was a lot more than just a logo and some business cards. In fact it was mostly about you target demographic and how they responded to your business. The more I learned the more I wanted to focus my skillset on identity development and branding.
First its important to understand what a brand is. On our branding page I describe this as follows…
A brand is the identity of a business in the eyes of consumers. Branding is the process used to create, control, and utilize that identity, to define an image that both, appeals to a targeted audience and reflects what a business represents.
So what does that mean exactly?
A branding company has many responsibilities. These responsibilities ultimately depend on the specific client. We will explain these responsibilities assuming the client wants the most optimal result possible.
First things first, a branding company will meet with their client to discuss the clients needs and preferred results. This can be an in person meeting, a zoom call, or even a phone conference call. In most cases this first meeting will be just to get to know the customer and learn about the business and its needs.
Once the branding company has a good idea on what the client needs, the next step is to review the information to determine how the client can be helped. This is when the branding company will brainstorm to find solutions or determine if more data is required and of what kind. It will be a time of resolution and assessing the different solutions.
To be fair sometimes these things can be all achieved during the first meeting. Given the importance of this review, I prefer to take the time necessary to properly review the clients needs and determine the potential avenues of resolution.
Sometimes more information must be requested. Information such as sales data, detailed demographics, etc. This information can be very useful in determining where a business has succeeded and where it has failed. As well as provide vital data about who their customers are. This information will be used in the next stage.
Once all of the required information is obtained, a branding company will begin the research phase. This will include research into the business, specific markets, current customers, potential customers, sales, and every aspect about the business and the market its targeting. This research will also include competitors, similar brands, market failures and market successes.
The customer demographic will be researched, the age demographic and interests can provide important information to how a brand should portray its identity. This is an important step that is often skipped to save time but shouldn’t be. The information that can be acquired from this research is a crucial part of how to brand a business.
With the combination of information and research results, the next step is to present the solutions to the client. This presentation will include research results, color palate suggestions, rough drafts of logo, website, business cards, letterhead, stationery, packaging, and any other items that the client may require. In many cases the branding company will explain how their research lead to the proposed designs. Once the client approves the proposed solutions, the branding company will move forward with the initial designs.
At this stage the branding company will begin initial design faze. They will create all of the above mentioned items and prepare them to present to the client. These designs should be very close to a final product. In some cases these items may be done one at a time and presented to the client for review and in some cases they may complete all of the designs before presenting to the client. I find that its usually best to present a completed package if possible, however that is not always the case.
Once all of the designs are completed, in many cases the branding company may provide a style guide to go along with it. This helps the client stay consistent with their brand. The completed design along with the style guide and any other elements will now be presented to the client to review.
Once the client is presented with the initial design package, they will be given the opportunity to review and offer any changes or suggestions to the designs. Once completed the branding company will complete any changes and once again present them back to the clients for review. Some branding companies will limit these revisions to a minimum amount, or may require the client to pay an additional fee for continued changes.
Once the client has approved all designs, the branding company will provide them with all final versions of the files in multiple formats and this will usually conclude the contract and the project will be filed as completed.
So as you can see there is a lot that can go into branding a business. While this may not apply to every branding company, most operate in a similar fashion. The order of operations may vary and keep in mind this is an in-depth example, not all clients will opt to invest to this level of thoroughness.
If you are interested in branding your business or even just a slight revamp, Skilled Graphics would love to help. Feel free to contact us for a quote or with any questions you may have.