I bet some people would be asking, what is a Brand Brief? Why am I even reading this and why is it relevant in the first place? To understand the answers, you first have to understand what Branding really is. According to the Business Dictionary, branding is defined as;
“The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.”
The key word to note in that definition is “consistent”. Everything about your business brand should be done in such a way as to have no portion contradicting another, with a thread of seamless accuracy running through it. In order to achieve this, you need to create a set of guidelines, a visual summary of your brand, which when followed, will ensure the branding process runs smoothly. Here at BRANDi, we have our own set of guidelines when branding, aptly called the ‘Brand Brief’.
A Brand Brief is a core part of the branding process, hence it is the first thing that should be undertaken as soon as the decision to brand is made. As mentioned previously, it is a visual summary on paper, of everything your business stands for now, and aspires to be in the future. The main inspiration for a Brand brief though, is ‘THE WHY?’ It starts with why, as Simon Sinek said, and we at BRANDi wholly agree.
In the past, businesses built their brands focusing on who they were, especially if they had a previous stellar or illustrious history, or were dominating the field, or how they did what they did. We were inundated with wave after wave of the same adverts, similar slogans, billboards etc., until we were well and truly fed up. I can’t say I really blame copycat businesses for aspiring to get what the big boys have, and since it is our general conditioning in life to copy the dominant ones in our field, they only did what came naturally to them.
For those who’ve watched Sinek’s Ted Talk, you already know that he tells us to do away with this popular stereotypical method of marketing and positioning of our businesses, and start instead with the ‘why’, citing Apple, as the clearest example of this. They started with ‘why’, and revolutionised an industry and the business world at large.
You can do the same.
Check out the link to the Ted Talk here; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4ZoJKF_VuA&t=2s)
So, you’ve decided to start your own business, great. You’ve also decided to iteratively test, to weed out the bugs, lock down your niche and tribe, excellent. Now that you’re here, you want to brand your business, and it is at this time that we, your viewing public and marketplace, need to know your ‘why’, and as quickly as possible too.
It is at this juncture that the Brand Brief becomes relevant. It acts as a blueprint for everything that you will subsequently do while progressing your business. This is why before we provide any logo design, website design, app development, digital marketing and even social media marketing etc., we begin by creating a Brand Brief. We like to think of a Brand Brief as the foundation before the first building blocks are put in place.
When building a house, the foundation is seen as the most important part of the construction process, as it provides the proper support for the building, so as to not settle differentially, with regards to the soil, so that the building will remain straight and have structural integrity for its lifespan. A Brand Brief in much the same way, provides the exact same support to your brand and business. How is this done, you ask?
Well, we whittle your business down to subsections, all useful in extricating the ‘why’, to further reflect the value you’re providing. The questions we utilise to achieve this vary, but always put you in the midst of a scenario, where you can feel the impact of your answers. These are the emotions we are also trying to evoke from the marketplace, the minute they come into contact with your branded products or services.
Questions like, ‘Imagine if you had to give a thirty-second elevator pitch to Richard Branson, describing your business and the value it creates in literally one sentence? Or, ‘who are your competitors (or who do you aspire to be within your industry), and why do they have a competitive advantage in the marketplace?’ Even your slogan is derived from this Brand Brief, by being the direct response to the questions, ‘Why your brand?’, ‘why your company?’, ‘why your product?’, ‘why your service?’….WHY?
Regardless of how you choose to proceed, you cannot, in a successful branding process, separate the brand from its ‘why’. It is this symbiosis that instantaneously communicates value to the marketplace, which in turn translates into consistent sales and profit – the end goal of every business venture, and eventually positions your business, as the go-to market leader.
Never forget to let your brand start with WHY, and it’s on a sure footing to succeed.