Project Brief

The truth about the process of branding couldn’t be simpler: It is the process of defining or refining your focus; who you are, what makes you different, and what unique value you offer. Then, once defined or refined, being intentional and strategic about making that tangible for people not just in logos and design, but in what you say and—more importantly—do.

That simple definition doesn’t mean it’s easy to conduct a brand strategy process, especially on your own. There are many steps, exercises, tools, and skills that can contribute. But the basic goal and stages of a brand process are easier to understand than you might think.

Visual A

Visual B

Conceptual Design Samples

Skills Needed

Let’s break down the Gist Brands process.

Five Stages of Gist’s Branding Process

  • Stage 1: Understanding & Discovery (data and context)
  • Stage 2: Articulating & Clarifying (your personality and the potential story you tell)
  • Stage 3: Positioning & Differentiating (your uniqueness and value)
  • Stage 4: Identifying & Creating (your identity and creative assets)
  • Stage 5: Applying & Extending (how you show up in the world)
Project Planning 98%
Graphic Design 92%
Branding 96%
Multimedia 98%

Initial Concept Planning

Every branding process should include some aspect of discovery. It’s not just important for a branding consultant or agency to better understand who you are, but it’s also for you to better understand who you are, even if you think you know.How we talk and what we assume about ourselves is frequently very different from how our customers talk about us or what they know. And ultimately they are who will define your brand, we just want to help shape it in their minds.

Drafts & Revisions

This is the “fun” and creative stage of expressing your personality and positioning. It’s no wonder most people want to jump straight here without doing the introspective homework of brand strategy, but without doing the homework, what is it based on? It’s likely just an esthetic exercise.

Final Delivery

These stages are critical to building your final brand strategy and brand identity. When great strategy and articulation informs creativity, and when your value proposition and messaging are designed to benefit and resonate with your customers, the light bulbs really start to go on across the organization and with strategic partners. And more importantly, with customers.

Learn More

Strong Brands

This is where the pedal hits the metal in building out and activating your new brand. Some of the obvious applications are designed deliverables like websites, signage, business cards, and packaging. However some of the most critical to the success of your business are things like shaping employee behavior and the actual customer experience. These are things that are only tangentially affected or enhanced by your logo and color choice, but hugely impacted by your earlier articulation of core values, personality attributes, and competitive advantage. Likewise, the messaging, strategy, and content of your brand identity likely play a more powerful role in shaping word-of-mouth, video, social media, and public relations than design or your logo will.

Excellent Results

These stages are each critical to building your final brand strategy and brand identity. When great strategy and articulation informs creativity, and when your value proposition and messaging are designed to benefit and resonate with your customers, the light bulbs really start to go on across the organization and with strategic partners. And more importantly, with customers.