You hear the terms marketing, branding, and advertising almost every day in your organization. You probably focus on marketing and advertising without realizing how critical a good brand strategy is to successful marketing and advertising campaigns. But what makes a good brand strategy? Brand strategy development is a lengthy process that requires a team of people who are skilled in research, demographic trait analysis, creative design, and strategy development. However, when done well it will simplify the development of marketing and advertising campaigns. At Sun Graphics Media, we use a 5-stage process to develop the essential elements of brand strategy.
In the first stage of brand strategy development, we focus on discovering the essence of your brand. We look at your strategies, goals, and values. Understanding your vision is one of the most critical elements in understanding your organization. Once Sun Graphics Media understands your organization we can begin to develop brand strategies to help achieve your goals. From there, we uncover your company's essence by interviewing key management, researching stakeholders’ needs, and acquiring customer perceptions. Next is possibly the most critical part of the research phase – conducting marketing, competitive, technology, and messaging audits. These audits are used to find points of differentiation between your brand and your competitors. Without this, it is almost impossible to position your company uniquely. Finally, we evaluate your brand architecture. Many agencies will forgo this lengthy research process, but without this knowledge they cannot be as immersed into their clients as Sun Graphics Media is. The timing of this stage typically varies from 2-6 weeks.
In the second stage, we begin the strategy development. With the key learnings and a clear vision, we start developing a positioning platform and creating brand attributes. The brand attributes will help outline the steps needed to establish an emotional connection with your customers. With this emotional connection in mind, we can further define how to communicate your key messages. The final stage of this process is the creative brief that our team uses to design your brand. This stage can take 4-8 weeks depending on the size of your organization.
The third stage marks the beginning of the creative process. Sun Graphics Media begins to visualize your future and brainstorm what your "big idea" is. This big idea sets you apart from your competitors and establishes the emotional connection to your consumers. We then start the process of designing a brand identity system. A comprehensive brand identity system includes all of the elements that work together to provide the essence, unity, consistency, and flexibility of your brand. Brand identity systems should consist of your logo, an alternate logo, color pallets, typography, extended visual language, brand voice, and personas. Expect this stage of the process to take 2-8 weeks.
One of the many advantages of working with Sun Graphics Media is our award-winning creative and design teams. We are the only agency with all the experts under one roof. Our strategy and creative teams hand off the developments from the first three phases to our design and development teams who get to work on producing all your brand's touchpoints. There is a hierarchy in this process, and they work directly with our clients to ensure they are generating touchpoints that allow each element to build upon the next. This stage also depends on the size of your organization, website, and number of touchpoints. It can be expected to take from 4-16 weeks.
The final stage consists of the rollout and continued management of your brand. In this stage, we help you establish your launch plan. While every organization is different, we find launching internally first is the most successful. From there you can incorporate your learnings and fully launch your brand externally. Most organizations consider putting Sun Graphics Media on a retainer-based agreement for at least the first year.
As you can see, brand strategy development is more than a logo. When in place it can simplify everything to do with marketing and advertising. Your brand strategy establishes a clear and consistent message to make your brand the consumer's choice.
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