What is a brand?

Mary Elizabeth DavisBlog

MPFCreates-branding

Regardless of whether you’re a small business operating out of your basement or a multimillion-dollar franchise, your brand is the core of your business. It’s how your business is perceived by consumers – meaning, it’s what they think of when they think of you. I’ll explain. 

Let’s play a game. I’ll give you a clue, and you tell me what first comes to mind:

  • “Just Do It”
  • Innovation that excites
  • Always low prices. Always.
  • “YOU get a car, and YOU get a car, and YOU get a car!”
  • It comes in a little robin’s egg blue box with a white bow.

None of these things are the same, yet all of them are immediately associated with a company or person. That’s because of their brand. Their brands embody how they communicate, how they look and how they are perceived by consumers. Without their brand, what would they be?

For that reason, we take branding seriously. Formulating the appropriate brand strategy, creating a distinctive brand identity and positioning that brand in the right markets are the pillars of our branding process.

  1. We start with research. We dig into your market to determine who your audience is and who else is competing for their attention. We identify opportunities in the competitive landscape and then position your brand accordingly.
  2. We hear from you. This is your business, after all. We talk with you and your key stakeholders to understand your business from your perspective. Together, we define your mission statement, voice and brand personality. We determine your primary and secondary markets and what kind of messaging will appeal to them.
  3. What’s in a name? Now that we know your competitor, your audience and your brand criteria, together we’ll determine a name that best reflects your brand objectives. This is the key moment when the story of your brand begins.
  4. We put our pencil to paper. Once we have a name, we’ll begin designing a visual identity that reflects your overall brand message. We will design three to five logos, present them to you and gather feedback. Eventually, we’ll fine-tune logos until we land on one that perfectly complements your brand.
  5. It’s alive! We bring your brand to life. We create a style guide that will serve as a one-stop shop for defining your brand. It will outline your brand’s visual standards (color palette, font specifications and usage recommendations). Additionally, this style guide will outline your brand’s voice and tone to keep messaging consistent. Consider it a roadmap to your brand’s success.

Want to see more of what we’re talking about? Click on over to mpf.com/create to check out our recent work.

Mary Elizabeth Davis is MP&F’s director of creative services.