I wish I could own this one but I can’t.
I have had a few key influencers barking in my happy face about the importance of brand for the better part of two years. I get it! I get it!!
But now I REALLY get it. I look at the collection of not so little bits like our website and packaging and smaller bobs like how we manage social media and they are all in tune. Same song sheet, as it were. Language, tone, playfulness, message, colour, font. It all feels and reads the same. This can be made super easy by being the only person in the company – I can see how it would complicate matters to have many sticky fingers in the brand pie. As it stands, it's me and that makes brand building a snap.
Steps to building a brand (written by someone who hasn’t a clue):
1. Have someone bark in your happy face about the virtues of a solid brand – how it will influence, guide and motivate everything you do henceforth and for all time. Amen.
2. Creative Brief the shit out of that imaginary brand. I had a creative brief BEFORE I had a business plan or understood the business model – mostly because we ALL tuck into our favorite jobs first. I don’t think anyone at Ivy would recommend this approach and they would be right. But for me, it got me jazzed about what the company could be and motivated the tucking into numbers and strategy and the how-to.
3. Hire the very best person you can afford. Translating that brief into something visual and the guidelines that will support everything you present that supports the brand is some of the very best money you will spend. Full disclosure: I was insanely lucky and given an opportunity to work with someone WAY above my budget because he liked my balls. That is literally the story. He liked my balls and thought it would make a thigh slapping story to work for me in exchange for my balls. He was a friend of a friend and short story long, I am thrilled with everything he did for SisBoomBah.
4. Get visual. Once I landed on a business name, I needed an identity to connect it to. Words like “cheeky” and “playful” kept surfacing for me as did the idea that this was a rally cry for yummy, good for you food. The graphic designer I partnered with, Graham Lee, got it at once and literally, we had a logo in two rounds. Boom. And in one round further, we had mini brand guidelines that outlined what I could use in every outward facing initiative – fonts and colours and images. I suppose the same would apply if I had anyone to communicate with inwardly….
5. Support the visuals with everything you do and say. This sounds lofty and ambitious but the truth of the matter is – it makes things simpler. If I can circle back to what the brand is supposed to be, what those few key messages are, who I am speaking to, PRESTO BANGO! It’s all there. And then it just becomes second nature. You embody the brand. No you don’t. That sounded better in my head.