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Creating Space for Brand Decision-Making Through an Engaged Process

So, you're thinking about creating a brand, huh? This is an enjoyable and creative exercise, and you're going to have a great time. But here's the thing—you can't just whip up a logo with a simple litmus test and call it a day. Successful branding is an ongoing commitment that requires a thoughtful, engaged process to make decisions about your brand's positioning, name selection, sponsorship, development, and more.

Why Having an Engaged Process Is Important

Can't you just wing it and make brand decisions as you go? You could, but it's like going somewhere without directions—you probably won't make it to your destination with this approach, and you'll waste resources getting there. There are a few reasons you should have a process in place for brand decision-making: 

  1. Collaboration: An engaged process fosters active client and team cooperation. It encourages open communication and continuous feedback, leading to a more refined and successful brand.

  2. Clarity: Engaging everyone involved in the process provides a clear roadmap, making it easier to track progress, stay focused on the goals, manage expectations and deliver on promises.

  3. Adaptability: When the process is engaging, it allows for flexibility and responsiveness to new insights and feedback. This versatility helps the brand evolve based on real-time input and changing needs.

  4. Quality: By incorporating a process, you ensure that the final product is well-thought-out and thoroughly vetted.

  5. Ownership: Engaging clients and audiences in the process gives them a sense of ownership and investment in the brand—forging an emotional connection that can translate into stronger brand loyalty and advocacy.

The Components of an Engaged Process

Okay, so there's more to making brand decisions than tackling them ad hoc. You need a process that includes discovery, iteration, and testing. Here's what that may look like:

1. Getting to Know Each Other

Think of the discovery phase as the getting-to-know-you stage of a relationship. You need to understand your client and their audience (or your audience if you are doing the marketing yourself). What are their values, goals, and dreams? What makes them tick? Get ready for some deep conversations and prepare to ask lots of questions to nail down the brand vision, target audience, and other details that help you create a brand that resonates.

Get input directly from the audience, too—their insights help shape the brand's direction. Surveys, focus groups, and social media polls are your best friends when it comes to understanding the audience's needs and preferences.

2. Playing with Ideas

After discovery, you have all the info you need to iterate. This is the fun part—coming up with a bunch of ideas and seeing what sticks. Create multiple versions of your logo and other brand elements. Iterations create options and spark more discussion, enabling you to understand the brand more deeply. Branding is a team sport—share your ideas, get feedback, and refine your concepts based on what resonates most.

3. Testing Your Ideas

You wouldn't buy a car without taking it for a test drive first, right? The same goes for your brand elements. Testing helps ensure that your concepts work in the real world. Run your designs by a focus group or share them on social media to get feedback.

Pay attention to what people like, what confuses them, and what leaves them indifferent. Testing helps you identify areas that need more attention to make changes that strengthen aspects of the brand or brand strategy.

Bringing It All Together

Creating a solid and successful brand doesn't happen in a silo, and there's more that goes into every brand decision beyond choosing between A and B. Why A? Why B? What's working and what isn't? Are there better ideas out there? 

An engaging process helps you make sound decisions for a brand and create something that looks good AND resonates with people. Use feedback to help you improve, stay curious throughout any branding exercise, and have fun with the process. Happy branding!


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