My process for branding and strategy starts with research and discovery. At this point, I am learning everything I can about my client's goals, vision for their brand, and what their ideal customer looks like. I am looking for interesting details of the founder's journey that can help tell a meaningful story to their customers. Having a longer process allows me to dig a bit deeper in the research phase, and marinate a bit longer with that information. The end result of all that cook time is that when I distill that information down into their brand strategy, it is filled with meaningful information and useful details. This strategy is the foundation for the design work. So clients know that every design decision we make together is rooted in strategy.
A Client-Friendly Timeline
Brand strategy (and most client projects) rely heavily on client feedback and information. If you work with smaller businesses like I tend to do, the person guiding those decisions, and providing feedback, is often also very busy running the business. A longer timeline allows them the time they need to really reflect on their answers and make sure they have time to digest our work together—we don't want to rush something as important as branding. The longer timeline allows for an immersive process that feels more luxe and client focused. Additionally, I think involving the client more allows them to appreciate and really see the value in the process.
I look at branding as a significant investment, much more than just a logo. I take a holistic approach to the process. My clients understand that I am not working on multiple client branding simultaneously. I work on one branding project at a time, and my price reflects that one-on-one service. The end result is grounded in strategy and built to be flexible enough to use for years to come. It is a comprehensive brand guide, and the specific pieces of collateral that will make the most impact for their business. And then, I even show clients how to use all of the elements at their disposal. Including how to relaunch the brand with their new look. A few months sounds long, but clients seem to truly appreciate not rushing through the process.
While my "slow" process may not be for everyone, I think it highlights the importance of right-fitting when choosing a branding professional to work with. When in doubt ask about their process. Working with the right designer for you can be the difference between a frustrating situation or an amazing brand identity to grow your business with.Source