My Step-by-Step Branding Process

Rebranding your business can be a daunting task. There are a ton of decisions to be made before any changes are implemented, and altering the look and feel of your brand across each platform is a time-consuming process. If you’ve been struggling with where to begin or what steps to follow in order to create a cohesive, purposeful brand, you’re in luck!

Today, I’m dishing out my go-to branding strategy –

each and every step of the way.

Attracting the Right Clients

It all begins with finding your perfect audience – and that looks a little different for everyone. For me, it’s clients who seek to discover their brand identity, hone in their messaging, and update their aesthetic to match. But enough about me…

Suzannah is a UCLA graduate with a background in corporate consulting. Her podcast, The Cosmos in You, explores the conscious and unconscious worlds, and the ways they affect our daily lives. This is ultimately the direction in-line with her overall goals, but her podcast had been kept completely separate from her personal brand. She also felt that her podcast messaging and design was a bit more metaphysical than she’d like to convey.

“I am working to create one umbrella brand, as I also have a podcast.
I will be shifting my business model away from executive coaching into more of an author/speaker/podcast host and would like for my brand to reflect those changes.”

My Step-by-Step Branding Process: Featuring Suzannah Scully

Suzannah’s old site was nice, but it was completely focused on corporate work and didn’t position her brand in the direction she was hoping to go. Building your brand is about choosing your future. Once you’ve decided where you’d like to end up, you can create the brand that will take you there. I’ll help! It isn’t as scary and complicated as it sounds. Within my first discovery call with Suzannah, it was clear that she needed to reposition her brand to reach her end goal.

Discovery calls are a free service I offer my clients. I consider these 15-20 minute calls a mutual gut check to make sure that we both feel confident in a collaboration. While potential clients are making sure that I understand where they’re coming from and what they hope to achieve, I’m doing my homework, too. On my end, a discovery call is the perfect way to ensure that:

  • Your business is ready for a full rebrand.
    It’s important that you’re sure about the most important aspects of your business – who you want to serve and what services or products you’ll sell.
  • We’d make a good team.
    Your business is your baby. You wouldn’t trust your baby with just anyone, would you? (I didn’t think so!) When you team up with someone – especially on something as crucial as your branding – it’s essential that your personalities align. I love working with people who have big goals and dreams, but who are practical about the work and grit it takes to get there. After all, building a brand is just setting the stage. You’ll still need to hustle to get visibility and put your brand to work in the real world.

 

After the discovery call, if we’ve both decided that we’re excited to move forward as a team, that’s when we take care of the “official details” like the first invoice and contract… (You know, the boring stuff.) Once that’s out of the way, the real fun begins!

Digging Into Brand Design

To start, I have each of my clients create a Pinterest board to “visually brainstorm” their brand aesthetic and messaging.

My Step-by-Step Branding Process

My Step-by-Step Branding Process

I also have my clients fill out an in-depth discovery questionnaire that will help steer us in the right direction. Here’s what Suzannah had to say about her business style:

“My unique blend of philosophy and pragmatism is what sets me apart. I am someone who bridges both worlds – science and spirituality. I can explain these bigger concepts and speak about them in a way that resonates with left-brain thinkers, or ‘skeptical seekers.’ My experience with the corporate world in coaching and developing leaders at Fortune 500 companies brings a unique perspective that not many can match.”

After a client completes all of the “pre-requisite” work, we meet for a 60-90 minute Skype sesh to dive deeper into their brand. These calls are both structured and flexible. I take people through exercises like “I believe…” and ask about the driving factors behind their brand. We also discuss the answers they provided in the questionnaire and uncover areas where we can continue to dig in. At the end of the call, I have all of the raw material I need to start branding!

“Perfect! Our talk helped to solidify so much in my head about my brand that I had otherwise not been able to find clarity on.
Thanks again!!”

Pin this and keep reading!

My Step-by-Step Branding Process

After two weeks, I present my first deliverable: a series of 3 visual concepts. I work with a small but mighty team of designers and pick the one that best matches the aesthetic of the project at hand. This is what I refer to as the “wild west” portion of the project. Even after the Pinterest boards and brand consultations, design can still be very subjective. The main goal here is to present different concepts that all fall in-line with the brand’s overall message and psychology.

Have a look for yourself!

Here are the three examples I presented to Suzannah:

 

“Thank you again for all of the great work that you did on the branding. I really felt like everything I shared was ‘heard.’ It was so exciting to get the concepts back and see what is possible for this rebrand. Great work on this!!”

After seeing all three examples, Suzannah liked #3 best, but wanted to explore different colors and a different symbol. The next iteration looked like this:

 

Lastly, we went through a few different variations, tweaking different details to ensure that the final outcome was one that she loved.

When it comes to strategy, we made messaging adjustments to show more an “Explorer” archetype rather than all “Magician.” Suzannah is a bit like the Anthony Bourdain of spirituality and the subconscious. Her exploration has led her to try out a lot of ideas and methods that may fall outside of most people’s comfort zones. She takes that knowledge and relates it back to daily life and scientific studies.

Once the brand concept is finalized, I put together the content for a Brand Book (with the help of one of my fabulous team members), using a strategy template that I designed for each client. The Brand Book is the total encapsulation of the new brand – from look and feel to values and verbiage.

Seeing the psychology and strategy paired together with the visual elements is the most exciting part of the project for my clients. Once everything comes together, their brand becomes a tactile experience that they can see and feel within the Brand Book.

“Thank you SO much!!!! I did a first read through of it on the way back from a road trip and cannot tell you how excited I am!!!!! Seriously. More to write later when I’m not as tired! Yay!!!!!!”

(Tell me you don’t love seeing that many exclamation points in a client email!)

After the Brand Book is complete, it becomes the backbone and an all-encompassing resource for the entire business model. It’s used to inform all future decisions, on-board new team members, or provide brand insight to freelancers or partners.*

*On a personal note, every time I start a new big project, I revisit my own Brand Book to make sure that it conveys the overall themes and styles of my brand in a consistent way.

Brand Assets

With the Brand Book there to guide the way, this is when we focus on tying up any loose ends and creating Brand Assets. This can vary slightly from client to client, but here’s a peek at Suzannah’s redesigned Brand Assets:

Business Card

Letterhead

Facebook Header

My Step-by-Step Branding Process

 

Stock Images

My Step-by-Step Branding Process

Mood board

My Step-by-Step Branding Process

Email template

Podcast cover

My Step-by-Step Branding Process

As the rebrand was winding down, Suzannah was working to bring her new and improved brand to life with a brand new website. We scheduled a consultation call to talk more in-depth about the strategy and design elements she’d include.

My Step-by-Step Branding Process

Site Design: Suzannah Scully / Advising: Kaye Putnam

Now that Suzannah’s brand has been reimagined through and through, she’s ready to put her greatest work out into the world! In fact, she recently launched her new path by speaking at TEDx. #IMPRESSIVE

See her in action:

Seriously, though. How freakin’ cool are my clients, guys?!

Interested in working together?

Check out my pricing and packages on my Work With Me page.

Then schedule a 15-minute call so we can get to know each other!

(And don’t worry – if public speaking isn’t your thing, we’ll save your TEDx talk for later.)

😉


Looking for a summary of the post? Then don’t miss this video!