Designing with Strategy
The Key to Developing a Lasting
& Memorable Brand Identity
You finally did it — you found the perfect designer, booked your spot and you are so ready to begin creating that beautiful, Instagram-worthy logo you’ve been dreaming about. You know getting the right visual assets will push your business to the next level, so you are beyond ready to do the damn thing! But all of a sudden, you’re being assigned “homework” and filling out questionnaires. It seems like all your designer wants to do is talk, rather than design. Your first thought might be to get it over with as quickly as possible, so you can move on to the “good part” — but that would be a critical mistake.
Designing with strategy is one of the core values of Alexa B. Creative & Design and there’s definitely a method to the madness. Establishing a clear brand strategy is the first — and most important — step of the entire design process. It might be a bit time consuming, challenging and uncomfortable, but in-depth exploration of who you are as a business will allow you to reach an end result that will not only last, but is the best solution for your business.
What is a brand strategy?
Brand strategy is the “who, what, where, when, why and how” for communicating your business’ message and value. At its core, brand strategy answers the question, “what is the experience your customers get any time they interact with your business?” Everything from where and how you advertise, to what it looks (and feels) like when your customers purchase your products, to the visual and verbal elements — those are all part of your brand strategy.
Setting these standards for your business tells your audience what they can expect from your products and services. Are you the high-end boutique with hand-selected pieces and perfect packaging, or are you the convenient and budget-friendly option that is just as fashionable as the pricey stuff? It’s nearly impossible to appeal to “everyone”, so narrowing down your target audience and catering to them will help your business in the long-run.
Ok what about that whole design thing we were doing?
Besides setting standards for your business, establishing a brand strategy is kind of like drawing a blueprint for a house. Visual elements, or your brand identity, should reflect and align with the experience and objectives established in your brand strategy. With a clear direction, you can evaluate the success of the design process and it’s easy to tell when you “get it right”. For example, if you’re looking to be serious and authoritative, bright colors and playful fonts probably wouldn’t send the right message. Rather than trying a random combination of color, fonts and imagery, designing with strategy will allow you to achieve an end result that best communicates with your target audience and will still feel like “you”. Once you get these things right, you can establish a memorable brand identity that you can build on for years to come.