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Jamie Cox

Our Tried and True Approach to the Branding Process

January 29, 2024
Written By:
Jamie Cox

Your brand is the essence of your business. It's not just what your customers see, but how they feel when they see it. And while a logo is what people see on the surface, it's merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to your brand. Building a great brand involves strategic thought and intention so you can build your brand on a strong foundation.

As you search for a brand agency, you'll discover many different approaches to branding.  And while you may have ideas about how things should go, it's essential you trust your agency's tried-and-true process for the best result. Here's the scoop on our brand-building process that has helped us propel dozens of brands forward.

Step 1: Brand Discovery

How do we know everything about your business? We don't! But you do! During this initial phase of branding, we take time to interview you and your key stakeholders to get a clear picture of your business and where you are now. We take a look at where you've been and where you're going to understand your pain points and frustrations. We hold space for tough questions and get into the real nitty-gritty of what your brand is and who it serves.

Many founders and teams we work with find this work to be one of the most valuable pieces of the branding process. It gives them the clarity they didn't know they needed. We ask the hard-hitting questions that make you think—no surface-level conversations here—which promotes brand alignment and sets expectations across teams and executives.

Step 2: Ideation + Research

After our discovery phase, our team takes time to process all we've learned before we begin brand documentation. We spend time asking additional questions, swapping ideas and relevant research, and digging into the problems we need to solve when we build the brand.

During this phase of the branding process, we spend a lot of time heads-down in our processes (so you don't have to). We document your ideal customer personas and do competitive research to help us position your brand.

Step 3: Brand Positioning + Strategy

Once we've determined your ideal customers and understand your market, we develop a brand positioning statement and supporting assets like your brand's mission, vision, and values to help you differentiate from your competitors. We also identify your brand archetype to help you consistently express your brand across all marketing channels and align your team behind a voice and image.

This positioning and personality work is key to building a brand and helps you differentiate within a saturated market. Through this positioning framework, your team will learn how to talk about your business and what you offer so you can maintain consistency across channels.

Step 4: Messaging Strategy

The final stop in our strategy process is messaging. We take time to craft messaging foundations that match your brand personality. These messages are the building blocks of your brand and are pivotal for creating content in the future, whether it's social media captions or landing page copy.

These messages often capture the who, what, how, and why of your business but also help you develop relationships with your customers. With both macro-messages that describe your brand and business and micro-messages that speak directly to your customers, you'll be equipped with the right message whenever you need it.

Step 5: Visual Discovery

To start our visual process, we begin with visual discovery. During this phase, we take time to hone in on the various visual directions your brand could take and chart its course by creating mood boards that capture these varying visual opportunities. We rely heavily on our brand strategy and archetype work to build a visual identity direction that will resonate with your customers while empowering you to put your best foot forward. 

During this phase of visual identity, we slow down to understand the nuance in your brand and identify the key deliverables you may need. Need a logo sized to fit on a dog color? We'll ensure you have the properly sized logos and all of their layout variations. Planning to make lots of video content for your brand? We'll build that creative direction into your identity framework.

Step 6: Visual Brand Identity

Once we've narrowed in on the visual direction, we go back to the drawing board (literally)! Our team explores many different logo variations and brand applications to identify the visual identity that will help you meet your goals. During our visual identity process, we constantly ask "what if..." so we can explore logo applications that work for you and your business. We develop rules and guidelines around your new visual identity so everyone from product designers to screen printers knows exactly what your brand should look like in every context.

Step 7: Brand Implementation 

Finally, after you've built a strong foundation for your brand and the visual identity to match, we'll help you bring your brand vision to life! Whether that's a custom Webflow website or a seamless shopping experience your customers won't soon forget, we'll work with you to identify your greatest opportunities and help you get there.

Love this process? We'd love to work with you!

Brand-building is a complex process. But luckily, you don't have to do it alone! With an expert brand agency at your side, you can ensure your brand will make a lasting impact on your audience. When you work with Strange Salt and trust the creative process, you'll begin to see your brand flourish! To get started, contact us.

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Written By

Jamie Cox

Jamie is a brand strategist and designer based in Nashville, TN. She founded Strange Salt in 2021 as a way to bring the creative powerhouses in her life together to create amazing things.

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