Perform a brand audit.
Before you can fix something, you need to know what’s wrong with it. That’s why it’s a good idea to do an audit of your organization’s existing brand. Take a look at the current brand messaging, visual identity, how the website looks and feels, print collateral, and so on. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses that currently exist. What needs to change? What elements do you want to keep? This is a good time to evaluate the brands of your competition as well.
Determine your brand’s promise – the who, what, why, and for.
Gather together the leaders of your organization (not just the marketing people) and hold an open discussion about what your company stands for. Your mission, your customers, your products and services, your promise, etc. It helps to have someone leading the discussion here, whether it’s someone from your company or you outsource a branding professional, to help drum it all down to your key brand messaging.
Get everyone on board. I mean, everyone.
Now, take these key messages to the rest of your company’s employees. Distribute a survey or questionnaire that assesses how the staff really perceives the company and what they think the brand should communicate. This ensures that your organizational leaders are on the same page as everyone else.
Now it’s time to take all this information and narrow it down to a unified brand strategy and represent it visually with a logo. For some businesses, this means taking their existing logo and updating it to better represent the company’s mission.
Your marketing agency should put together a guide for how your brand should be visually represented – including colors (with the precise color builds), fonts, and how to use the logo in a variety of different situations (black and white, color, on dark backgrounds, etc.).
Remember, you are hiring the agency because THEY are the experts. Trust their expertise. It kills me when we deliver a concept to a client and they say “Oh, I love it! But let’s combine these two concepts, move that over there, change this to a different color and add a rainbow to the top.”