The Ultimate Guide to Branding Process (Key Stages Explained)
The brand is often associated with a logo. And it’s indeed the central element of branding design. Ideally, the branding design should be unique. However, in real life, we see a lot of deliberate brand design copying.
Some business owners think that just having a similar logo to the successful company in your niche guarantees you succeed too. And they are not entirely wrong.
Such is the power of branding that a similar-looking image evokes same feelings and customers often fall into this trap.
Having years of experience in branding design, we at Tenscope believe that you don’t need to copy anyone’s branding to win the market. On the opposite, a logo that is designed by professionals and expresses the unique value and character of your business is much more effective!
In this article, we will share behind the scenes of our branding process and some of the brightest examples. First, let’s take a look at the process in general.
Why branding matters?
We believe, branding is not just a logo, colors, and typography. It’s designing the identity of a company, style, and image your business will be associated with. That’s why we dive deep to learn what distinguishes your business and how you want your customers to see your product or service.
The design has the power to evoke feelings and we know exactly how to visualize them. With one look at the company’s style, customers get their first impressions about the brand. Good branding design helps you communicate that your company is professional and sophisticated or reliable and friendly.
‘You need to differentiate in the red market, become memorable, and stand out'.
Great branding serves your business goals and communicates your business value to the customers from the first glance’ – says Tenscope design director, Jovan Babovic.
To create great branding you need a talented branding designer and a reliable process. Luckily, we have both. Let’s look in detail at how we create stunning brand designs at Tenscope.
Branding process stages
We move stage-by-stage from an idea to the ready-to-use brand book:
- Analyzing the design brief
- Competitive and user research
- Conduct an audit of the existing brand
- Ideation and prototyping
- Validation and presentation
- Design of brand elements
- Create the brand book
Along the way, we focus on the main question: what the business is trying to achieve with this design, and how we can visually communicate it to the target users?
Sometimes we capture the main visual direction and references in the mood board.In other cases, we offer the client to prepare the mood board if they feel it isa better way to express their ideas about the design they envisioned.
But the most effective starting point is a questionnaire.
Brand identity questionnaire
In most cases, instead of a long conversation, we offer a client to fill in our brand identity questionnaire. There are thirty detailed questions based on which our team creates a design strategy for the project.
This brief helps us capture your vision and allows us to deliver brand design that reflects your values and your business identity.
Before beginning brand design we need to know not just your company’s name and what are the services and products you offer. The mission, unique selling proposition, and target users are as much important. Knowing your competitors and what you like or dislike about their brand design will enable us to differentiate your new style. Things like your company’s story and values also help us capture the identity of your business and reflect it in brand design.
In the questionnaire we also offer our clients a table with adjectives, so they can pick what characterizes their brand the best. Are you adventurous, innovative, and energetic? Or elegant, liberal, and altruistic? Our sheet will help you shape your brand character.
When it comes to styling we would like to know our client’s preferences:
- Do you have a specific idea in your mind for your new logo? What message or emotion do you want your logo to portray?
- Where you are going to use the logo?
- Give examples of logos you like or dislike.
- Do you have any existing brand assets (logos, colors, fonts, etc.)?
- Do you have a range of colors in mind?
These in-depth questions about your business and style direction will give us a base for the creative part.
How do we create logo design?
Our team starts sketching using good old pen and paper. Only after we agreed on the vision, we move to Figma to create vector images. It’s a fun and authentic experience that involves our best designers brainstorming together in the office.
Believe it or not, we draft from 50 up to 200 variants of the logotype per round when brainstorming ideas! Our creative director chooses the best 10-15 options and then we narrow down the list again.
We present to the client three final chosen ideas with an explanation of the concept behind each. For example, this is how we presented one of the creative directions to our clients Crypto Catalyst Ventures:
Not everyone knows, but the logo should be first designed in monochrome. And only if it looks good in black-and-white, we will move forward and introduce the color.
A logo is a central element of branding. How it will apply to the whole brand is the most challenging part. Colors should match perfectly, font sizes and combinations matter even more and all the branding elements should work as one perfect design system.
Deliverables of the branding process
After the branding was finished, the client receives a nice digital package with images in png. and vector format. Now the company can update its website, digital product, and social media with its new brand assets:
- Pantone RGB color palette
- The font collection
The package may include additional marketing materials:
- Business cards
- Presentation templates
- Merch design
- Envelope design
As a summary of the project we provide a brand book. It is a UI kit with comments or a style guide that contains recommendations about using brand materials:
- How to use fonts?
- How to combine colors?
- What background will work best?
- Photographic style direction
- Recommendations about illustrations
- Other graphic material recommendations
We usually create a brand book together with our client’s marketing department.
How long does branding design take?
We often hear the same question, how long branding process takes? And we are happy to share our timelines with you. From the moment the client submitted the brief, we start the branding design round. One round lasts up to ten days. It takes 7-10 working days to sketch the ideas and present chosen ones to the stakeholders.
In many cases, one round is absolutely enough to find the brand identity that expresses your business best. But sometimes it happens that the client feels it’s not exactly what they are looking for. Then we go for another round. To go for the third round is a rare occasion. After the logo design was approved, we design the full package.
So on average, it takes up to one month to refresh or create your brand identity.
However, branding design does not necessarily end when the brand book was handed out to the client. Businesses evolve and we often partner with our clients for a long time, supporting their growth. We can provide the whole brand umbrella, a consistent style for all your products, and marketing campaigns.
Now, that you know quite a lot about branding design you might be curious to see some success stories.
Examples of brand identity design
We have dozens of branding and rebranding cases in our portfolio. Let’s explore some of them.
Enthusiast Gaming Live Expo (EGLX)
The biggest gaming event in Canada, and one of the largest in the world, EGLX is no stranger to gamers worldwide. However, before we did the rebranding, the company’s previous logo was often misread as ELGX.
They were in need of a new brand identity that created a more cohesive experience and atmosphere for both the physical event and its digital extensions. And so, here’s where Tenscope stepped in.
Through several rounds, we developed an entire identity system. The new logo design and resembles a game controller key and illustrates global gamers uniting.
EGLX's new branding expresses the vibe of the gaming industry better and looks modern.
With their new brand identity, going public and issuing stocks was a huge success and EGLX became the fastest-growing gaming information property with 324% year-on-year growth in total views.
We provide branding for all industries, starting from digital products to restaurants and manufacturers. One of our clients was Sambrailo Packaging which has developed innovative agricultural packaging solutions to help growers improve their produce-handling methods.
The old mark had a lot of inconsistencies when it came to angles and corners. We slightly modified the two parts of the logo and made them symmetrical. The new logo provided a more consistent design and looked flawless in larger sizes.
In a detailed brand book, we provided detailed directions for Sambrailo Packaging about their new style.
Sambrailo Packaging is on the market since 1923 and we managed to make their brand look up-to-date but at the same time provide a sense of familiarity and trust for its long-term partners and potential customers. Our client actively uses the new branding on their website and for external marketing.
To sum up
In the market economy with many competitors int he same niche, it's crucial to have a recognizable design for your company. Brand identity shapes how customers see your product or service. Moreover, professional branding design can evoke a feeling of trust and communicate the value of your product to the specific target audience.
Want to create a brand identity or refresh the existing brand design? At Tenscope we have a team of professional brand designers ready to hear you out and create a unique logo and other designs for your business. Contact us!