Branding Services Overview
Does your company have a logo? A color scheme? A 30-second video that shows your employees walking in slow motion? That’s great and all, but that’s not your brand; those are just marketing assets – just pieces of a puzzle. You need to look at the big picture and know who your brand actually is OR what your brand actually stands for. Online merchant and space tour guide Jeff Bezos once said it well: “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
What do people say about your business when you’re not in the room? Whatever they’re saying, you can bet they’re probably not gushing about your snappy color scheme or creative logo design.
Too many businesses (and even marketing agencies, unfortunately) think of branding as a grocery list. They wrangle a few of their favorite colors, get somebody’s cousin to sketch up a logo, and hire a cut-rate production company to shoot some staff close-ups and an office tour. They think they’ve just marked “branding” off their checklist, but all they’ve really done is taken a few steps toward their goal without reaching the finish line.
Twelve Three Media is a full-service branding agency. Wherever you are in the brand development process, our brand design experts can help. Whether you need a complete brand makeover or support for an existing brand, our proven team provides the skill, expertise, and imagination you need to achieve world-class results.
How Twelve Three Media
Develops and Positions Your Brand
The competition for your audience’s attention is tremendous; if your company doesn’t stand out in the crowd, you’ll lose business to those who do. It’s not enough to simply advertise what you offer; you need to convey what you believe and why you exist.
At Twelve Three Media, we work closely with our clients to develop world-class brands that stand out and create brand loyalists. Just like your business, the process of developing your brand identity, messaging, and positioning is completely unique. Our branding experts focus on defining your company’s core belief (your WHY) and positioning your business for success. Depending on your brand’s level of development, our process generally involves five key steps:
1: Mission, Vision, and WHY
Our brand positioning process starts with understanding your company's mission and vision. If your business has already developed its own mission and vision statements, we will dive into them to make sure they still ring true. If your company does not yet have a mission statement or vision statement, our team will work with you to develop ones that capture the essence of who you are as a company and what you hope to accomplish.
Next, we work to define your company's WHY. This concept, introduced by Simon Sinek, is the single greatest driver of your brand positioning and key messaging. It is entwined with your mission and vision statements but deals specifically with the emotional reason behind why your company was created in the first place. Our branding specialists ask a series of questions to uncover the underlying belief behind your business's creation. Then we work to connect the WHY with something that your customers believe.
For more information about how to find your company's WHY, check out our FREE Guide to Branding Fundamentals or find other free branding guides customized specifically for law firms or businesses in the outdoor and auto aftermarket industries.
2: Competitive Analysis
Next, we conduct a competitive analysis. We identify your company's top three to five competitors to understand their key messaging and how they position and differentiate themselves in your market. This analysis informs how we'll make you stand out from the pack while providing you with a palpable differentiator that you can hang your hat on.
When appropriate, we also analyze and evaluate our client's intake process or sales cycle. We work to gain a clear picture of how your company's intake process works and then compare it against your competitor's intake process. This aspect of the competitive analysis can provide crucial insights into the first impressions of potential customers and help you understand how your business compares with your competition.
3: Consumer Research
Your brand is not who you say you are; it's what people think you are. Because of this, actually talking to your company's customers is a crucial aspect of understanding where your brand stands today.
During the consumer research stage of the branding process, we talk to your customers or clients to understand their experiences with your business. This could be in the form of focus groups, surveys, or one-on-one interviews. We work to understand your clients' experiences, perspectives, and feelings about your brand.
4: Brand Positioning Workshop
The final stage of the branding process is a comprehensive Brand Positioning Workshop. In this half-day exercise, we meet with key stakeholders and perform a comprehensive exploration of the company and its services or products. The Brand Positioning Workshop encompasses multiple elements:
Extensive Interview Process
Through an extensive series of questions, we unearth not only the brand essence but how your business stands out from the competition. We identify the emotional and rational benefits you offer your customers and evaluate how you connect with them on an emotional level. The questions in this process primarily revolve around the following topics:
- Reasons to Believe: Who is your customer? How does your WHY align with theirs?
- Benefits (Rational & Emotional): What tangible service or benefit do you offer your customers? How do your products and services make them feel?
- Competitive Insight: What is different about your products and services? What do you do that your competitors don’t?
- Personification & Brand Character: If your product or service were a famous person, who would he or she be? How would they act or speak?
Using the information gleaned through the Brand Positioning Workshop, we organize all of the components that support your company’s brand position in a Brand Pyramid:
The completed brand pyramid is a tool your company can always rely on to ensure you are positioning your brand appropriately. It will help you stay true to your brand and what it offers to your customers.
Key Messaging Matrix
After completing the brand pyramid, we develop a Key Messaging Matrix for your business. This defines, in specific terms, the key points about your brand that you can use in your marketing messaging.
5: Brand Identity
Depending on the stage of your company’s existing brand identity, we can develop a new logo, color, treatment, voice, and even a new name for your brand. The Brand Identity Package can be used internally or given to other entities who market your company to ensure that your brand’s identity and messaging always stay consistent with the brand position.
Understanding The Brand Framework
Your brand is people's gut feeling about the products or services you offer. It is formed over a period of time, based on people’s interactions with it. Whether by actually using your product or service, seeing advertisements, reading reviews, or hearing things from friends, people will have a feeling – and a reaction – when they hear the name of your brand.
Successful branding sets your business apart from the competition. It serves as your company’s internal North Star, keeping you and your team on track and on message in everything you do.
It involves your story, your values, your message, and your visual identity. It leverages your expertise, your history of success, and customer testimonials.
The brand framework encompasses all of the necessary and interconnected aspects of your brand, including:
This part of the Brand Framework is what Twelve Three Media focuses on during our Brand Positioning Workshop. It involves the critical elements needed to define your company’s WHY and position your brand in the current market. The brand strategy includes a deep analysis of your company’s:
- Messaging: The words and terms used to convey your brand’s message
- Category and Position: The way your brand stands out from the competition
- Architecture of Offerings: The prioritized products and services your business offers
- Promise and Experience: What your brand promises and delivers to your customers
- Market: The demand and competition for your products and services
- Customers: The consumers who will purchase your products or services
Once the elements of your brand design have been established, it’s time to bring your brand identity to life. When it comes to brand identity, consistency is key. You don’t want your brand to look totally different on your social media channels than it does on your website. For your brand to make a lasting impact, you need to create compelling designs that portray who you are and what your customers can expect from you.
The visual presentation of your business is more than just design – it is a reflection of your company and its unique personality. Your design assets are the practical elements that determine how your brand is perceived.
Our brand design experts have decades of UI/UX and graphic design experience. Whether building from the ground up or honing your existing brand elements, we create stunning visual assets that invoke a distinct impression and stand the test of time.
- Name: The outward-facing name of your business
- Logo: Your logo is the cornerstone of your brand identity. It should be simple, clean, and clearly communicate who you are and what you value.
- Colors: The colors you use have a big impact on the way people perceive your brand. For example, red signifies passion and excitement, yellow exudes cheer, blue expresses stability and trust, etc.
- Forms and Shapes: Logos that are square and sharp inspire a very different reaction than a logo that uses circles and soft edges.
- Typography: Just like colors and shapes, typography represents different personalities and induces different reactions in the minds of your customers. For example, serif fonts (like Times New Roman) give a more traditional and trustworthy feel to your brand while sans serif fonts (like Helvetica) portray a sleek, modern vibe.
- Personality: The voice and tone used to express your brand’s character.
- Design: A brand’s design system involves images that express a consistent mood and style. Whether it’s loose and playful or structured and serious, your design style must reinforce your brand’s image.
- Tagline: A slogan or catchphrase used to market your brand.
- Assets: The brand elements owned by your business.
Brand management deals with the strategy, assessment, and internal and external training of a brand’s positioning, customers, perception, and image. From your website and advertising to sales pitches and inter-company communications, your brand needs to be consistent at every level. This involves the execution and ongoing analysis of your brand positioning and messaging, including:
- Planning: The development of the brand positioning strategy
- Tools: The items needed to execute the brand positioning strategy
- Evolution: The continued development of the brand over time as culture changes
- Monitoring and Assessment: The ongoing analysis of the performance and effectiveness of a brand’s positioning
- Training and Adoption: Your staff must be educated on brand messaging and positioning and the execution of that training.
More than just market positioning, your brand is the sum total of how people experience your company. It is reflected on your website and in your office. It includes your marketing strategy and how effectively you wow your customers in their personal encounters with you.
Your brand should be integrated into every level of your organization. It should be consistent across every action, behavior, and communication, both internally and externally.
This involves the actions your business takes to present your brand to the public, including:
- Products and Services: Your company’s offerings
- PR & Events: The maintenance of your brand’s image through messaging and events
- Personal interactions: The direct experiences customers have with your business
- Environments: The surroundings or conditions in which your company operates
- Print Materials: Your brand identity needs to be consistent throughout every communication channel with your audience, including print design. Print ads, letterhead, and business cards reinforce your branding.
Frequently Asked Questions About Branding
Your brand is the emotional reaction people have about your products or services. The term “branding” refers to the marketing process of trying to influence the emotional reaction people have about your products and services. Branding begins with the foundational elements of a brand, such as brand positioning and the visual identification of a brand, including the logo, the colors, and the design.
Branding is an ongoing process. A brand must be managed and maintained. As society and culture change, a brand must evolve with the times to remain relevant. For example, you may remember the backlash to a politically charged Pepsi commercial in which Kendall Jenner handed a police officer a can of soda in the midst of a staged protest. While Pepsi defended the ad as an important message to convey the notion of bringing people together, it was widely perceived as being tone-deaf and was ultimately pulled by the company.
On the other hand, when the world locked down during the Covid pandemic, Apple was able to breathe new life into its “Think Different” campaign as people around the world were forced to find new ways to connect and thrive. This is an example of a company successfully adapting to a seismic culture shift while remaining true to its original beliefs.
In a congested marketplace of intense competition, the ability to cut through the noise could not be more important to the viability and ultimate success of your business. Yes, you must have a great product and you must offer exceptional customer service, but if your company doesn’t stand out from the competition, none of that matters. Branding is crucial because it gives your business an identity that makes it recognizable to consumers.
Strong brands create brand loyalists. Brand loyalty nurtures future business and creates passionate advocates for your company. Even in the modern age of seemingly limitless product and service options, 90% of consumers consider themselves brand-loyal.
To be most effective, your brand should be a true representation of who you are as a business and how you want to be perceived. Your brand identity is expressed in every aspect of your business, including advertising, customer service, social responsibility, reputation, and visuals. Every interaction, both internally and externally, should reflect the unique attributes of your brand.
The branding experts at Twelve Three Media can help your company at every stage of brand development. From analyzing your market and competition to designing and executing your brand positioning, our agency can help you create a legendary brand that builds long-term customer loyalty.
Brand positioning is the discipline of identifying how your company or product stands out amongst competitors and marketing these differentiators to potential customers.
Brand awareness is the degree of name recognition customers have of a product or service. Establishing brand awareness is a crucial component of supporting older brands and marketing new products. Ideally, brand awareness includes the qualities that distinguish your product or services from the competition.
Sometimes referred to as brand stretching, the term brand extension describes when a company uses an established brand name on a new product or new product category to leverage the already existing brand equity. This strategy relies on current brand loyalty to support new offerings from the same brand.
Brand personality describes the framework that is intended to influence the way a company’s product, service, or mission is perceived by others. It is used to elicit an emotional response in a specific segment of consumers to incite positive actions that benefit the business.
Brand recognition refers to the extent to which consumers can correctly identify a particular product or service by seeing the tagline, logo, packaging, or advertising campaign of the product or service. Audio cues, such as theme songs or jingles, can also trigger brand recognition.
Brand trust is the measurement of confidence that customers have in your business. It reflects whether or not your branding consistently stays true to its values and delivers on its promises.
Brand equity describes a brand's value as determined by consumer perception of and experiences with the brand. Brand equity is often measured in terms of perceived quality, brand associations, brand awareness, and brand loyalty.
The process of estimating a brand’s total financial value is called brand valuation. Brand valuation can apply to a number of purposes, including marketing, tax, and finance issues. Brand valuation is intended to answer questions such as:
- How much is your brand worth?
- Are you tax compliant?
- How much should you invest in marketing?
- How much damage does brand misuse cause?