Creative Strategy Book


Chris Ewing

July 27, 2023

5 Steps For A Brand Built on Strategy, Not Just Style

I’ll cut to the chase – a pretty logo alone does not make a successful brand. I know, I know! We all love the stylish logo designs, the unique color palettes, & the mood boards, but that’s only half the process! A successful brand is always built on style AND strategy. Before you craft a logo, you have to identify the foundation of who you are as a business & what kind of audience you are trying to reach. 

That’s brand strategy : your foundation!

Let’s dive into 5 steps that you can take to ensure your brand is built on strategy, not just style. 

1. Define Your Brand Identity:

Start by defining your brand identity. Here are some questions to help you get started:

  • What are your business’ core values? 
  • If you could choose just 5 keywords to describe your business, what would they be? 
  • If your brand was a person, what would they be like?

All these thoughts come together to make your brand identity. Take some time to consider what makes your business unique, how your services differ from others, and how you want your brand to be perceived by potential clients.

2. Identify your Dream Client:

If you could make your dream client appear out of thin air, what would they be like? How old are they?What kind of personality would they have? What do they value? What is their budget? Identify their needs, preferences, pain points, and vibe.

Every element of your brand, from the messaging and to the visuals, should resonate with THAT client! Your brand, especially if you are a creative, small business, does not need to appeal to everyone in the world – but it should make your dream client stop in their tracks! 

3. Craft your Brand Story & Missions Statement:

Humans connect through stories, and your brand needs one too. Develop a compelling brand story that communicates your company’s history, values, and the journey that led you to where you are today.

Just as important as your business’ history, is your business’ future. What’s your vision? If you could put your business mission in a sentence, what would it be? That is your mission statement – use it to guide you & to draw others to you! If you are passionate about your core mission, people will be drawn to that.

4. Be Real:

Ensure that every piece of your business feels authentic to you – especially if you are a solo entrepreneur like a photographer, wedding planner, interior designer, etc.! Are you bubbly & fun-loving? Good, allow your brand to show that! Or are you more laid-back & artistic? Your brand can be that too! 

Be genuine in your interactions with customers, and let your brand values shine through in every communication. Every client values authenticity, and they are more likely to connect with brands that are transparent and real.

5. Now Be Consistent:

Lastly, now that we have identified your brand strategy, make sure every other element of your brand is consistent with that strategy! From your logos, to your color palette, to your tone of voice, to your website, your brand strategy should be the consistent foundation. That consistency is going to be what builds brand recognition and trust.

Final Thoughts on Brand Strategy:

Brand strategy is like soul-searching for your business! Crafting a brand that really works requires a deep understanding of who you are as a business & what kind of client you want to reach. At our Creative House, we literally exist to craft stylish & strategic brands that empower creative businesses to stand out & succeed in their industries. If you want to take your brand to the next level: give us a ring!

PS. A Tip For Other Designers: Want to learn more about incorporating business strategy with design? Read “Creative Strategy and the Business of Design” by Douglas Davis.

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