How to Brand (Part 2)

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Now that you have an idea of the general direction in which you want to go, you can start exploring the information that will help you set goals and objectives. So basically, Step 2 involves digging deeper.

Compile your current marketing efforts.

In order to find out where you’re going, you need to know where you’ve been. Pool all of your marketing materials and evaluate based on medium, design, message, budget and effectiveness. To put together a new branding campaign, you must first have a thorough understanding of your current marketing efforts.

Collect data via market research surveys and/or focus groups.

Primary market research doesn’t always come cheap, but it’s highly valuable information. Rather than make guesstimates about what your current or potential customers think about your brand, you can ask them and make appropriate decisions. If you’re willing to put the work into and evaluate the info on your own, you can send out surveys, make phone calls and/or form your own focus groups. Or there are market research firms that perform the surveys for you, compile the data and provide a report and recommendations. It just depends on how you want to obtain the info. Either way, primary research is invaluable when setting marketing goals.

Analyze your environment to identify branding opportunities.

Take all of that information you mined in Step 1 and consider how it applies to your desired image. What opportunities have you identified thus far? Are they achievable goals? Should they be short or long-term goals? What does your current market look like? Who are your competitors? How does this all strategically fit together?

Determine your desired brand culture based on target audience, reputation, experiences and relationships.

You’ve evaluated your marketing efforts, you’ve gathered first-hand information, you’ve analyzed your environment, so now you need to consider this information in terms of your target audience, your current reputation, what strategic relationships you have as well as relationships with your clients and what you can bring to the table.

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