At Walker Sands, our branding projects are intended to drive business results: increased brand awareness, improved customer sentiment, increased profit margins and sales.
The companies that achieve this despite competitive pressures to the contrary are all empowered by strong brands – recognizable identities that are trusted by the market to consistently deliver a certain value proposition.
How we can help:
Our branding program is right for you if:
- Your company needs a recognizable identity.
- Your target audiences are unaware of your company or value proposition.
- Your competitors are growing faster than you.
- Your current branding is weak or doesn’t accurately reflect your company.
- No one at your company can consistently define your brand’s identity.
Our branding process is comprised of three distinct phases:
- Brand Strategy: We conduct background research and decide how your brand should go to market. This includes naming your brand and products, organizing them and determining your target buyer(s).
- Brand Expression: We define your company DNA. This includes how you communicate as a brand, tell your brand story and present your brand.
- Brand Activation: We bring your new identity to life. This includes a strategic rollout that introduces the brand, positions the company and promotes your key messages to target audiences.
Before we get to the fun stuff of taglines and logos, we lay the research groundwork for your brand by strategically thinking through how you should go to market. Depending on your needs, this could include a blend of the following elements:
- Brand Discovery and Audit: We conduct market research on your industry and execute a brand awareness survey against your target audiences, then pair our findings with feedback and insights from key stakeholders.
- Strategic Positioning: It’s essential to map out your brand’s strategic positioning relative to your competitors. Once we survey your audiences and the market’s grasp of what your brand does and who it’s for, we determine where you need to go – and how to get there.
- Brand Architecture: We map out how your company’s brand, sub-brands and products relate to each other, and how the portfolio is presented to the market. We also develop an assessment framework to guide your future decisions around products and offerings.
- Audience Personas: We conduct qualitative interviews of internal stakeholders, current customers, past customers, prospects and industry experts. The resulting personas provide a solid, detailed foundation for brand development.
- Messaging Frameworks: With a strong understanding of your industry and competitive landscape in place, we develop detailed messaging frameworks for your key audiences. This includes insights on major brand benefits or differentiators, focused for each of your target groups.
Next, we dive into the more creative process of how to tell your brand’s story.
- Brand Charter: With strategic insights in hand, we move forward with the development of the core principles of your brand and company including the mission statement, vision statement and brand values. These pillars serve as the foundation the rest of your brand will be built upon.
- Brand Personality: What makes your brand tick? We identify the brand values that root your organization’s perspectives and priorities; the brand attributes that describe its marketable “on-the-label” qualities, and the brand persona traits that authentically showcase your company’s personality.
- Brand and Product Names: Sometimes existing brand names already hold equity that simply need to be refined or updated. Other times, a full brand reboot or new product name is required. Our process includes competitive research, creative brainstorming, quantitative scoring, market testing and preliminary research into name ownability.
- Verbal Brand Identity: This is where the brand starts to come to life. We also call this the “brand narrative” process because it includes the development of a brand tagline, an elevator pitch, high-level value propositions, and detailed voice and tone guidelines. In other words, we’re creating your brand’s story.
- Visual Brand Identity: We recommend a compelling, ownable design system that is distinct within a crowded landscape and brings your brand personality to life. The new visual language could include a new logomark, typography, color standards, graphic language specifications and application samples.
- Brand Guidelines: At the end of the Brand Expression process, we document the brand’s new positioning, personality, verbal and visual identity specifications in a comprehensive brand guideline. Use it to empower your teams with application guidelines and ensure the brand’s consistent application across collateral.
Our branding services don't have to end with the delivery of your brand guidelines. Because every element of your brand is designed with the future in mind, we often help our clients maximize their brand investment as we support the execution of an integrated marketing strategy. Our B2B marketing consulting services provide your team with the support, alignment and expertise they need to successfully tell your brand story across every relevant channel.
Read more about our integrated marketing strategy approach and how we can activate your brand across our core capabilities of public relations, demand generation, web and creative services. And get in touch with our branding experts for a more customized, in-depth perspective.