Developing a brand is not a knee-jerk process; moving too quickly and looking to take shortcuts will produce a brand that is incomplete and behind the game even before its launch. However, the amount of time spent on the brand development is not alone enough to ensure whether it will find success.

No, it doesn’t matter as much HOW much time you spend, but WHAT you do in that time. The old business adage, “action always trumps activity” can also be applied to branding. Monitoring and making sure that your brand development is heavy on the action and light on activity, you can point the brand in the direction of efficiency from the very beginning. Here are a few ways to ensure this happens:

  1. Start – and stick to – a game plan

One of the main causes of activity-driven issues is that there is no plan for those involved to adhere. The same goes with brand development. Start your process by establishing and creating a strong strategic road map for your brand, from concept to launch. But it’s not enough just to create the brand strategy – you must adhere to it throughout. Make each move, decision and process with the greater brand goal in mind, and you will cut out the unimportant parts that slow things down.

  1. Make sure everyone stays in their lane

In the aforementioned brand strategy plan, all those involved should have well-defined and well-understood roles, each of which will help move the brand forward. And no matter how much they may want to cross over into other roles, work to keep them focused on what they have been designated. For instance, when your brand logo is in development, having your visual branding team having to also worry about the brand naming process will split their focus, sap their creative reserves and lead to a final product that can come off as halfway and not up to standards.

  1. Cover all of the basesBrand Branding Marketing Strategy Identity Concept

Have you ever had to make a U-turn after realizing you forgot something back at your previous destination? It’s the very definition of an inefficient activity. You are literally going back to where you just came, wasting time and effort. When developing a brand, you don’t want to have to take a proverbial U-turn if you realize that you skipped a crucial step, didn’t do enough background research, missed an important target audience identification, or any other aspect in the branding process.

  1. Make the big decisions first

There’s a story of a professor who was illustrating to his students the importance of prioritization in their studies. He took a jar and put next to it a set of large rocks, and next to that, placed a bucket of sand. He then told them that in order to fit all of these objects into the jar, it was crucial to put the rocks in first, starting off with the biggest objects involved. This same line of thinking can be applied to brand development. Along with your brand strategy (which is hopefully already completed first), in order to ensure efficiency; look to make the “big rock” decisions early in the process. These can include brand positioning, brand architecture, brand name, logo, color scheme and tagline. These brand aspects will serve as the most visible parts of the brand, and as such will both drive many of the ensuing decisions, and will allow the brand to begin building equity before everything is finalized.

  1. Then fill in the spaces

To continue the above story, the professor, having filled the jar with the large rocks, was able to fit the entirety of the bucket of sand in the jar, as the grains were able to fill each empty space, no matter how small. Once you’ve reached the “sand” portion of brand development, your time should now be spent finalizing the process, completing the tasks necessary to bring the brand to life. And if you’ve followed the above steps successfully, you’ll be amazed at how efficiently your time was spent throughout.

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Has your company recently experienced change or growth? Due to changes in business strategies, acquisitions, internal organizational changes or the addition of new products to a portfolio, your brand strategy may need to evolve over time. Click here to download your free copy of “Your Brand’s Guide to Corporate Change” today, and learn how to align your brand and business strategy for success!