When it comes to your online presence, the only thing that makes your business ‘real’ to people is your brand image. People form a perception of your entire business based on how it looks, sounds, and feels i.e. by the emotions your business generates in them.
So, creating your brand is one of the most important things you’ll do. Your brand image is the foundation from which all your online activities will take place. It also acts as a guideline for your marketing communication, customer support, and more.
You’ll build your website, create content for social media, and stand out from your competitors because of your brand image. A great deal of your marketing success rests on the brand that you create.
If you’re starting to build a brand from scratch, then this post will help you. We’ll explore mind mapping as a tool that will help you turn your ideas and goals into a tangible brand.
Why use mind mapping to build a brand?
When you’re first shaping your brand, you’ll essentially carry out a brainstorming activity. A mind map offers a framework to organize all your ideas and to derive a clear brand image. You can also use it to brainstorm the subsequent actions you can take to realize these ideas.
Mind mapping is also a flexible tool and process. You can use it in multiple iterations of your brand creation process and explore all your ideas thoroughly.
We can intuitively create mind maps with the help of written text, objects, and arrows. In the following sections, we’ll combine brainstorming your brand with the mind mapping process to generate all the information you’ll need to make a cohesive brand identity.
Start with the main concept
At the center of any mind map is the main topic. For our purposes, we can write ‘Our company brand’ as the central topic. At this point, you probably have several ideas popping up in your brain.
When it comes to creating your brand, you may start with the broad main topic of discovering what your entire brand should look like. But in many cases, businesses already have their brand name in place and may choose to make the business’s name as the central topic from which other brand elements emerge.
Another approach is to make your main topic ‘Emotions’ to reflect the kind of emotions you want your brand to generate. From this focal point, you’ll immediately identify important values and feelings and even come up with a tone and voice for your communication.
Here’s an image showcasing a mind map that attempts to create a vibe for a brad’s logo.
Create child concepts
Once you’ve decided on your main topic, your next step will be intuitive. Branching out from the main topic, what are the elements or features of a brand image that you need to include to make a cohesive brand?
These features or elements are the child concepts or subtopics of the main topic – your brand image. These are some of the common features you may come up with:
- A logo
- Brand colors
- Visual styles for graphics and photographs
- Voice and tone in social media and other communication channels
- Emotions you want to associate with your brand
Remember that this is a brainstorming activity with shapes and text. Don’t focus on finding all the correct elements or the right solution.
Let the mind map take shape on its own. You can find a logical and meaningful brand image once you’ve placed as much information as possible during this step.
Once you’ve created child concepts, you can continue the process to add more details. It’s a good idea to include notes or create subtopics under the child topics. For example, if one of your child concepts is ‘Color scheme’, then this may have subtopics such as ‘Warm’ or ‘Monochromatic’.
Once you’ve completed this step, edit the map and create the final version of your brand mind map.
Here’s a helpful quick tip: use mind mapping tools to create a cleaner version of one that you’ve done by hand. Also, use AI-based brand identity tools or a name generator like Nameboy to inform this process. Such tools added sources of creative ideas.
Try reverse mind mapping
Another way to approach your brand building is to use reverse mind mapping. This is an excellent team activity and as the name indicates, is the reverse of the mind mapping technique we just looked at. Here are the main steps in reverse mind mapping as it relates to creating a powerful brand.
Brainstorm all your ideas
Instead of starting from a central concept and branching out, allow as many ideas as possible to emerge on a board or piece of paper. Don’t focus on filling up specific categories as that’s the next step. Jotting down everything from colors, competitor’s examples, and themes to your customers’ personas will create a data set from which you can move to the next stage.
When you have as many ideas put down as possible, start arranging them into categories that make sense. While you do this, you may find that some elements belong to several categories or that some ideas stand alone.
Simply take note of them and categorize the rest. You may place ideas like ‘Trust’ and ‘Authenticity’ under the category of Emotion and words like ‘Leaf’ or ‘Green’ under Logo or Theme.
Find the big idea
Once you’ve created multiple categories, you can discard the ideas that obviously don’t work and highlight the ones that you want to use. From the categories, notes, and from ongoing discussions, come up with the ‘big idea’ about your brand.
This is where you finalize the final and cohesive brand image or persona for your business.
Mind mapping is a great way to think about your brand image in a structured but flexible way. As you work with the ideas given here, you’ll be able to create a great brand for your business and also cover a number of important elements such as your logo, the main emotions you want to generate, and the color scheme for your business.