the branding process

Company naming timeline for successful branding

week 1

Kick-off teleconference with key decision-makers

This initial meeting serves as a “brain dump” for all previously considered thoughts, ideas, and directions. We will also establish the branding criteria’s “must haves” and “non-starters.” (e.g. must have the matching .com domain name, must not have a geographic reference in the name.) It is important to have all final decision-makers in attendance at each meeting.

week 2

Generation of branding candidates with taglines

After the initial kick-off meeting, we will begin brainstorming, researching, and vetting hundreds of potential naming/branding solutions with a goal of distilling the list down to the best 8 to 12 candidates. Each brand identity will be evaluated and selected based on the branding criteria discussed in the initial meeting.

Presentation and review of initial brand identities via custom branding suite
Once the initial candidates are selected, we will build them out with tag lines and rationales. We will then place each candidate on a web page which allows the brand to be seen in context with a supporting logo treatment, matching photo, tagline, and body copy. You will be able to envision your brand identity from the very beginning.

week 3

Feedback from first round of names

Typically the response from the first round is “Wow, you’ve given us a lot to think about!” We’ll then send you a link to a form that will help sort thoughts, gather feedback, and prioritize the names, tag lines, colors, pictures, and branding elements that fit you best. This provides us with a better sense of what resonates with you.

Second round of names and taglines

From your feedback, we take the name(s) you like best and do another round (if needed) and make the requested tweaks and adjustments. We’ll set up a phone conference to review these names.

week 4

Feedback from second round of names

At this point, we are really close. The discussion typically centers on the merits of the top two or three names, and the questions involve which one(s) best reflect the brand message, provide the best overall marketing platform, and are easiest to see/say/pronounce, etc. Since all the finalists will have passed the vetting process and met the branding criteria, the final winner is often the one that simply feels right.

Finalization of naming and tagline

This is where you pull the trigger, determine the naming strategy, and start the wrap-up of the naming portion of the project. We’ll provide a preliminary trademark search of the database, as well as a Google search of the name. If relatively clear, you can then have your counsel submit the name/wording for trademark filing.

week 5

Discussion of logo treatments

Based on the branding elements presented during the naming process, discussion begins on which logos, font styles, colors, and icons are most appealing. We will provide a logo worksheet to help you identify which types of logo treatments best reflect your brand identity.

Presentation of first round of logos

We’ll present the first round of logos, often in a .pdf format, for your review and consideration. Typically we present three to four logo concepts per round.

week 6

Feedback from first round of logos

We’ll meet by phone or gather feedback via email as to which styles, fonts, colors, and icons you liked best from the first round, and then tweak them to bring together the best of all the elements.

Presentation of second round of logos

The second round of logos reflects the requested changes from the initial feedback, and often provides multiple colors and/or type fonts of the favorite logo(s) from the first round.

week 7

Feedback from second round of logos

At this point, the discussion is very nuanced, with slight adjustments to color, font, and icon placement. The final treatment is presented for your approval.

Once the final logo is selected, we create multiple file formats for your use on the web, in printing, in signage, etc. These formats include .jpg, .eps, .png, .pdf and .ai files. We’ll also provide a black and white version of the logo as well. We put these in a .zip folder for easy access.

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week 8

Creation of branding styleguide

If included, we will then create your branding style guide. This document details the proper use, formatting, and technical specifications when printing, signing, or advertising the company brand identity. It also defines and establishes the brand voice and personality so that the brand messaging remains consistent across all fronts. This branding style guide is your brand “Bible” so to speak and typically runs 10 to 15 pages in length.

Presentation and review of initial brand identities via custom branding suite

Once the first grouping of candidates are identified, we will provide tag lines and rationales for each identity, and place them on a temporary web page for best viewing. This allows the brand to be seen in context, with a supporting logo treatment, matching photo, tag line, and body copy. This provides the ability to envision the brand identity from the very beginning.