09th September 2020
KOTA Branding Process: How we build successful brands.
At KOTA, we are experts in delivering beautiful brand identities, that also have meaning and concept behind them. All companies know precisely ‘what’ they do and ‘how’ they do it. However, very few companies can clearly explain ‘why’ they do what they do. When it comes to branding, KOTA are huge advocates of uncovering ‘why’ companies exist, and why their employees go in to work for them each day. Having a reasoning behind your brand is what creates an emotive response with your clients and team, and secures a stronger lasting bond.
The process to uncover the ‘why’ is what we call ‘Brand Proposition’. This then informs our decision making when it comes to the visual interpretation or ‘Brand Identity’. We offer differing packages to clients across both Brand Proposition and Brand Identity, depending on their needs and goals. In this blog post, we explain how we build successful brands for our clients.
1. Kick Off and Discovery.
To begin the process, we will ask you to fill out our branding questionnaire. It helps you to communicate how you want to see your brand positioned. We will also ask you to send any existing collateral or inspiration for us to audit.
Then, KOTA will host a kick off meeting/workshop with you to go through our strategy questions, our branding process and our initial thoughts, so we can have all the information we need to get started.
We will spend the next few days in a period of discovery, conducting thorough research into competitors and inspiration, and download all the information we have gathered from you, looking at how we can build a unique proposition for the brand.
2. Brand Proposition.
This hugely important period includes workshop analysis and interpretation, competitive landscape analysis, creation of the brand proposition, and creative strategy.
Competitive landscape analysis – This enables us to understand and evaluate the competitive landscape. We clarify how competitors position themselves and identify gaps or opportunities to differentiate.
Definition and development of a new brand proposition – We use all of our insight to develop a differentiated and cohesive brand proposition. This will include the ‘brand on a page’ with a clear proposition, positioning, promise, values and attributes defined.
It includes reviewing, interpreting, and preparing a final report and recommendations. We will present all of the information and analysis to the key stakeholders in the form of a Brand Proposition Document.
Creative strategy – We then begin work on the creative strategy, including brand narrative, messaging framework and considerations in regards to touchpoints and channel mix. We will present the above to you for feedback and subsequent sign-off. This is now your brand ‘why’ and will become the foundations for the visualisation of the new brand identity.
3. Brand Visual.
The brand visual will begin with another period of discovery and mood board creation. We will use the findings from the brand proposition work to influence our creative choices.
Initially, we will develop 4 or 5 creative routes for the identity. These will be put into a document which will be presented to the key stakeholders and then left for you to feedback on. A favoured route is then selected for us to develop further.
We refine the process using the chosen creative route by creating the logo marks and identity, as well as by creating touch-points to see how the overall brand will look. From this second document, the chosen route is refined to the point where you have your new visual identity ready.
4. Typography and Brand System.
We will insightfully select fonts to support the new brand identity. Usually, two fonts are selected; a header font and a body copy font, which complement each other and portray the attributes of the brand. The name, weights and the ideal application of these fonts across different mediums will be added into the Brand Guidelines.
We will also look at graphic elements or systems to support the branding, plus a new or evolved colour palette and/or textures to support the identity, if requested. Colours, textures and graphic elements, along with the instructions on should these should be applied, will be added to the Brand Guidelines as well.
5. Brand Guidelines.
All of the above will be added into a digital Brand Guidelines Document. This is your organisation’s guide on the brand proposition, tone of voice, how to apply logos, fonts, systems, colours, textures, plus advise on brand touch-points.
This will be your bible moving forwards on how to apply the new identity and keep the brand consistent, whether partnering with KOTA or with another agency in the future. Brand Guidelines will be accompanied by the delivering of a suite of logos and other brand assets.
We offer branding packages that range from in-depth Brand Proposition work, through to the evolution of logo development pieces. Feel free to reach out to us for advice!
Our main tip would be to consider your ultimate goals for the brand, but fundamentally, the more thought and rationalising goes into the branding project, the better the outcome, and the more the clients and team will buy into it.
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it” – Simon Sinek.