Home Opinion The top five things to consider when planning your brand’s identity
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The top five things to consider when planning your brand’s identity

by uma
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By Lora Starling, Founder & Logo Designer, Lora Starling.

Preparation and planning are paramount in establishing a firm foundation for a brand’s success. Creative concepts may (if we are lucky) come to us in a flash of inspiration but without a structure for a brand’s evolution, we are in danger of floundering and missing vital stages in its development to success.

I think of it as a ladder; with a firm step, and consideration of each rung, we can climb to the peak of our vision and, having considered each rung, if we slip, we slip only to the last firm foothold. A leap up to the top, or missing rungs on the way, without this consideration, does not, give us the insurance, or assurance, that we are supported step by step and are less likely to slide right to the bottom. Once we are at the top, we can see our vision clearly having developed a deep familiarity with our brand on the climb. This is where we start to build the resilience many brands fail to gain.

The First Rung

You

Before committing to the climb this is the perfect opportunity to consider why. Be clear on the objectives of the brand. Why are you doing it? Is it for money, a better world, happiness, to further a career, to build a new life…or to answer someone else’s brief? Be really, really, sure. As you take that first step, consider each objective and see how it feels as you stand there, slightly elevated with an increased view. Bring it back to the ground, does it still feel sustainable and viable? Do you feel good about it? All of it? Define that ‘good’. Is it a strong, confident, heartfelt ‘good’ or a more shallow one that comes from stroking our ego and hollow hopefulness? 

Emotions are the driving fuel of every brand, and this starts with you. Emotions are infectious; in this vital, preliminary foundation stage ensure your emotions are sound, that they are authentic and that they will endure through the brand to inspire others. 

 

The Second Rung

The brand

Now you are sure of your standing, and confident in your commitment and passion for success, imagine turning towards the brand. Think of it as a conscious player in this process. Everything in our world is a vibrating mass of energy with its own frequency. As soon as you started to envision your brand, you begin to spark this frequency and can learn from it. Many indigenous peoples, including shamans, believe everything has a soul and we often talk about the brand soul. This is a perfect time to start co-creating success with the very ‘energy’ that is evolving. There are tools for this, the simplest is just to imagine it. You will be surprised at the quality of information it is possible to receive. 

I like to co-create brands with the spirit of the brand itself. This is where we connect with two worlds, the unformed world in our imagination, to manifest in the formed, and our familiar world, of profit and loss, birth and death. You might ask how does it feel, how does it want to look, what does it need?

 

The Third Rung

The world

Nothing exists in isolation in our world, and your brand is no exception. As you climb the ladder you can begin to see both brand and vision in a broader context. What is happening, what is out there, who is doing what, and what timing is right for your brand? If ‘a butterfly on one side of the world can create a hurricane on the other’ then everything that is happening, at least that which you are aware of, that has come into your field of consciousness, could be relevant. Whether it is dealing with impending uncertainty, or the launch of a potentially competitive brand, this is the place where we can observe and account for anything beyond our direct control and adjust accordingly.

The Fourth Rung

The bridge

You are clear on the brand – the vision and objectives; clear on your commitment and necessary actions; and have a good knowledge of the territory. How do we connect these so there is a coordinated objective for success? Our slightly higher position on the ladder helps us get an overview of our position, the brand and its place in the world and whom we need for success. 

Everything in the world has its own frequency and we need to ensure that the frequency of the brand, and everything within it, matches the frequency of those we must engage for the brand’s success. Sometimes this is easiest by imagining one ideal customer and I am often astounded at how much I can learn about a brand by ‘questioning’ the perfect customer.

Then it’s on to confirming the destiny: if we are not sure of our selected audience then we will not be aiming at a clear target. Every logo is embedded with a unique design frequency that must be compatible with both with our own vision and those we must attract for success.

Finally, explore the space between your inner ambition and the outer world, those who will buy, their position in the economy and so on. Without familiarising ourselves with this arc we will not be able to create the bridge to success. We need others to help us create.

The Fifth Rung

The brief/ monitoring 

With a clearer view and structure of the brand, from the final rung we are in a position to overview the creation of a brand design that accurately expresses our best vision for success. This is also an excellent place to connect with our emotions, the perfect barometer (brands thrive on love) with which to test our brief for the design and launch. Opening to our creativity and intuition, a skill openly shared with many successful entrepreneurs, we can fit colours, words, sounds, names, phrases and open unique opportunities by creating the first manifestation of our brand. 

By connecting with the essence or soul of our brand we can liaise with every detail, from the actual shade or colour to every single letter space to the minute details of a symbol to ensure each is aligned with the purpose. 

This somewhat unconventional way of connecting with our vision helps us avoid the same old, that is joining the millions of other brands vying for our attention simply to make us part with our hard-earned money for long enough to make them a profit.

By digging deeper inside ourselves, to where everything is connected and the unique individuality of our brand is birthed, we can create something that holds a true impact for the change we want.

 

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