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Because your brand is your baby
TL;DR a timeless brand.
However, this piece is more than that. Just like branding delivers more than tangible outputs.
Hey, you will not find a tactile checklist that you can hold your brand partners accountable for, but you need not be a headless chicken while your branding partners take complete charge of how your brand will form.
The branding industry is at its all-time peak with people realizing its importance in the success of their business. This has also resulted in a professional approach where people go to universities and B-schools where they are taught industry jargons and branding processes.
This has resulted in a divide between business owners and branding experts who fail to communicate with these business owners with their language full of slang. A common practice that has emerged out of such miscommunications is that business owners, instead of partnering with a branding agency to translate their idea into a brand, they outsource the idea to the branding service provider.
This is not an ideal scenario. What you, as a business owner, have in your mind might not be reflective in the brand created by the studio who reduced the vastness of your idea to a questionnaire. This ten-page inventory is not a base strong enough to mirror your concept in the brand.
Branding is anything but a one-size-fits-all or a one-process-suits-all service. In fact, it brings your idea out of one such saturated rut so that your audience can notice you, right at the top.
This means, you will never get a universal brand deliverables checklist applicable to your business, your industry, your brand scope of work, the process of your branding partner, you get where is this going, right?
A common misconception is that a branding agency that uses dense language, sentences full of industry terminology, textbook processes and classic brand use cases must be trustworthy, they know their service in and out, where you can put your money. However, such entities strategically use jargon to sell you their service.
It’s like calling ice-cream, milk infused sorbet and selling it as gourmet at high prices.
These are the agencies that will give you a logo under the garb of a brand identity system and mind you, it is so much more than a logo.
So next time in conversation with a branding agency, ask for the meaning of one deliverable, they are promising that you don’t understand. If they use more jargon to explain the branding process, instead of a non-MBA language, you know which agency to cross off from the list of your considerations.
Let’s end beating around the bush. What do you get for what you pay for the branding process? (still not a checklist.)
You get what you ask for. The branding process is a list of many services that together, form a brand. We have separate techniques to prepare different ingredients of the same recipe, which become a dish at the end of the whole procedure.
So, when you are looking for a list of deliverables, you ask your branding agency about the branding process deliverables that are custom to your needs.
You know that gut feeling that makes you choose something over a million other options? That is a deliverable.
Generally, business owners assume that the only outputs are the ones that are tangible. They wonder,
Am I buying strategy?
Am I paying for identity?
Or, will they give me a visual branding guide?
The right question is, what are my branding needs.
This doesn’t mean
That you come with the knowledge of branding 101. It’s a myth that when you approach a branding agency, you need to know precisely what you are looking for.
If every entrepreneur knew what they wanted, the branding industry would cease to exist. Our job is to help you find answers to how you can translate your idea into a brand that not only fills a gap in the society but also resonates with the audience you are planning to cater to and beyond. You are paying for the service provider’s experience, expertise, perspectives, and the profiles working in their team that will be collaborating with you to help you shape your brand.
Branding process deliverables do have some provisions that you can expect. Every branding agency or a studio has its way of branding. There are many textbook procedures published thoroughly, but they are open source materials, open to interpretation and customization as per client or the service provider’s philosophy.
As far as the Slangbusters branding process is concerned, the deliverables for each phase are well defined.
The Knowledge phase delivers intangible insights that form a strong base for the brand. Collecting information and conducting audits so that the entrepreneur and the branding studio are on the same page before beginning the branding process.
The foundation is underground in a building and hence seems nonexistent. But, it remains the most significant part of the building since it determines the timelessness of the building constructed above.
The Understanding phase is all about research and other intangible deliverables like strategy. This phase includes more material deliverables like the brand brief that give further shape to the brand.
The second phase creates the wireframe of the building above the foundation. More visible than the first phase, this is where the brand starts forming.
The Action phase is where the brand breathes its first and comes to life through design processes and visible components like the visual brand identity system, brand architecture and the most apparent of them all, the logo and name of the brand.
In this phase, you see the building ready to move into. Further tangibles like beautification and accessorization of the building happens in the last phase, where the brand unfolds.
The most valuable branding process deliverable remains cognizance. The knowledge about the mental mechanics of how branding works for your brand and how something that feels magical is, in reality, something that even your idea can cater.
— by Manas, Content Strategist, Slangbusters Studio