When you are competing against so many other businesses, how do you make yourself “The Choice” for a potential customer?
It all starts with your branding.
Your unique service or product and how you provide it is where your brand starts. But you also need to account for how you present your brand一 both visually and through messaging.
Whether you’re redesigning your company’s website, posting to social media, or attending a trade show, having strong branding makes sure that you have a unified message no matter who you’re interacting with or what channel.
As you begin spreading a unified message and image, your business becomes synonymous with your message, product, or service, making customers and trade partners in your niche want to do business with you.
You become “The Choice” and beat out your competition.
If you invest in your business’s branding, you will outlast and outperform your competitors.
Want some proof? Check out this study from McKinsey for a deeper dive.
And a great place to start is having a branding package designed for your business.
A branding package is a series of assets that establish uniformity for your brand. This includes everything from a series of responsive logo variations to a color palette, typography, messaging, graphic elements, and style guides. These assets unite a style and ideology through consistency. Developing a comprehensive approach to your branding will make you memorable and delight your customers every time they interact with you. A branding agency or design studio will offer branding services.
There are three key moments when a business may need a branding package:
Need a branding package for your business? Let’s talk.
Let’s unpack each component in a branding package, shall we?
If you’re a brand new business or startup, this is when a design team will dig into your business. They’ll ask questions like:
These are just a few examples to give you an idea. An actual survey will be much more in-depth. The goal here is to help gather enough information to start crafting potential mission statements, value propositions, taglines, and other messaging. Flushing out WHO you are talking to, HOW you will help them and WHY you do it in the first place.
If you are an established business, expect these questions, as well as a deep dive into your current branding. A design team will try and figure out what is currently working and what is not working and get to the core reason you’ve decided to rebrand in the first place.
The logo is the most forward-facing piece of your branding. Therefore, a great modern logo will be your most powerful asset when establishing your visual identity and will be a large focus of a branding service. And to get it right, you need to balance some fundamental principles.
We design what we like to call a SMART Logo™.
Simple. Your logo needs to be easily identifiable at a glance. (This is where the minimalistic logo shines)
Memorable. Catchy logos are easy to remember. When consumers need the product or service you offer, you want your brand to be the first to mind.
Appropriate. The aesthetic should fit the business. For example, a construction company shouldn't evoke the same feeling as an ice cream shop.
Responsive. Your logo needs to be adaptable and scalable to every opportunity.
Timeless. Don't follow trends. It's essential to think long-term here, so your logo doesn't look outdated in 5 years. Coca-Cola is a great example; it's barely changed in over 130 years
When we put together a branding package, we’ll generally put together several variations, including a brandmark, a wordmark, and a lettermark if applicable. These options allow your logo to be responsive and used in various digital and physical mediums.
For a deeper dive into logos, check out our article on modern logo design.
Based on the information gleaned from the discovery phase, messaging can be created to position your brand. Messaging can include mission statements, value propositions, taglines, and phrases synonymous with your brand.
A mission statement defines what line of business a company is in, and why it exists, or what purpose it serves. A statement of purpose gets people excited about the company and can motivate them to become part of the organization. It’s great for employees and customers alike.
Here is an example from Apple’s original mission statement.
“Apple is dedicated to the empowerment of man—to making personal computing accessible to each and every individual so as to help change the way we think, work, learn, and communicate.”
A value proposition shares many characteristics with a great mission statement, but it is much more concise. It should be 2-3 sentences, maximum. Think of it as your elevator pitch.
A value proposition is a statement that positions your company within your industry and tells customers why they should invest in your product rather than your competitors’.
Many times, you’ll see value propositions on the homepage of a business’s website. It should be obvious and set the tone for a potential customer.
Here is an example from Apple:
“Why there is nothing quite like an iPhone.”
A tagline is a catchphrase or a slogan used in marketing materials.
It’s your business' mantra; it tells people who you are and what you stand for.
At this point, you’ve distilled your mission statement and value proposition down to a few words.
The purpose of a tagline is to create a memorable phrase that sticks. This helps customers identify your brand and your message.
Here is another example from Apple:
"Think Different." (Notice how this is directly related to their value proposition)
A color palette is a combination of colors used by designers when designing a branding package. When used correctly, color palettes form your brand’s visual foundation, help maintain consistency, and make your visual identity aesthetically pleasing and enjoyable.
Designers will consider color theory and color psychology when putting together a color palette for a brand—taking into account the brand messaging to make decisions while putting together a palette.
Does the brand want to represent a feeling of growth? Maybe green should be the primary color. Reliability? Blue could work. Energy? Orange.
Think of T-Mobile’s magenta. John Deer’s green. Popeye’s Chicken orange. These colors are synonymous with the brand and are throughout their marketing.
Typography is your collection of fonts used. Sometimes these are existing fonts used within certain parameters, like specific sizing, line weights, and hierarchy. Using different fonts for headlines on a website, as opposed to the body copy.
Depending on your budget, you can have custom typography created. A designer will create a whole letter and number system from scratch. Spendy, but a powerful way to single out your brand.
Each typeface—such as script, serif, sans serif, etc.—can convey a different feeling, just as what color conveys emotion. Therefore, it’s critical to be thoughtful with your typography choices.
Graphic elements are shapes, patterns, lines, or mockups that round out your brand’s themes. They are used on packaging or websites for decorative purposes, as well as mockups of your branding for display. Sometimes you’ll want to see what your brand new logo looks like on the side of a work truck or a physical package.
A style guide is a comprehensive rulebook with all specifications related to your brand, including your mission, messaging, logo, typography, color palette, and rules on how and when to use these assets.
Brand style guides are used internally for in-house marketing and design teams and outside vendors printing or creating marketing materials. Brand Style Guides assure that your branding is consistent across all channels. Which is the name of the game, right?
Are you looking for a branding package for your business? Let’s talk.
Pricing can have a wide range depending on who you work with. So let’s break down ranges we’ve seen and what you can expect at each price point.
In this price range, you’ll most likely be working with an emerging freelance designer or using a service like Fiverr.
You absolutely can find reliable work in this range (even great designers need to start somewhere), but there are also plenty of risks.
At this price point, designers need to churn out work to keep the lights on, which can lead to unoriginality (or plagiarism in the worst cases), a lack of involvement in the creative process (or unresponsive communication in the worst cases), and a lack of strategic thinking. It’s all about speed and quantity rather than methodic quality. Templates and clipart abound.
Disclaimer: We don’t intend to badmouth anyone working within this price point. We’re speaking from experience. On more than one occasion, we’ve had clients come to us with plagiarized or sloppy branding or designers who have suddenly stopped returning phone calls and emails. This would never happen with a professional agency or studio that uses contracts and charges at a higher price point.
Expect to be working with a competent small studio or mid-sized agency. You’ll have experienced designers and copywriters in your corner crafting unique visual identities and strong messaging. A discovery phase will take place through interviews and thoughtful questionnaires. You’ll be involved in the process and influence the final result.
If they are on the higher end of the pricing spectrum, a custom website will most likely be included with your branding package.
You can get high-caliber work at this price point but at a much lower cost than going to a massive design agency. Small studios have less overhead than large agencies but generally are founded or employ designers, strategists, and copywriters who left large agency life to embark on their own.
Expect large design agencies with an impressive client roster. You’ll be working with highly skilled brand strategists who have a team of designers and writers under them. Deep brand strategy with detailed research will be conducted and used to influence all facets of your branding. These agencies are professional but pricey. The quality will be top-notch but can be hard to afford for a startup or fledgling business.
Two Wolves is a small and agile design studio. Our branding packages generally fall in the $5k-$30k range, depending on the scope of work.
We’re selective with our clients. We make sure we’re a good fit for each other. This process ensures that you are always satisfied with the work. We make sure that our work always aligns with your expectations, meaning no wasted time or money for you. We are also highly connected with other designers and studios, so if we’re not the best fit, we know someone who is. We’ll happily make an introduction. It creates the best environment for everyone.
If we do work together, our lean workload is good for you. No split-focus. Timely communication. Deadlines met. We are 100% focused on your business. We value you, your business, and your goals.
When you succeed, we succeed. As a small and agile design studio, we genuinely believe that.
If you’re interested in working with us, please reach out! We love meeting new people and helping other businesses succeed.