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How brands are made – branding process, stages, and guidelines

Even in 2021, branding is sometimes mistaken for logo design. And nothing can be further from the truth. A logo is merely a deliverable in the branding process, somewhere close to the end of the journey. Let’s take a look at what is branding, what makes a brand, why brand matters, and how it’s connected to everything in a business.

What is branding?

Branding is the perception your customers have of your business, your products, and services, or yourself. For a company, branding is a process that includes research (a lot of it) and using the findings to position your company or products in the mind of your customers in a certain way. For customers, branding is a  journey, not a destination. The destination is the brand itself, how they perceive and understand it, how they relate to it. If you did your job well, then your customers will see your brand how you intended it to be. So, always ask yourself: what do I want my customers to think of me? You must be able to articulate the answer to this question in one sentence that embeds the essence. For example, as a branding and marketing agency, we could answer:
Premiere M is my go-to partner when I need support and professional advice for my marketing campaigns.”
Premiere M crafts messaging and designs beautiful experiences to deliver the best of who we are.”
It must be very specific, very targeted, and correlated to your objective. We all know the saying “when you speak to everyone, you speak to no one” (Meredith Hill). Or, if you prefer Seth Godin’s approach, “Everyone is not your customer.” Choose carefully when building your dream buyer (see Stage 1 below) and when you run your market segmentation. Think of what you have to offer and how that offer can help your clients. Here’s an example:
Premiere M helps mid-sized companies communicate their brand clearly and credibly through strategic one-on-one branding.”
As it follows, branding is not really about you. It is about your customers. It is a very customer-centric approach to your business. In other words, always put clients first. Start from your target market and build backward from there. The hard part is to match what your market wants and what they need (which can be two different things, by the way) with what your company stands for and your own beliefs.

How to communicate a brand?

Your customers’ perceptions originate in what you tell them about your business, your vision and values, the products and services you offer, and how you change their lives. Clients care about themselves, as David Ogilvy pointed out years ago, yet still relevant today. They care about a brand only in the context of their lives. Therefore, you need to find ways to naturally add your brand in the context of your clients’ everyday routine.
Think about how you can add value to them and communicate that. Think how you can change their lives for the better in a and communicate that. Talk to your customers about what THEY want, about what THEY need, and then think of solutions YOU can offer. Then… yes, you guessed: communicate that. This is what Robert Collier meant by “Always enter the conversation already taking place in the customer’s mind.”
People like stories. Especially stories with a meaning they can relate to. Stories have the great advantage of being emotional bearers. Considering that most of our decisions as humans are emotional, taking a closer look at the brand story or brand narrative becomes even more important. Clients are people, even if we are looking at percentages in a dull segmentation study. Still humans in there, with problems to solve, with feelings that can make them like or hate your brand, biased by their own experiences to trust or not your brand.
Social media, influencers, video, printed materials, webinars, product display, logo, front desk tone of voice, etc.- these are all tactics to communicate your brand and this is a whole new chapter.

Branding process

Whether they are new or looking to reinvent themselves or are stabilized, healthy brands are entities in a relatively continuous dynamic. It has to be that way. They have to deal with the constant change of the environment in which they operate, the evolution of the audiences they address. To remain relevant, brands must maintain their tone. A healthy brand communicates for the present.
Branding or brand building was not invented in the 20th century. It is older, even very old. And why would that matter? Well, to understand things in perspective, to understand that they develop progressively, each structural piece at a time. The modes of persuasion that Aristotle talks about that include ethos (which gives credibility), pathos (which refers to the emotional response to speech), and logos (logic, argumentation) seem to be a simple structure, but quite which describes the communication processes involved in building a brand.
The process of defining a brand is a collaborative one, with constant two-way traffic, never just one-way.
Although branding starts with your customers, do not think that, since it’s not about you but them, you can outsource it to a branding agency – like us – entirely. What you communicate on the outside, to the public, must be a promise that can be honored, otherwise, it will only be an empty mask and will not succeed in significantly changing the brand and making it relevant and credible. And the brand must be fully found in the structure and internal behavior of the business.

The branding process goes through the following stages:

Stage 1: Research
This is an essential step because if you get this wrong, you will spend all your time and money barking at the wrong tree.
Gather data on:
  • The market – size, trends, market shares
  • The competition – most important: points of parity and differentiators
  • Your business – which, for existing brands, will include brand analysis or brand audit
  • Analyze and translate data into insights.
Find your dream buyer(s) (follow the steps in our decisions as humans are emotional). You will find that your customers may share certain behavior, motivation, or pain points. This is crucial information when building a brand since it reveals need and intent.
The composition of the brand strategy covers the architecture of the brand, depending on its organizational structure and complexity, the type and style of communication, including the establishment of communication channels, internal and external behavior, and, of course, design.
Stage 2: Apply findings (do the actual work)
  • Positioning – in connection to everything revealed in step 1. Remember, choose one customer segment to address and be the best choice for them.
  • Create brand narrative – emotional
  • Define reasons to believe – rational benefits that spring from features
  • Define brand personality – if your brand were a person, let’s say a friend, how would it talk, act, dress?
  • Messaging – how will your brand speak and what will it say to matter
  • Communicate – this is a show-and-tell game to play with your audience, which means it is not a monologue, but very interactive.

Deliverables of the branding process:
name, logo, slogan, color scheme, fonts, specific images, types of communication channels, types of key messages for the entire positioning of the brand, and which, subsequently, will be adjusted for future campaigns.


once accepted, the new brand identity is implemented within the brand's communication channels and its specific materials. Make sure everyone involved understands how to use the newly created resources. This procedure is essential because the specific idea, ie the essence of the brand, is transmitted through the new signals as established, to the target audience.

The message you send out is your story. When done correctly, it will find its way into people’s minds. Build a great one!
We are a branding and marketing agency that helps businesses like yours articulate their brand and communicate it efficiently both online and offline. We believe in creativity that works. Check our portfolio and get in touch if you want to sharpen your message and transform your business.

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