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In this succinct course, author, speaker, and marketing expert Lorrie Thomas Ross provides an overview of the basics of branding your business or yourself through consistency, communication, and effective collateral. The course shows how images, messaging, and market positioning can help you build visibility and credibility among customers. It includes real examples of successful brands and how aspects such as color, logos, and fonts, not to mention a strong web presence, contribute to their success.
A brand's identity or story is communicated in a number of ways, including things like logos, taglines, business cards, stationery, and websites. Collateral like pens, caps, notepads, and even invoice design can support and reinforce brand communications. Think of brand design--any creative design for that matter--as a dance. There is a natural back-and-forth to the process. So how do you make sure that your vision is cleared to avoid wasting time and money going back and forth with unnecessary rounds of designs? Start by documenting your brand once with a creative brief.
The creative brief is a communications tool to help manage design processes efficiently. You can use this to communicate your wants, needs, and expectations. If you're a designer, you may insist the client complete a brief before work starts, to have a consolidated set of directions, especially if several deciding parties are involved. A creative brief should be just that, brief. It includes short paragraphs. We've provided a worksheet called The Creative Brief in the exercise files to help you focus your conversations developing your brand assets.
A creative brief includes information about your company: a business overview, marketing history, and the reason for the creative brief. Project details: explain the scope of the project, what it's for, when it's needs to be complete, how it may or may not tie into other marketing. Goals and objectives: describe your target audience, demographics, geographic location if applicable. Many briefs share information about the competitive landscape, value proposition--what's in it for the customer.
If there are necessary communication points, bullet this out in the brief. Explain the ways you'll use this asset or assets. Will it be used online, on things like T-shirts. How does this tie into overall marketing strategy? Communicate design preferences. This can include any style guidelines like font, format, and colors. Describe the look and feel you want. Clarify budget requirements if there are any. Be sure to provide the list of contacts as well as their contact information, so the right people are included in the review process.
Finally, to help illustrate the creative process, we also included the creative brief for no obstacle sport in the exercise files. The creative brief starts the conversation between you and the designer, or if you are the designer, you and the client. Be open to some back-and-forth discussions to get the final product right.
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