By Antje Dun
Commons Librarian Antje Dun attended ‘The Top 5 Things You Need to Know About Graphic Design’ workshop at FWD+Organise 2019 Conference. Austin Phillips and Sofia Madden from Principle Co presented. Antje gathered the following tips, key questions to consider, and a checklist on creating your brand identity for a campaign/organisation.
Have you been trying to create and/or build upon your brand identity for a campaign or your organisation? Here are some great tips and a checklist of areas to think about and incorporate when building your brand identity. A brand identity is a system of touchpoints associated with your campaign and/or organisation. It should build trust and connect emotionally with the people you are trying to reach.
3 Primary Brand Functions
- Navigation – Help people find you and engage with you.
- Reassurance – Let those who are engaging with you know they’ve made the right choice.
- Engagement – Use distinct elements like language, colour and associations to encourage people to identify and connect with you.
How to build a brand
You need to have a strong strategy otherwise you can’t start the branding process.
- What is the context your campaign exists is and what do you need to win?
- What are you trying to win?
- How do you know when you have won?
- Where are the places you are going to need your brand?
- Who is your opposition?
- What organisations exist that are similar to you?
- Do you know what makes your brand different?
- Have you plotted the key phases of your campaign? This helps with the flexibility of developing brand consistency.
Define who you are
- What is your purpose and your story?
- Have you figured out the WHY the HOW, and the WHAT?
- Why – The purpose / your values – What is your cause? What do you believe?
- How – The process – What are the specific actions you need to take to realise the why?
- What – The result – What do you do? This is the result of the why. It is the proof.
A useful video to watch that explains the Why, How, What is by Simon Sinek: Start with why – How great leaders inspire action
Build a persona/audience profile. It helps one get into the mindset of the people you are trying to reach.
Gather information such as demographics, jobs, age, goals, challenges, values and fears.
- Who is your audience?
- Who do we need to talk to?
- Who are the people you are trying to bring along?
- Who does your campaign need to talk to first and foremost?
Your voice, tone, expression, channels and design assets will help your audience to identify and subconsciously connect with you.
- What do you want people to think?
- What do you want people to feel about you?
- What do you want them to do?
- Can your audience identify your brand subconsciously?
Your voice helps define the human characteristics of your brand. A voice has different tones so you can deliver different types of messages depending on context and the timing of your campaign. E.g. advocacy vs. when talking to a particular community.
- Have you defined all the different places where you will talk to your audience?
- Can you describe your voice in 3 keywords?
- How do you express your 3 keywords visually?
- Have you created a moodboard? If so, have you tried to dissect why you collected something?
- What colours and shapes define your brand?
Brand Principles Checklist
- What is your mission, your strategic plan, your values, what drives you to do what you do?
- How are doing this in an articulate and passionate way?
- Do you communicate your meaning by defining who you are and why do you do what you do?
- Do you communicate your values to your audience and stakeholders?
- Do you act in accordance with your values?
- What makes your organisation different from others?
- What are your points of difference?
- How do you communicate your points of difference?
- Does your brand work across all your touch points?
- Does your brand have room to grow?
An interesting example was the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016 (see example of her brand). Her brand featured across multitudes of campaign materials but still maintained a strong identity by using the same font and colours across everything which made the campaign really strong. Also, anyone could download the fonts, colours, images which meant it was easy for supporters to use her brand.
- Does every brand touch point feel familiar and consistent?
- From your Instagram story to a volunteer at a stall to a Word document – do they convey a coherent visual story and experience?
- To preserve the integrity of your brand are you committed to actively managing the brand in an ongoing way?
- Does everyone in your organisation understand your brand?
- Do you have a style guide? If so, can everyone access your style guide?
A great example is 350.org who have shared their graphics, visuals and style guide online and made it easy to create a consistent brand.
Note: Use this checklist continuously not just at the beginning.