Writing a Branding Brief for Your New Business Logo: 7 Steps
Branding your business is some of the most challenging and rewarding work you’ll ever do for it. However, it is also a very demanding task that will require you to plan for your new business logo accordingly. Data by Small Biz Genius indicates that 72% of successful brand names are made up of words or acronyms. Likewise, a consistent brand presentation can increase company revenue by up to 23%.
Both B2C and B2B stakeholders care about your logo more than you might think. It’s why creating a memorable, engaging, creative logo is so difficult in today’s oversaturated corporate branding market. What goes into writing a branding brief and how can it help you create your new business logo?
Perks of Writing a Branding Brief
What’s the real value of writing a branding brief instead of simply creating a logo and using it to promote your company? After all, your products and services will speak volumes of your company’s conduct far better than a logo ever could – right?
According to Fit Small Business, signature colors can boost brand recognition by 80%, with about 30% of brands relying on blue in their logos. Blue is a corporate color that instills professional trust but it’s not fit for every business and can damage your logo’s impact if chosen on a whim.
Just as green is associated with clean energy and health, orange is associated with warmth and creativity, for example. Writing a document describing what your business stands for, what it’s trying to accomplish, and how it’s doing that is very helpful for logo design.
Here are the benefits of writing a branding brief before we get into the nitty-gritty of the process:
- Communicate your brand’s vision to designers and creatives
- Clean up your brand’s message and focus your future marketing efforts
- Ensure that the branding project is on track and within budget
- Create a far better and more memorable logo than you could without a brief
Steps to Write a Branding Brief for your New Business Logo
#1. Outline your Company’s Portfolio and Name
The first step in writing a great branding brief is to provide the designer or design agency with as much information on your company as possible.
What is your legal brand name and what does your company do? Whether you operate as a SaaS platform, a retail store, or run an eCommerce website, explain that in your brief.
Treat the branding brief as a document that may be read by third parties who are not affiliated with your company. You can use logo templates to get a better idea of why you need to outline your company’s product and service portfolio. Or you can take a look at works of branding companies. This will guide the logo design into a direction suitable to your business’ niche so that it reflects what you do.
#2. Include Existing Branding and/or Style Guide for Reference
If you already have some form of branding applied to your company, mention it in your branding brief. Approaching logo design and redesign varies to an extent, as you’ll have to consider some things for the latter.
Logo redesign often has to evoke the same feelings and visual elements as the previous iteration of the logo. This is done to make sure that existing customers or clients don’t confuse your business with another one.
Any existing style guide or logo which you may have should find its way into the brief and be explained for clarity. Do you want a total redesign done on your logo or do you want to update the branding and naturally evolve it into a new iteration?
Total brand redesign may only be a good idea if your current logo is damaged from a PR perspective or simply too visually unappealing to salvage.
In that case, you can even write a short case study of why you want the logo completely disassociated from existing branding and why it’s important for your business to “start fresh”.
#3. Explain Who Your Target Audience Is
Pinpointing your target audience is one of the most essential parts of successfully branding your business. Who exactly should the new logo design speak to? Who are your main stakeholders and how do you intend to contribute to their wellbeing?
Here are a few factors to consider when nailing down your target audience for branding purposes:
- Familial situation
- Professional background
- Purchase habits
Try to answer these questions based on your existing customer base or people who are most likely to engage with businesses in your industry.
Designing a logo to suit a particular audience’s expectations is difficult but once you outline your ideal customer or client, your designers will have a clear direction to work with.
External stakeholders will respond to your new branding more favorably than they would if you didn’t consider audience expectations.
#4. Take Color Theory into Consideration
As we’ve mentioned briefly, your choice of colors for the new logo design should be based on your business’ niche and long-term mission.
What is it that you’re trying to accomplish on the market? What makes your business unique? How does it contribute to the industry filled with established companies?
Color theory can help you get your points across very effectively. If you don’t already have a standardized selection of colors for branding, think about which colors you should use.
Here are a few examples of colors and their different meanings to consider:
- Red – passion, anger, love
- Yellow – happiness, hope, youth
- Green – harmony, stability, growth
- Purple – mystery, spirituality, luxury
- Brown – honesty, warmth, trust
Color theory is a very deep subject that should be handled carefully. Choosing a color unfit for your business’ needs can cause people to ignore it or actively avoid it.
If you’re unsure of which color should be used for your logo design, consult the designer or design agency in charge of your branding.
#5. Always Spellcheck and Format your Branding Brief
As you write your branding brief, you’ll need to proofread each section as you finish it. This will help you avoid unpleasant situations where investors or designers spot grammar mistakes or formatting errors in the document.
You can use Writing Universe to have your document proofread and formatted by professional editors before you show it to anyone.
Doing this will help you maintain your business’ professional reputation and communicate your plans for the logo design much more clearly.
#6. Provide Examples of Competitive Company Logos
Referring to existing logos and logotypes will give your design team a better idea of what to do and not do with your branding.
In some cases, it may be good to stick to industry norms and follow established expected visuals. This is especially true for conglomerates and companies which are based on business development, HR, finance, etc.
In the case of more creative industries like foods or kids’ toys, your logo should be more colorful and appealing to a wider audience.
This is easily communicated to designers by doing a simple online search and picking which examples you like and dislike. This will dramatically shorten your branding timeline and result in a logo much closer to your original branding ideas.
#7. List All Potential Applications of your New Logo
Based on your products and services, your new logo will appear on different mediums and channels. Listing all the potential use cases for your new logo in the branding brief will allow designers to narrow down how exactly to make it.
For example, using serif fonts may not be a good idea if you intend to engrave your logo on minuscule keychains. Multicolored logos may be difficult to reproduce in certain print techniques, leaving you with a logo that only works with digital prints and media.
Here are some logo use cases you should think about in advance:
- Website and digital content marketing
- Business cards, envelopes, and documentation
- Marketing materials like cups, pens, and notebooks
- Apparel like hoodies, shirts, hats, and shoes
While there are ways to get around difficult-to-implement logos on different surfaces and mediums, it’s best to plan. Write about how exactly you intend to use your logo in the future and your designer or design agency will be able to produce a more dynamic branding solution.
Getting Started on Your Branding Brief
The best way to get started on your branding brief is to sit down with your team members or executive board and discuss the company itself.
What does it stand for and what do you want it to stand for moving forward? More than anything, you want to stand out from your competition and other businesses in your industry by creating an original, captivating visual identity.
Don’t rush through the process of writing your design brief or the design process itself later on. Create several variations of your logo before you land on the one that most of your team will agree on.
Once that happens, it will only be a matter of applying the logo and letting the public know that your business has a fresh coat of paint for them to enjoy.
About the Author!
Jessica Fender is a professional marketer, content creator, and social media manager. Jessica has extensive experience in content creation and management. She is experienced in writing and publishing digital content through various CMS and social media platforms. Jessica spends her free time learning new skills and cooking.