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Graphic Design

Why Branding Should Start with Understanding a Business’s Proposition

 

In this article, I intend to make the case for why Branding should always start with understanding a business’s proposition. Before you set out for a journey or start a new project you need to understand where you are going. To show how something is to be defined so that it more effectively matches a client’s logo and brand to their vision and future goals.

In branding there is a temptation to jump right in, I used to do that myself. I would ask some questions from the business owner, I would the pull together a few days of research and I would start sketching ideas along the way. The is a disadvantage to doing branding and logo design work like that is that you only ever understand a brand so much from this top layer style research.

No deep work can come from skimming

How do you know the brand and content was correct in the first place?

This is what I came to realise. Like web design it’s not where the client is today, it’s what they are trying to become. Branding is a key element of how people perceive your company.

  • Are you premium?
  • Do you look like a one man band?
  • Do you look professional?
  • Can I tell what you do?

Starting Branding with the Business Proposition

What do you do? It sounds simple but many businesses struggle to shorten what their company does to a few sentences. This is the classic elevator pitch question. The ability to convey what your company does consistently and in a shortened form is a very good thing to have.

The reason so many companies may struggle to do this is caused by their company or themselves (in the case of a freelancer/consultant) likely do many things.

All people have more than one string to their bow, but it’s for this very reason why I believe it is important to get right down to the core of what the company is about, and what is the direction of travel.

Their who, what and why should be covered in this proposition document.

  • Who – Who are they? (Company name and sector)
  • What – What do they offer? (The core money generation services of the business)
  • Why – Why are you in business? (beyond profit why did you select your sector)

Once the client starts thinking about their business the phrases, sentences and the basic structure of who they are can be distilled into various lengths.

 

The Loudon Design Proposition

The Company Strapline (3)
Improve Conversion Rates

Purpose: Quickly convey what the companies key remit and purpose is.

 

Short Description (14)
Loudon Design is a globally trusted and internationally focused print and digital design agency.

Purpose: The classic elevator pitch, what your company does in a concise sentence

 

Medium Description (49)
Loudon Design is a globally trusted and internationally focused print and digital design agency. Our key objective is to improve conversion rates for our clients by turning more of their visitors into customers.

We are a small highly skilled team of web specialists who care about Conversion, Quality and Performance.

Purpose: A more robust description suitable for publications, speaking profile bios.

 

Long Description (105)

As markets have shifted more and more businesses are fighting harder than ever to retain their position within the marketplace or may be entering this arena as a newly formed company. Loudon Design, founded in 2015 by John Loudon a Head of Design in ecommerce, exists to empower and enable our customers to dominate their respective markets.

Loudon Design is a globally trusted and internationally focused print and digital design agency. Our key objective is to improve conversion rates for our clients by turning more of their visitors into customers.

We are a small highly skilled team of web specialists who care about Conversion, Quality and Performance.

Purpose: The long form description, suitable for about pages, or documentation about your business.

 

The reality of not having the proposition

If you forget what you just read, you would only really know that Loudon Design is a company that builds websites, and probably does related services such as website repairs or branding. Sadly you would have most likely struggled to find what sits at the core of the company.

These values are my values, I care deeply about them. More than that every asset of my business, every post, newsletter, or staff member has to align with my proposition. I am not looking for good I am looking for excellence.

High-quality web design and branding can only come from a company and team that believe in delivering on that level. I want to see my clients do well. My job is to ensure that they make the most profit with the minimum amount of spend. If I can achieve that with £50 then that’s the price. This builds trust with my clients and shows that I am in their corner. My team is an extension of their team.

Conclusion

The purpose of this article is to try and underly that with the introduction of a quick proposition exercise you can really dig into the core of what’s important to a company. Some business owners have never gone through an exercise like this, some may find that their company has completely adapted to a new type of business with a very different focus than it used to have.

It’s important to remember that with this activity there is no right and wrong, it’s simply a means of committing to paper what the primary focus, values and core service is. From there you have a solid foundation to build anything on your company needs, assured that 3rd parties will be able to come up to speed with what’s important to your business.