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Pillars of Branding

The important questions you need to ask when creating a brand.

Author: Dan Craddock
November 30, 2017

What are Pillars of Branding?

In today’s current market, branding is the emotional connection a product creates for consumers. I don’t care for that idea very much. I’m more traditional in that I believe it all starts with visual identity. That’s mostly because the majority of our clients are small businesses who probably can’t afford the full range of our services for a true complete brand. Things like logo design, name crafting, slogan creation, photography, video, web, social media, and marketing just might not fit the budget. So we have to focus on what I call micro branding. Providing our clients with amazing logo designs, and deliverables that fit their budget and provide the confidence they need to make that connection with their customers. That’s how I make that “emotional connection”. Glowing pride from a business owner is infectious, and it sells.

Now how do we achieve that for our visual identity, or micro brand clients? By following traditional pillars of brand development. Even when it’s just a logo design.


Pillar One – The Difference

I love this step with small business owners because I get to request the following. “So, small business owner, tell me your story”. Then it’s assumed that Simon and Garfunkel’s America starts playing and I’m carried away on a journey of self discovery and Americana.

Pillars of Branding 2
Take a minute to hum the intro, please.

HOW COOL IS THAT?! I get to hear about how their Dad had a passion for this particular industry, and they grew up with that drive in their heart. Or because they decided their Elvis stamp collection needed more capital. Either way, I get to hear about why they decided to take this journey. And hopefully, why what they’re doing is the absolute best option for their clients. And what sets them apart is that small business drive and passion. At Metro Nova Creative, our difference is our team’s extensive history dealing with small businesses that didn’t have access to affordable branding and growth potential.

Another way that I can really get a sense for a client’s “difference” is by using an ancient technique that dates back to when man first learned to tell time. And what time is it you say?

It’s SWOT O’Clock

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I like to SWOT pretty loosely because most of the time, I’m talking with clients casually at first, and they’re not prepared for this process. Most of them don’t pull out a dry erase board at the taco place or wherever and start discussing this. So I would say you can think about this casually as well. But it’s a great starting point to get things going.


Pillar 2 – The Purpose

Pillars of Branding 4
nope…not that.

Some folks like to traditionally talk about the “promise” at this point. Me? I personally like to talk about the purpose. I think your promise is typically covered in that first section. It’s like… yea… you PROMISE not to sell people broken coffee cups and tell them it’s a cake. But really, what can help elevate your brand is the purpose for it. At Metro Nova Creative, our purpose is to provide small businesses with every opportunity to succeed by creating products that are sustainable and affordable. Also, my purpose is to make really stupid dolphin jokes… purpose… porpoise… yep.


Pillar 3 – Target Persona

This section is all about knowing who you’re selling to, and how. So when I think of my target demographic I can’t just say “anyone who owns a business, or is thinking of owning a business”. I mean, I have, and I’ve gotten a whole lotta nothing in return. So it’s important to not only understand who your target audience is, but how they think. I found that there happened to be a great demographic for us in females in their 30’s who are entrepreneurs. There’s an appreciation for great visual identity and the process that comes with it. An understanding in the value of flexibility but a clear defined project. Which is why we custom build packages that fit needs and budget. It’s a process that has been really successful. And as we perfect our product, we’re able to pivot for customers outside of that initial group!

It’s important to zero in on one type of customer at first. That way we can really guide your brand in that direction. A great example is Arbonne. If a sales person wanted to target the eco consumer, they would want to point out that Arbonne products do not test on any animals. Going as far as not allowing for production or sales in countries that still allow it. Or they could pivot to the patriotic consumer and say that Arbonne products are made in the U.S.A.


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I know this may have been a lot of information, and I tried to break it down as much as possible for easy consumption. But if you have any questions about creating a brand, just reach out and ask me! I’d love to help you out and build a branding package that works for you and your budget!

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