Brand Direction Guide
To learn everything for making “the best” job at building your streetwear Startup will take you years.
That said, there is a base that you can work on to set your brand up for a good start.
And I will lay the whole process here for you, now.
By the way, you don’t need to find a brand name, or already have a great logo, or any designs, before you can start working on your brand direction.
Honestly, having all those things might, in fact, hold you back form exploring different creative directions to push your brand in to the fullest.
Anyways, let’s get into thing.
All you’ll need to do a decent job at defining your brand direction without going insane.
Okay, let’s start with this:
Branding’s (as a process) purpose is to educate people about your brand’s values and what a customer can expect from your business.
If a brand doesn’t have a brand direction, it cannot work towards having a cohesive brand image, which it than can project to the potential customer.
Now, why is that important?
It’s important, because, without cohesive branding your targeted customer will have difficult time understanding what your brand stands for and, because of that, they will have hard time emotionally connecting with your brand.
What that translates to in business world is that:
A cohesive brand image will help you to attract more fans and grow potential profits.
And even though, as a general rule you don’t want to start a business just for the money (you do want to have some deeper reasoning for why you are building a brand), at the end of the day, financial side of business is important.
Money is a lifeline for your business. Money gives you an ability to keep on providing true value to the world that comes from that deeper reasoning (form your why).
Okay, there’s some things to unpack here.
Let’s put what I’ve just said so far in more simple way:
- You need Branding because it’ll help you to maintain loyal customers which in turn will help you generate money; and
- You need their money, so you can keep on providing value to your customer long term.
Working on branding does not necessarily mean that you will up the sales of your brand. Branding is not a selling tool.
Branding helps to communicate your values clearly to the targeted customer and that will make the targeted customer’s decision process, when facing your brand, more clear cut for them.
And the easier and better a customer can understand what your brand stands for the stronger emotional connection they will have to your business.
How do you start defying that “deeper stuff” that will help your brand to connect with people?
The simplest start is answering the following questions:
- Who am I (as a brand)?;
- Why am I doing what am doing (or thinking of doing)?; and
- Why is it important (for you and your customer)?
The main point of these questions are to make you think and start analyzing your wants and desires when it come to your brand.
Just spending time contemplating them and noting stuff that they make you think about is good. Because, in reality, answering the 3 questions above will take you quite some time.
These questions may look simple but they have complex answers that will need time for you to crystallize an answer to.
Now, before we get into more structured process of finding brand direction, here are some extra questions that, also, will help you in this process:
- What are your strengths, that will give you an edge over others (in the market)?What are your weaknesses, that will disadvantage you?
- What potential opportunities (if any) your project could capitalize on?
- What could cause issues for your project?
So far we have covered “first steps” into defining your brands direction. These questions will put your mind into the appropriate mindset to do this sort of work. Give yourself time to think about them. And after that…
Now, let’s get down to a more systematic process of defining your brand.
5 Aspects To Streetwear Brand Identity Development
- Vision Statement
A vision statement describes what you want your company to become in the future. It’s something inspirational and inspirational.
Preferably you want it to be one sentence long. Also, when formulating it, don’t worry about explaining, how the vision will be achieved (that’ll come later).
Some questions that will help you when formulating your vision statement:
- What are your most important products and services?
- What products and services will you never offer?
- What is unique about doing business with your brand?
- How would your ideal customer (you can use yourself) describe you?
- Where do you want your company to be in five years?
Example of Nike’s vision statement:
To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.
- Mission Statement
A mission statement defines the purpose of the company.
It should be simple, straightforward, articulate, jargon free and easy to grasp. Also, something motivational to both employees and customers.
Some questions that will help you when formulating your mission statement:
- What are specific market needs the brand will address?
- What does the brand do to address these needs?
- What are the some specific things that define your brand’s approach in addressing those needs?
- Why would customers buy from you and not your competition?
Example of Patagonia’s mission statement:
Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.
- Brand Essence
The essence of the brand speaks to the intangible emotions you want your customers to feel when they experience the brand.
Brand’s essence is representation of the company’s heart, soul, spirit, and is preferably described with one word.
Some stuff that will help you when looking for your Brand Essence:
- When your customers experience your product or service, what emotions do you want your customer to experience?
- If your brand were a person, how would you describe its personality?
- And really focus on what do you want to achieve with your brand.
Examples of brand essence:
Quicksilver: Spirit of outdoor activity.
This describes the way a brand speaks, behaves, thinks, acts and reacts. It is a personification of the brand: a brand with human characteristics.
What personality do you want to put forth when people interact and experience your brand:
- Are you lighthearted and fun?
- Are you serious and all business?
- Are you down-to-earth or aloof?
- Are you playful or matter-of-fact?
When it comes to examples of brand personalities it doesn’t really tell much to say that Gucci’s is sophisticated or Timberland is rugged, or Nike is exciting. You will get a better understanding of of the brand personality interacting with the brand.
A good example to observe, of a brand personality in action, is Wendy’s twitter account.
- Value Proposition
value proposition is 1 or 2 sentences that clearly articulate your product’s or service’s unique value and how it benefits your ideal customer.
It defines the audience, the category in which the brand exists, gives a clear product or service benefit, sets your brand apart from your competitors, and instills confidence that the brand will deliver on it’s promise.
Some questions that will help you when formulating your Value Proposition:
- To whom are you speaking/interacting (what’s your target market, demographic, and persona)?
- Which market segment does your product or service serve?
- What does your brand promise (both rationally and emotionally)?
- Why is your product (or service) different from the competition, and why should your customers care?
Example of value propositions of hardgraft and Mizzen+Main:
hardgraft is a nice example of to a short and effective value proposition that they show on their home page.
Mizzen+Main would be an example of a more in-depth and fuller value proposition that make up their about page.
Here you go, these are the things that a clear brand direction consist of.
And if you go through this process, it’ll pay you major dividends later on by simplifying your decision making and taking away guesswork and doubt out of your day-to-day running a brand.
“What is the right thing to do with your brand?”
The answers is, always:
“You should do whatever goes along with your Brand Direction.”
Every idea, every design, every possible product, every choice should be bounced of your Brand Direction.
And don’t forget, that a brand is an evolving asset, so don’t think that you have to make everything perfect form a get go.
A brand is something that you constantly work on, and build on, and, if you do a good job, with time passing your brand will get stronger and stronger.
Not to sound too corny, but when it comes to brand building it’s all about that journey, not the destination.
There’s no rush.
Download guide here: Source (HLCA)