Industry Perspective

Branding 101

A short and helpful look at Branding for companies.


Kelly Tinkler, Owner

Kelly Tinkler Marketing & Brand Resource-1.jpg

What is a brand development? Why should any business, small or large, take the time to develop their brand? (Isn’t designing a logo enough?) Well, a company brand is SO much more than a logo. Researching the marketplace, and writing up a brand blueprint can be one of the most helpful exercises any company undertakes before launching a product or, frankly, even after a company has products or services already in the market. It’s never too late to do the work to get your brand established. A well-research brand reveals your company’s true identity and highlights your strengths.

Step 1 – Research

Research in the following areas will help inform your brand creation:

-Industry Analysis (what’s going on in the industry)
-Situation Analysis (what is your company’s current status or situation)
-SWOT Analysis (Company Strengths & Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats)
-Marketplace/Competitors (what they do well and what they don’t)
-Potential Audience (who you anticipate will be buying from you)

Step 2 - Development and Writing the Blueprint

This is the fun stage. It’s here where you are building your brand story. The stage where you write up your company’s brand vision, mission, values, promise, and perhaps one of the most useful tools you will have in your "brand" arsenal, your company elevator pitch. Why is an elevator pitch so important? An elevator pitch is typically a 30-second summary of your company (that you should memorize) and respond with when someone inquires about your business. Literally, you can tell someone about your company in the time it takes to ride the elevator together.

Incidentally, the development stage is when you start writing things down. You are creating the blueprint and handbook that will hold all of this helpful information. You will and should reference it...a lot.

Step 3 - Visual Identity

Often a good logo idea will come during this stage. You have established how you are different from your competitors’ companies and offerings (and their logos!)

Other basic graphic standards you can develop include color palettes, fonts/typography, icons, and photography style.

Step 4 - Communicating your Brand

If you are doing any marketing or promotions, or even trying to get some helpful funding, your messaging is key. You establish a brand tone, create a tagline if necessary, and develop your messaging pillars. Because you know your business so well after undertaking the first 3 brand creation steps, you can develop messaging that creates a connection with your customer.

So that's a quick and dirty look at why you should not forget to include Brand Development when forming your company. The resulting brand blueprint will act as a guide for nearly everything you do. It will be your best friend. And don't forget, in addition to helping you serve your customers/clients with focus and purpose, a well-developed brand can help you: get funding, create pitches, form partnerships, do media interviews with ease.

Case studies are authored by industry members at the request of The Maine Aquaculturist. Authors are selected based on experience and expertise in a key business aspect of aquaculture. See our About page for more information.