Introduction to Brand Strategy Template:

Brand Strategy Template

This superpowered Brand Strategy Template is a branding guide, a strategy, and an audit, all rolled up into one simple checklist.

Regardless as to whether you are looking to design a brand from scratch; strategically find your brand's voice and personality; bring in a designer to define the aesthetics of your brand; or perform a brand audit on your products to ensure they align with your branding... We got you. 

Here are some fun facts that highlight the importance of good branding when creating a successful business:

This brand strategy template will guide you in creating an authentic and aesthetically pleasing brand that your customers trust.

Your brand is the philosophy of your business. It represents what you stand for,  it is the voice and personality of your business.   

Whether you are a small business owner, entrepreneur, or are part of a larger branding team, use this checklist to:

  • Establish and assess your brand strategy
  • Establish and assess your brand aesthetics
  • Iterate and finalize branding
  • To run a brand audit
  • To create a report of your brand

A brand audit is essential in ensuring that you are communicating your brand effectively and consistently. Be sure to perform a brand audit before releasing any new products, and any new content.


Before you get stuck in, here is a little bit about us:

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Let's get started.

For inspiration on designing your brand check out the videos below: 

A Beginner's Guide to Branding Your Business ~ GoDaddy Guides
How to Choose a Great Business Name - Neil Patel

Record checklist details

Use this space to record your details. 

This section is important if multiple people are incorporated in your brand building process, such as designers or freelancers. It keeps a reference of who edited what and when they did so. 

Determine what you are you using this template for

Use the dropdown below to determine what you are using this checklist for.

This step is built with conditional logic so it is important that you fill it out correctly.

Conditional Logic is a powerful feature that allows you to create truly dynamic checklists with if-this-then-that logic. This dropdown will determine which tasks you complete throughout the checklist.

Brand Strategy Research:

Establish the fundamentals

Open your business plan document, if you don't have one you can create one here

Draw all the information for the following section from your business plan.

Use the sub-checklist below as a rough agenda to direct your search within your business plan document. 

Record the results in the form fields provided below.

Upload any supporting documentation, such as the sections of your business plan concerning any values and future plans. 

  • 1
    Determine the value proposition
  • 2
    Outline the values
  • 3
    Determine future plans
  • 4
    Make sure there is clear agreement on deliverables and expectations
  • 5
    Prepare to upload and existing brand designs

Research your competition

To better understand the role your brand will play within its industry, you need to have a strong understanding of the industry it falls within.

Refer back to your business plan, it will also be useful for this section.

Use the sub-checklist below to help guide your research. 

To research an industry further read this article from Chron.  It contains advice on best practices for conducting industry research- what to look for, and how to look for it. 

  • 1
    Understand the competition and the different branding approaches employed
  • 2
    Assess which approaches have been most successful
  • 3
    Determine how your value proposition differentiates from the competition

You can also watch this video from Purdue School of Management to help frame your research: 

Introduction to Industry Analysis - PurdueLibraries

Find your niche

Analyze competitor data to find your niche.

Consider the previous task and think about what the competing brands are focusing on. 

Convenience or cost.

Can you identify their values through their branding?

By dissecting your competitor's brand you can grasp how their values transformed into a brand consisting of color schemes, a logo, a voice, typography, and so on. 

This is a great exercise as it helps in transforming your ideas and values into an actual brand. 

As a business, you can be known for many products or services, but as a brand, you want to be known for ONE thing, one idea.

Investigate the key demographic

Understanding who falls within your key demographic helps in constructing a brand that can effectively target the right audience. 

Open your Business Plan Document and go to the market research section. Upload the research below. 

Alternatively, use the sub-checklist below and consider each step when researching your brand's key demographic:

Use the form field below to briefly summarize your key demographic.

  • 1
    Determine who the key demographic are
  • 2
    Research how the key demographic interact with existing products or services in the field
  • 3
    Gather a small representative sample who you can use as a testing group

Consider some of the points made in this video concerning how to research your target demographics:

How to Research Your Target Demographic - Firefly Store Solutions

This video from Shopify introduces the alternative method of targeting psychographics. Check it out.

How to Determine your Target Market - Shopify

Brand Aesthetics:

Determine what you want your brand to look like.

Are you running this process as a brand audit before releasing new content or launching a new product? If so, select the appropriate option from the dropdown below. 

We recommend bringing in a designer to create your logo and assist in the overall design of your brand.  Whether you bring in a designer or not the following section allows you to get your ideas down.

Here are some useful links for finding designers:

There are heaps of options, a logo can cost anything from $0 - $2500. 

Collect options for typography

How you choose your typography is more of an art than a science. 

Gather a series of options that can help direct your branding concepts. Choose 5 approaches to give yourself some options for review. 

Check out this article from Creative Bloq for 15 tips for choosing the right font.

Or, watch this video below from the California Institute of Arts.

Introduction to Typography: Choosing a Typeface - Extended Studies at CalArts

If you are submitting content or product typography as part of the brand audit process then note down typography details below or upload/link the appropriate file.

Choose potential color palettes

Choosing the right colors determines what initial emotions a customer calls to mind when first interacting with your brand. 

Bright, bold colors can give a playful edge, pastel shades can create a nostalgic feel, and monochrome can be used to convey a feeling of classyness. 

Check out Big Brand Systems to look at different palettes and the emotions they invoke in more detail. 

Or watch the video below for inspiration. 

The Power of Color; How to Choose a Color for your Brand - Skyberry Studio

If you are submitting content or product details as part of the brand audit process then note down color palette details below or upload/link the appropriate file.

Determine the brand's voice

Your brand's voice reflects your brand personality, helps you connect with your audience, and helps you stand out from the crowd.

Use the following sub-checklist to guide you in your journey to finding your brand's voice.

Create a document with all of your research and link/upload it to this checklist. 

Finally, summarize your brand's voice in the form field below. 

  • 1
    Who are you?
  • 2
    Who you would like to be?
  • 3
    Who are you not?
  • 4
    Why did you start your business?
  • 5
    What makes your brand unique?
  • 6
    What do you stand for as a brand?
  • 7
    What values do you want to share with your audience?
  • 8
    How would you describe your brand in three adjectives?
  • 9
    If your brand was a human, what type of person would it be?

For more information and some examples of good brand voices, check out this YouTube video by Erin on Demand.

Erin on Demand - How to Find Your Brand Voice

Sketch out initial logo ideas

Sketch out some initial ideas for the logo. These can be done with paper and pencil or on your preferred electronic device.

There are no wrong answers in this process, be creative, and use all avenues for inspiration. Remember to keep your values and key demographic in mind. 

You can use our Logo Design Process checklist to help you.

Alternatively, check out this thumbnail process shown in the video to give you inspiration.

Upload your initial ideas and concepts using the form field below. 

If you have used paper then take photos of the sketches and upload them here for safekeeping. 

Sketching Logos in Thumbnails: Logo Design Course - Good Creative Academy

If you are submitting a logo revision as part of the brand audit process then note down the details below or upload/link the appropriate file.

View brand aesthetic ideas

Use this section to review the branding ideas.


Typography

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Color palettes

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Brand voice

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Logo ideas

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Whether you are running this as an audit or designing a brand from scratch use this section to summarize and compare your ideas.

The sub-checklist below will help guide you in choosing the appropriate branding. 

  • 1
    Establish common themes between the designs
  • 2
    Ensure the typography, color palette, and logo match
  • 3
    Understand what audiences these examples are targeting
  • 4
    Assess the weaknesses of these materials
  • 5
    Record these notes and upload below

Approval: review brand aesthetic ideas

Will be submitted for approval:
  • View brand aesthetic ideas
    Will be submitted

Iterate and Finalize Branding:

Create 5 alternative branding styles

Bear in mind all the aspects of the materials you reviewed in the last task.

Create a series of 5 options for the brand. 

Utilize the sub-checklist below to help guide your selection of the 5 options.

Use the file upload to save a copy of the selections to the checklist. 

If you need the brand selections to be reviewed then use the email widget or assign the task to a member of your Process Street organization.  

  • 1
    Make sure some of the styles are in line with the industry's norms
  • 2
    Include more radical options to broaden the scope
  • 3
    Assess strengths and weaknesses of the different drafts
  • 4
    Send initial approaches via email along with your notes
  • 5
    Send the approaches to your testing group for extra feedback
  • 6
    Arrange a meeting to review concepts

Upload initial concepts

Review the 5 branding styles and assess any feedback you may have recieved.

Consider what themes are present in the feedback and what connections you can draw between concepts they opted for and your preferences. 

Use the file upload below to store the feedback and review materials for reference.

Approval: review initial concepts

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Upload initial concepts
    Will be submitted

Distinguish 3 preferred branding styles

It is now time to refine your concepts and determine the direction of the branding strategy. 

From your analysis and based upon the feedback provided on previous materials, choose 3 branding ideas to create in more detail. These will likely have less variety than the last 5 deliverables and may simply be three iterations of the same theme. 

The purpose of this step is to choose the final concept. Use your creative skills to refine the brand designs and to demonstrate what the final product may look like. One of these designs will be chosen as the final brand.

Utilize the sub-checklist below to guide you. Use the email widget to send the final designs out for review if necessary. 

  • 1
    Create polished looking logos
  • 2
    Provide an example promotional design for each concept
  • 3
    Include the materials together in a PDF for presentation
  • 4
    Send the 3 options to the client and ask which they would like to move forward with

Design the final materials

Once the final choice has been made it is time to refine the concept for the brand.

How will the brand be applied to every detail of your business? 

Utilize the sub-checklist below to ensure you cover all areas.

  • 1
    Logo in multiple formats and styles
  • 2
    Tagline and extra promotional copy
  • 3
    Headers for social media sites/ website
  • 4
    Imageboard for social media (Instagram/social media)
  • 5
    Letterheads and envelope designs
  • 6
    Business card designs
  • 7
    Mailing label
  • 8
    The color palette with the relevant RGB and CMYK codes
  • 9
    Any agreed promotional materials
  • 10
    A report explaining the branding style and approach with justifications and research

Upload the completed project

Once the final brand is complete and you have prepared all of the final materials, you can upload them, link them, and/or use the email widget below to store and send the finished project.

Brand Audit:

A brand audit takes a look into your business’s current market position and effectiveness. It is an evaluation of your efforts in the eyes of your audience for the purposes of pointing out shortcomings, inconsistencies, and gaps in your market strategy.

Check the right logos

Audit your brands' logo against the new product by following the sub-checklist below and enter key takeaways in the form field.

  • 1
    Correct logo
  • 2
    The right size
  • 3
    High resolution
  • 4
    Correct dimensions

Assess the brand voice

Audit your brands' voice against the new product by following the sub-checklist below and enter key takeaways in the form field.

Use the form field below to make a list of your top-performing posts/ content.

  • 1
    Fits the brand values you want to communicate?
  • 2
    Reflects your values described in your mission statement for your audience?
  • 3
    Corresponds to your message architecture?

Review the use of images

Audit your brand's existing images and graphics against the new product.

Use the form field below to note whether your recent image posts and graphic content match your branding.

Consider the audience targeting

Consider your brand's progress at reaching your target audience or key demographic. 

Use the sub-checklist as a guide to your research and then summarize your findings in the form field below.

  • 1
    Consider shortcomings in your brand's voice, images, logos, and so on.
  • 2
    Highlighlight inconsistencies in your brand's voice, images, logos, and so on.
  • 3
    Determine gaps in your market strategy.

Brand Strategy Audit Summary:

View brand audit data

This is the end of your Brand Strategy Audit, below you will find a summary of your findings. 

If you have any research support these findings we suggest uploading them to this checklist in the form fields below.

Brand Audit

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{{form.Brand_voice:_areas_for_improvement}}

{{form.Images_and_colors:_do_they_match_branding?}}

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{{form.Audience_targeting:_summarize_findings}}

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Approval: Assign your brand audit for approval

Will be submitted for approval:
  • View brand audit data
    Will be submitted

Sources:

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