Strategically align brand value with customer perception and business goals.
As your business grows, the constant shift of consumer tastes—and technology—make it challenging for marketing to keep up.
How do you maintain marketing, brand, and business goals atop shifting technology and trends?
As specialists in brand strategy, branding and marketing our process saves you time and money.
As a business owner, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Meetings, decisions, and countless “fires” take time.
We can get stuck IN the business, and never make time to work ON the business.
When was the last time you took a good look at your business from an outside view?
Are you actions making money or just keeping you busy?
It’s time to get some distance from the business and re-evaluate what we know with fresh eyes.
Think Tank’s branding process helps clarify your goals and priorities.
You are the expert. We simply help you find alignment to move the needle of marketing and customer relationship efforts.
Brand coaching keeps you focused on big picture business needs, while executing your brand and marketing plans, AND identifying obstacles for continued growth.
In 2017, Think Tank Creative opened to help small corporations with branding and creative projects.
For a few years things were pretty good. Then the pandemic closed the world, and business crashed.
Bucking traditional business advice (and gurus who told us we were crazy) we followed passion and became certified in hypnotherapy and coaching.
Today, not every business owner or CEO needs our full list of services, but the value we offer FAR exceeds every brand and design specialist, therapist, or business coach helping you reach important goals.
Brand Strategy and Branding are just the tip of the iceberg. Our expertise includes unique insight into the fields of complimentary medicine, psychology and mental health, human behavior and neuroscience—to name a few.
We call the synthesis of these fields Behavioral Branding: Branding designed to build an emotional resonance and foster a relationship; not simply a single sale. Behavioral Branding affects more than profits—this process changes the world.
—Jeremy Tank, owner and creative director of Think Tank Creative.
The average consumer perceives more than 10,000 brand influences every day.
Our society is drowning in marketing, making it more difficult than ever to stand out from competition and grow your business.
Creating a unique brand around your history, services, and ideas engages and attracts those who resonate with you.
Our studio provides a repeatable process leading to brand-aligned strategies, stories, and solutions specific to your business that help you stand out to the right audience.
The majority of business communication is broken.
If you’re like most people, communication must feel personal for you to pay attention.
Lack of meaningful connection closes the doors of awareness in the brain.
Without grabbing attention, communicating value, and generating awareness there will be no customer relationship.
The fundamentals of good communication are: learn about who you’re talking with, understand what’s important to them, and connect with them in a meaningful way that they understand.
Avatars combine insights about your customers to establish a bridge of understanding between the business solutions and customer needs.
Values focus on the emotional needs of both the brand and customer, and connect them emotionally.
Brand stories explore the customer’s journey to overcome hardships and find success, thanks to your brand.
If you currently own a business (or lead a company) with clients, customers, or patients—and you want to create BIGGER growth for the business—this is for you.
This is not a good fit for Multi-level Marketers (MLM), Mid-level Managers, or Start-ups.
If you don’t oversee your brand and manage high-level goals and priorities, or if you need to focus your energy IN the business to be successful; this process will work for your personal brand and mindset but require longer to see ROI.
Choose the words and pictures that tell others your story and where you're going.
Align and connect the words and pictures you use so they are meaningful to your customers.
Take your brand's success from hope to growth with purposeful branding and marketing.
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Think Tank stands out in the field of branding because of our expertise in Behavioral Branding, deep experience with multimedia design and execution, and brand coaching with incredible motivation techniques.
Behavioral Branding relies on expert insights to draft strategies and support business goals, while building your community.
Think Tank’s commanding experience in design includes specialty experience in print, web, television, and tradeshows. Which means our work creates consistent impact for your brand everywhere you show up, online and off.
Sometimes, we all feel stuck and unable to move into the future we plan. Think Tank’s experience in subconscious motivation techniques unlock resistance to change, and create opportunities for easy forward flow.
Branding is the process of creating a unique and valuable idea known as a brand.
A brand is not a logo, but a brand can be represented by an identifiable symbol.
A brand is not a reputation, but can rely on word-of-mouth support for relevance and growth.
A brand is not static. A brand represents customers’ feelings toward an idea, tied to the values of that identity, and shifts with audience perception and time.
A brand communicates the story of this idea and what makes it unique and worthwhile. An effective brand elicits recognition and understanding in those who see it—two key components of a business’s overall success.
Recognition is when someone sees a brand and immediately knows what the business is or does. Recognition turns brands into household names. Recognition allows the company’s product or service to self-circulate and therefore increase sales.
Understanding is how the person who sees the brand makes a deeper, emotional sense of the company or product.
Branding is, therefore, a crucial process, and can be the key that unlocks business success.
To make sure results meet the initial requirements set forth by clients, all serious branding agencies have a process. There are many ways to handle the process, and every company approaches this process as it fits their team, skill set, specialty, and other factors.
The branding process consists of two major parts: Discovery and Creative. Let’s take a detailed look at both of them:
Get to know the client
Before working with clients, many agencies are hired to conduct brand audits. They investigate the client’s businesses, products, social media accounts, projects, and other avenues that are easily accessible. Based on the information collected through this research, agencies write down observations, questions, and probable challenges they identify during this stage. This reveals ideas of what a client might be looking for and need.
Some agencies send forms and worksheets to clients to gather background information. Insights gleaned from these answers drive strategy and future research. Other agencies hold workshops, sometimes known as sprints, to gather the same information in fun and interactive meetings. These workshops are highly effective because they gather all relevant stakeholders in a single location to reveal insights rather than relying on passing questionnaires around the office.
When the goals are set and your company’s path seems clear, branding experts will get going on research. This step is essential for all kinds of design tasks, whether a logo or a website. Research helps one immerse in the environment of the future brand and understand the peculiarities that will play a role in its potential success or failure.
A brand strategy is crucial to show which path will enable the growth of a brand. Brand strategy requires a mix of rational thinking and creative imagination. The reason is that creating a strategy must work for the company internally and for its clients externally. A brand strategy should clarify:
After examining the strategy, the branding team uses research, experience, creativity, and intuition to implement the strategy into representing the brand visually. Designing a brand identity always involves time and patience, and usually starts with creating several ideas that are eventually condensed down into one core concept over time.
The agency will provide you with the final options for your identity design, and you will choose one of them. This may require some back-and-forth because you may not be able to choose one final design, and might even have heated discussions with your team before making a final decision. The final design will be used for your brand’s image and all the collateral branding.
This stage involves taking the identity created in the previous step and applying it to many mediums that serve as points of contact between a business and its clients. These touchpoints may include:
Your agency will prepare all the brand identity deliverables necessary (the ones you’ve agreed on during client onboarding), and any guideline manuals, and send them to you (or your marketing agency) for use in marketing materials, campaigns, and everything else.
This can be done via email, shareable Google Drive links, physical mediums (flash drive or even disks), or another way you might prefer.
Brand identity asset management requires a long-term commitment from company owners to building and maintaining the brand. For a brand to succeed, it must be monitored and given consistent attention over a long time. This type of maintenance is crucial for the success of a brand, and brand coaching helps maintain long-term focus.
The Bottom Line
The process described above is in no way a strict paradigm. However, it certainly helps you understand the crucial key points of working with a branding design company, creative agency, or digital marketing agency. You must know what you need and be disciplined about it to keep the entire procedure going and not halt it with inadequate information or slow responses. Although a reliable and professional branding agency will always guide you through the process, it’s in your best interest to maintain professionalism yourself.
It’s essential to understand what exactly is included in deliverables provided by a brand agency. Below is a list of the things you could expect to be included in a branding package:
Creative agencies typically have workshop sessions to develop suitable and exciting names for clients’ businesses. You might be involved, or simply provided a list of names to review. At this stage, consider the list of proposed names and choose the best ones, or if none of the suggestions complement your vision, ask the agency to conduct another workshop.
After you choose a name, the agency team will do research and present several identity concepts. Your input at this stage is critical. Verify how many revisions are included in your package, and how much each new change (above this allotted amount) will cost.
Once the concept is approved, the agency will provide you with the final logo artwork (either in color or black and white, depending on your agreement) and various file formats that you will use, including .jpg and .png files.
After the basics are dealt with, you may get additional branding elements, such as:
Brand design can cost anywhere from $2,500 up to $50,000, depending on what you need. And that’s not even the highest price. Some of the largest top agencies charge over $30,000 for brand strategy development alone!
This means that when messaging, research, visual design, and other aspects of branding come into play, you may very well end up paying over $100,000.
But, if your budget is tight and you can’t afford to spend this much money, you can always hire a smaller agency that provides thorough and sophisticated branding services at a much lower cost.
First of all, you must define precisely what you need.
Let’s say you need comprehensive and all-encompassing branding services. This process begins with strategy development, brand positioning, and consumer insights and then moves on to brand identity.
A project like this can take up to a year to complete if it’s a new product or service. If reworking an existing brand, the process might take anywhere from 3 to 9 months.
Unlike an illustrator or graphic designer, a branding expert is a person who understands the ins and outs of the entire branding process.
Branding is a delicate, time-consuming, and expensive undertaking. If a brand comes out poorly, inordinate amounts of time and money will be wasted.
A branding expert is a person who ensures that every step taken to create a brand is both professionally planned and executed.
Founders of a new company might have a clear vision of their brand, but more often than not, they lack the experience needed to make their vision a reality—for example, brand strategy, development, and positioning are the foundation of the branding process. Within each, there are many more particular and detailed steps that must be taken.
Branding experts are familiar with so many different types of brands and why they succeed or fail, they can effectively actualize the conceptual visions of others within the real-world conditions of how brands function.
Branding is not merely about creating an image or designing a logo (though that is important!)—it’s about situating a brand in an effective, resonating way within a particular market and for a specific audience.
Last but not least, a branding expert is a master of communication. Throughout the branding process, the branding expert communicates ideas and visions with the client and can also clearly and directly explain what works and what doesn’t. This communication is essential for creating brands that maintain fidelity to the original vision of a client.
Branding agencies tend to look at brands as the big picture. This includes a company’s philosophy, vision, mission, values, reputation, and image. Customers consider their perception of a business as they experience service, and decide if the business adds anything meaningful to their lives. The goal of a good brand is to build a connection between the two.
Simply put: branding is the ‘why,’ advertising is the ‘what,’ and marketing is the ‘how’ of your business. Advertising is about developing a concept that draws attention to your business. Marketing converts your goals into sales. These two disciplines are rooms in your house that you can add later. Branding builds a foundation that supports the entire structure, so you can focus on building your business one room at a time.
Hiring a branding company is an essential investment. But, you shouldn’t expect immediate returns on that investment. Regardless, it’s still a step worth taking even in the early stages of your business. Some of the reasons why hiring a branding agency might be your best option include:
People generally understand that even in a large company, their branding project will usually be handled by only two or three people—the agency’s project manager and the designer. Although it may feel soothing to know that a creative agency has many employees, you will most likely be working with no more than two people. And yet, you’ll still pay a project fee that supports the entire staff.
At the same time, smaller agencies are in a unique position. The two people that take care of projects in these firms are often the company founders. Therefore, while you won’t get access to a large staff, you will work with a small creative team that provides the same purposeful design and strategic thinking that people usually expect to get from larger companies.
Many branding agencies offer a wide range of services. Usually, they’ll have core capabilities alongside new and developing ones.
To get a taste of where a brand company’s strengths lie, consider looking at its employees. Check out the agency’s About Us page on their site or take a look at their professional profiles on LinkedIn and see what kind of skills they have and how many employees are working within each specialty.
For instance, how many senior-level brand designers and strategists are there? Why is there only one copywriter or visual identity designer? This could mean that the agency’s strength is building and developing things rather than providing creative services.
The landscape is different today from what it was even five years ago. More companies turn to the web to engage specialists and extend departments.
With online connectivity, some agencies exist only as digital experts and never meet face-to-face. In other words, a particular location for a branding agency is not as important as it once was. Now, entire projects can be done through the web.
Nevertheless, many top agencies are located in major tech hubs and large cities in North America, such as Austin, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle.
© 2021 Think Tank Creative, LLC. All rights reserved.