Creating a clear and concise brand message —

To communicate clearly and confidently, you need to know who you are and what you believe in. In his TED talk ‘How great leaders inspire action’, Simon Sinek encourages his viewers to ‘start with why’. We believe this is hugely important in all areas of life, but particularly in business.

As designers working in branding, we’re lucky to be a part of the beginning stages of many businesses. It’s our responsibility to challenge clients to clarify their ‘why’ in the pre-design phase of the branding process. Defining values is a big part of developing brand character, dedicating time to this early on will ensure you communicate in a meaningful way. This needs to happen before logos are thought about, colour schemes considered or typography selected.

By and by, audiences are becoming more discerning and selective with brands they choose to invest in. If you expect a customer or client to partner with you or take interest in your journey, you need to devote time to growing and strengthening your ‘why’ and understanding how their values align with your own.

Going through this process early on will help you make confident design and business decisions swiftly. This knowledge removes personal opinion and gives you a benchmark for everything you do. From selecting a paper stock or printing technique to hiring and training staff, you will be able to tick off a checklist before proceeding. Does it represent our values? Does it speak to our audience’s values?

In our branding workshops, we work with our clients to pull apart the business – discussing and debating the why, what, who and how – putting it all back together in a return brief to be signed off on before the design phase begins. This helps us develop a clear and concise brand message and create considered design that audiences connect with. We strive for simplicity with substance and believe this can only be achieved through starting with why.

Watch Simon Sinek’s TED talk here.

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