The Small Design Studio with Big (Green) Plans
We’ve spoken about corporate identity and brand design, so let’s actually get you started on the path to a great corporate identity and a well-recognized brand.
This will be a multi-part series that will guide you step-by-step through the identity creation and design process. By the end of this mini-course, you should be ready to go with a great brand package.
Let’s get started.
A USP is your Unique Selling Point/Proposition. This is the basis for your company, and it has to be UNIQUE.
Your USP can’t be “I want to sell pancakes,” it should be much more specific than that.
Try “I want to sell low-cost pancakes with gourmet flavors to night shift workers that have a constant craving for breakfast food.”
Or “I want to open a pancake shop with “alternative” employees that offer great service while insulting the customers in a playful manner.” (Similar businesses have a similar concept and they’ve succeeded, believe it or not).
First, pick your favorite brainstorming method – FreeMind on a laptop for us. You can use pen and paper, a whiteboard, or just a word processor.
It really doesn’t matter. Just figure out something that you’re comfortable with.
Now think of every word that describes your company. The morals your company portrays, the quirks your company prides itself on, and anything else that pops into your head.
Do this alone, then with a friend or company partners if you can.
Look at your storm of brains and pick out the words that “click” the most with you. The words that seem to hold the pure essence of your company.
Now write them on a separate list and let that list curate in your mind for an hour, a day, a week. However long you need to come up with a unique service offering that will appeal to your clients and customers.
You now have a USP, it might need some work, but it’s a start. Revise it as necessary, but don’t make it boring. Keep in mind that this is for branding and identity use, it doesn’t have to be “front end” – it’s not your slogan, it’s how your company behaves.
Remember that brain storm you did earlier? Keep that file or page around somewhere. It’s great reference for a designer in the future.
If you decided to doodle on your mind map/brain storm too, even better. It’s always fun to adapt client doodles into new designs – just don’t be mad if we can’t manage to use exactly what you drew.
We’ll continue the next stage of your brand identity development next week. You have your USP, now it’s time to figure out some company imagery (via inspiration).
We’d love to get some designer and entrepreneur feedback on these articles, so if you have any tips about developing a USP, leave a comment and follow our Client-Ed RSS feed.
Please share these articles with your clients. It’s our goal to help any designer in the process of educating their clients.
You don’t have to send your clients directly to this site, just give us a link if you use our content to help your own clients. We won’t try to steal them.