Branding is much more than making things look nice. Great branding requires thinking about how things function, what words are used, and how people are driven to take action. I spend a lot of time at Proof thinking about and researching elements that lead to a successful final product for our clients, spearheading the behind-the-scenes research that ultimately has a huge impact on the final, forward-facing product.
We spend a considerable amount of time in the early stages of the project researching what other brands live in the space; finding what works well, what can be improved upon, and sometimes, what simply should be avoided. This is elemental in ensuring each client we work with ends up with cohesive, practical, and compelling brand elements.
A large part of the research process not to be missed is highly psychological. Having a keen understanding of what will drive audiences to take action at each touch point is essential. Whether it’s the user’s experience of a website landing page, copy on ad designs or layouts and calls to action on print and promotional materials, we invest a lot of time making sure that every part of a brand looks amazing and accomplishes the tasks for which they’re intended.
We also spend hours of time in person with each client at our initial Understand Your Brand workshop. This helps us build a collaborative understanding of the brand’s core, values, target audience, and competitive landscape.
Once we’ve wrapped our client workshop, the fun begins. I begin digging deeper into the online and offline worlds, researching all of the things we’ve unpacked with our client and making sure our team is equipped with the knowledge and understanding that will lead to the creation of an excellent, exciting, and effective brand.
It may seem obvious for a company like us to take the time to dive into researching a brand before we turn our attention on building, designing and developing it, but solid research is often one of the most overlooked and under-appreciated steps in the creative process. Knowing who you are and where you are in the context of others in the space is critical to standing out.
We’re always excited to work through this process both internally and collaboratively with each client we work with. Research is a critical component to the success of every project we take on.