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Small Business Digest


Beyond the Logo: How to Create A Strong Brand

Memorable branding appeals to the emotions and relates to the audience’s experiences and senses.

Many small businesses think a strong logo is enough to create a brand experience.

“However, Branding is so much more than just a logo,” says Tim McGrady of Gameplan Creative, the Chicago-based, sports and entertainment branding and marketing agency. 

With over 40 years of experience, McGrady offers tips on how to create an effective brand.

Step 1: Do a Brand Diagnostic:

What are the strengths and weaknesses of your brand? How is your brand perceived in the market place?  By mapping out questions, you being to create a “Competitive Analysis,” which will allow you to identify the key brand touch points and essence of your brand.

Step 2: Produce a Competitive Analysis:

The second step is understanding your brand through a diagnostic analysis. Ask these questions:

  • What are the short and long-term goals?
  • What are they trying to accomplish?
  • Is there freedom within the framework? 
  • Establish creative opportunities within the competitive analysis

  Step 3: Establish A Creative Brief:

The creative brief is a very important aspect and step of creating a strong brand. It is the roadmap of development.  The creative brief will be something you always come back to throughout the process, and is a reminder that you have developed specific criteria for a reason.

Step 4: Identify Brand Touch Point & Essence:

Every brand needs a provocative way to catch attention, as well as mirror the values of the company. Identify the following with your brand:

  • Does the brand have visual cues and clarity? A brand struggles when you have to let the public know about it.
  • What will the brand identify?


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