brand design foundations

Welcome to the Brand Detective Series.

If you have ever felt like something about your branding or graphics just isn't working, this series will help you identify areas you might be overlooking that could transform your visual marketing.

Our first case is -

Brand Foundations.

Looking at our case file today, it says we have a few mysteries here:

  1. Your brand looks pretty, but it has no strategy or meaning behind it.
  2. You can't stick with your brand long term; you are constantly getting carried away by new trends or pretty things you see.
  3. You love so many things and just can't seem to encapsulate it all into one brand identity.
  4. You quickly put something together to get your brand started, but now that your business is growing and you are getting clearer about what you do, it isn't looking professional or helping your business.

The problem here is that you need something strategic that you will stick with long term and encompasses all you want to say about your brand, not just a nice-looking identity.

Looking at the Evidence

So, if you are having this problem, you might be seeing some of this evidence:

  • Constantly changing your brand.
  • Not attracting the right people.
  • Not growing or getting opportunities.
  • People are not getting the right message about your brand.
  • You feel unclear and a mess; your brand lacks clear direction and messaging.

It is time to solve this case.

There needs to be a strategy and foundation behind your visuals. We need to know what it should communicate and how it actually impacts the people you are trying to attract.

Step one - We need a brand story.

This is the story of the customer journey, how you the brand are going to help them achieve something.

Example: We have a brand called "Second Chance Mit Co." They are a nonprofit that turns old sweaters into mittens to donate to homeless shelters. So, their brand story - Bringing warmth and comfort to those in need in a sustainable way. They provide more than just a functional item to keep warm but a warm feeling of love and care by making something by hand from something once loved. It's like getting a handmade gift from a friend full of love and kindness, rather than just a simple functional item being donated. Their story is of making people feel really cared for and loved.

Your brand story could be the transformation you provide people, the way you make them feel, or how you help them achieve something and become the person they want to be.

So consider what does your audience want to feel or want to achieve?

Feeling stuck? What is the benefit of your product or service? Get into the mind of your buyer and why they might want to buy your thing.

Step two - The feelings. How do you want to make people feel?

Tap into the emotions of your buyer. How do they feel before they buy, how do they feel as they click that buy now button or book in with you? And how do they feel about the experience of using the product and receiving the service and then how they feel after when they see the change they wanted to achieve.


Power Up, a plant-based protein start-up hoping to inspire a nation of fitness fanatics to get their daily protein intake without compromising flavour. And to be creative, going beyond just protein sharing but sharing recipes like chocolate brownies or protein pizza.

So how do they make people feel:

  • Before someone finds them, they want to increase their protein intake and feel healthy, but they find shakes boring, they want to get creative, have variety and enjoy the healthy life.
  • When they find the brand, they feel inspired and motivated.
  • Using the product they feel empowered, motivated, healthy, and strong.
  • And after, it makes them feel healthier and like they don't have to live off shakes but can and enjoy a variety of foods which gives them a positive feeling and confidence about their wellness and ability to reach their goals.

So consider the feeling your brand should evoke as well as how someone feels before finding you. What mindset are they in before discovering your brand? Again, let's step into our customers' shoes. And if you are unsure, talk to your audience. Ask them how they felt before finding you and how they felt after.

Step three: Brand Promise

All about Setting the expectation.

What can people expect from your brand? Things like high quality, fast service, ethically sourced, how it will make them feel, what results they will get. What are the benefits of what you offer?


The Bump Ritual- Body care for pregnant & postpartum mums.

Rather than trying to mask the imperfections, we’re giving mums the tools to help them feel more comfortable in their skin. So their brand promise would be making you feel comfortable in your skin, a few minutes to pamper themselves, giving women the pamper that they deserve.

"We commit to making you feel like yourself again."

You want to make sure that everything you do then delivers on that promise, so not just the product, but also the buying process, content, packaging.

Step 4: Unique Selling Proposition

This is all about what makes you different. So you need to do some market research to see what sets your brand apart. It might be your process, the materials, the delivery, the messaging, the packaging, or the product.

Start first by brainstorming ways you think you will do things differently, and then do your research to make sure no one else is doing that, and if so, if there is some way you can differentiate yourself from them.

Step 5: Your Why and mission

Your why is your deeper purpose for the brand. Why did you start this business? What really matters to you? Don't just chase what you think you 'ought to do' or what people say works. But follow what matters to you.

Ask yourself why the thing you do matters? What led you to do what you do?

Then consider how that leads into the mission of the brand, what is your brand trying to achieve, what difference are you trying to make, and how are you helping people?


Blissful Bites- Vegan Ice-cream.

Their why is to make ice cream easily available to vegans. And to promote a vegan lifestyle, showing people that you don’t have to sacrifice yummy treats.

Blissful Bites is dedicated to crafting a delectable range of vegan ice creams using only plant-based ingredients. We believe that cruelty-free choices can be just as indulgent and satisfying.

Step 6: Brand Value

Your brand values are so important; these guide every aspect of your business. What is important to your brand, what do you value and promote?

Consider your audience as well and what matters to them. What do they care about?

These could be things like friendly, sustainability, community, quality, speed, joy.


Luminara Essence- Candle brand

  1. Quality Craftsmanship:  Our candles are meticulously crafted using premium, sustainable materials to ensure a high-quality product that adds warmth and beauty to any environment.
  2. Sustainability: Our commitment to the planet is unwavering. We prioritizes eco-friendly practices, using responsibly sourced materials and packaging to minimize our environmental impact and contribute to a healthier planet.
  3. Innovation: Embracing creativity and innovation, we constantly strive to bring you unique and captivating candle designs. From cutting-edge technologies to timeless aesthetics, Luminara Essence is at the forefront of the candle industry.
  4. Holistic Well-being: We understand the importance of self-care and well-being. Luminara Essence candles are designed not just to illuminate spaces but to create moments of tranquility and mindfulness, fostering a sense of holistic well-being.
  5. Community Connection: Luminara Essence is more than just a brand; it's a community. We celebrate shared moments, stories, and connections. Our candles are a symbol of togetherness, bringing people closer and fostering a sense of community.
  6. Transparency: Open and honest communication is at the core of Luminara Essence. We provide transparency in our sourcing, manufacturing, and business practices, ensuring that our customers can trust the journey of their chosen candles.
  7. Customer Delight: Your satisfaction is our priority. Luminara Essence is dedicated to providing an exceptional customer experience, from the moment you choose our candles to the enchanting glow they bring to your life.

Case in summary: Instead of jumping to ‘what should my brand look like?’ start considering what you want your brand to communicate and how you want it make people feel.

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