Brook Preloader

10 Steps to Proper Branding Design

10 Steps to Proper Branding Design

A brand is composed of elements such as name, logo, color, product, packaging, etc. Only when these symbols enter the consumer’s mind, generating meaning and associations, can they truly transform into a brand. Therefore, the only place where a brand truly exists is in the human brain.

How do you open the doors to success? Here are 10 steps to build a brand:

Step One: Products and Services

The first step in building a brand is the most fundamental element, which is the products and services. At this stage, you need to ask yourself, why establish this brand? What products do you envision? What kind of services do you plan to provide?

For example, when we mention Apple, the first things that come to mind are iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac. Products are the key to the success of a brand. If a company only focuses on its image and neglects product quality and development, it will ultimately face failure. Just like a beautifully decorated Instagram-worthy café, if the food is bad, despite the attractive decor, customers won’t return after taking photos and checking in.

Step Two: Unique Selling Proposition and Target Audience

If you are a company looking to establish a new brand, you are likely to face intense homogeneous competition. For instance, if you plan to open a coffee shop, you might find international chains like Starbucks or a local franchise just around the corner. Faced with prominent domestic and international brands, how does what you offer differ from others? What is your secret weapon? What is the irreplaceable value you provide? Then, you need to consider which segment of the population you want to attract to your store.

Positioning your brand properly can establish a unique place in the minds of consumers. Such a brand can create a “point of difference” compared to competitors and gain an advantage. Once you have identified the specific needs of the target audience, you can find your own business opportunities.

Step Three: Brand Naming

The brand name is one of the most crucial elements of brand identification because it needs to define a distinctive product or service, convey clear messages to a specific audience, impart concrete values, and look and sound appealing. Therefore, naming is often one of the most challenging steps in establishing a brand.

Here are several types of brand names:

1. Descriptive names directly describe the offered product or service, for example,

2. Suggestive names indirectly reference the features and advantages of the product. For example, Amazon wanted a name that starts with ‘A’ to stand out swiftly in company listings and convey an exotic and distinctive feel.

3. Foreign language names help create a different tone and feel. An example is Montblanc, a German company with a French name.

4. Empty vessel names have no semantic connection to the brand itself. Kodak is an example.

5. Acronym & Initialism are both formed by the initial letters of a series of words, but while an acronym is pronounced as one word, an initialism has each letter pronounced individually. NASA is a good example of acronyms.

Step Four: Brand Strategy

Brand strategy serves the purpose of addressing business challenges. It involves determining the actions a brand should take to establish its position in the minds of consumers. There are three fundamental models of brand strategy:

1. The analytical model: You analyze your products or services before your strategy-making process by defining the target audience, their needs, and then build your brand accordingly through logical thinking. For instance, Dove targets women aged 25 to 55, aiming to create natural and useful products. Their goal is to make every woman feel valued, regardless of differences in skin color, culture, age, or body shape.

2. The blueprint model: You should have a clear vision, value, or mission, such as sustainability, and build your brand around it. Google, for instance, falls into this category by aiming to make information accessible to everyone.

3. The framework model: This can be considered an extension of the previous two models. For instance, UNIQLO’s brand proposition, LifeWear, is supported by attributes such as technology, mainstream culture, and affordability of basic items. Subsequently, numerous product lines are built around this core proposition.

Ultimately, the making of brand strategy should involve corporate-level decision makers such as CEO and General Manager to avoid diluting the sharpness of strategy through layers of review.

Step Five: Brand Proposition

Brand proposition refers to the brand’s philosophy and values communicated to consumers, aiming to influence the emotional connection between consumers and the brand. A brand proposition is also known as a slogan or tagline, being one of the most memorable elements in a brand, aside from visuals or logos.

Brand proposition can be presented in the following ways:

1. Slogan-like: The simpler and clearer the brand proposition, the easier it is for consumers to remember, e.g., McDonald’s “I’m lovin’ it”.

2. Authenticity: The brand proposition must embody the true values of the product. For example, LEGO’s “Only the best is good enough”.

3. Personalization: It needs to be personalized and differentiated to make the brand stand out, as seen in Airbnb’s “Belong Anywhere”.

4. Diverse Forms: It can encompass functionality, quality, emotion, or philosophy. For instance, Disney’s “the power of unparalleled storytelling”.

This single statement of the brand proposition becomes the most representative and impactful expression for the brand.

Step Six: Brand Association

A brand is a complex combination of concepts, impressions, memories, associations, and feelings, and brand management is essentially association management. The goal of brand associations is to shape a “framework” that reinforces the brand’s impression in consumers’ minds. For example, when people think of Starbucks, they immediately associate it with warm, woody tones, a comfortable and cozy atmosphere, the aroma of coffee, and baristas drawing smiley faces on your cups.

Brand association involves two main components: brand association words and brand mood boards.

When you do word association, start with a wide range of words related to your brand and narrow them down to three to five clusters. Select one word from each cluster to form the core framework that best represents your brand.

A brand mood board visually showcases the style and tone through a collage of images. The key in selecting images is to avoid using specific, product-related items. It is advisable to choose pictures that inspire abstract feelings and capture the essence of the brand, creating a space for viewers’ imagination and style associations.

Step Seven: Brand Visuals

The brand visual identity comprises the logo, color palette, typography, and other visual elements. The goal is to ensure alignment with the brand’s objectives and desired image. We can use the previously mentioned brand association words and a brand mood board to assist in designing the brand visual identity.

The complexity of a logo is often influenced by the industry and brand positioning. Supercars tend to have logos with rich design details, symbolizing heritage and exquisite craftsmanship, while the technology industry leans more towards minimalism. Modern businesses increasingly favor a clean and simple style for their brand logos because logos with fewer elements are easier to remember and recognize. Additionally, they are convenient for application across various platforms, whether digital or physical.

Step Eight: Establishing Guidelines

Brand guidelines are a “brand operations manual” developed based on corporate culture and business principles, and their relevant content needs to be gradually established as the company expands. This manual is a crucial tool to assist in maintaining a consistent and professional image for the brand. The goal is to enable every member of the brand team to easily create a unified brand experience, thereby saving time, money, and reducing frustration.

Brand guidelines also define the look of the products. When the visual representation of a product is clear and consistent, users can quickly recognize the brand even without the logo on the product.

Step Nine: Brand Values Internalization

Brand internalization helps strengthen the cohesiveness of the internal team and enhances employees’ connection to the company. When employees truly understand and identify with the brand, they can effectively communicate its message and gain trust from customers. By conducting brand workshops, building team consensus, and following brand guidelines, we ensure that employees know how to correctly apply the brand identity. This creates a shared brand culture, fostering unity among team members and collectively conveying the brand’s core values.

Step Ten: Brand Asset Maintenance

A brand is an intangible asset that can change due to market or consumer brand experiences.

When a brand reaches a certain scale, an annual brand check-up should be conducted to assess the overall health of the brand. This tracking survey generally includes evaluations of brand awareness, likability, and attributes. This periodic evaluation is crucial for brand management, serving as a comprehensive examination of a brand already rooted in the market, ensuring the brand remains in a continuously growing and healthy state.


Successfully strengthening a brand image requires empathy and a deep understanding of the motivations behind customers’ purchases. Customers often seek more than just the functional features of a product, but also brand values, after-sales service, and other diverse elements. Demonstrating empathy and authority ensures that the brand becomes a market leader. This ultimately transforms customers into loyal brand enthusiasts.

Reference Book List

1. “Strong Brand Growth Studies” by Wang Chih-Shang
2. “The Big Question of Brands” by Huang Wen-Bo
3. “Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen” by Donald Miller
4. “Creating a Brand Identity:A Guide for Designers” by Catharine Slade-Brooking