A Sneak Peek Inside My Client Process
Are you a total newbie to the branding process and wondering what it entails? Does the idea of an entire brand development project make you a little woozy?
No worries—we've got your back.
We know that as an entrepreneur, you have a thousand other plates to spin when launching a brand, which is why we offer condensed sprint-style project timelines and clear milestones.
Want to leisurely email back and forth once a week for the better part of a year? We're probably not for you. Looking to get in, create an incredibly stunning and strategic brand, and then move on to other things? We'll get along fabulously.
Check out our process below, broken down into steps:
First, you'll make an inquiry via our contact form here. This is pretty straightforward—but, do note that the more detail you include here, the more prepared we will be for our discovery call!
After filling out the contact form, you'll receive an email from our team with a link to book a free 30-minute discovery call. This is where we'll learn all about your business, what you want to get out of this project, and your goals for the future.
A few questions we'll ask on the call:
- What are some of your goals both short-term and long-term for your brand?
- What compelled you to start this business?
- What does success look like to you?
We'll also chat about different budget options, project timelines, and deliverables to determine a solution that fits your needs.
After our discovery call, we'll have a good understanding of all the details that are needed in order to send you a detailed proposal. This will outline specifics about your project such as the deliverables included, timeline, payment plans, and how your project will be run.
With most of the proposals that we send, we include a couple of different package options outlining different ways to tackle your brand development at varying budgets and timelines. Note that these aren't set-in-stone—we are happy to fine-tune them as much as needed so that they fit exactly what you're looking for.
Alright—so, you've read through your proposal, selected packages that work for you, and you're ready to rumble. In order to book, you'll pay a 40% deposit to hold your spot in the timeline and review and sign a contract.
Within about 2 business days after you book, you'll receive all of your welcome information via a centralized project dashboard that outlines everything you need to know—project milestones, a recap of your deliverables, how to submit your content, and quick links to important documents.
You'll take some time to read through everything, and then there are two major tasks to complete: booking your brand strategy session + filling out a pre-session questionnaire.
The brand strategy session is where the magic happens.
Before our session together, you'll fill out a quick questionnaire that will help us get on the same page before diving in together. It'll get the gears turning in your head when it comes to your brand and set the scene for what we'll be discovering on our call.
On the day of the strategy session, we'll hop on a Zoom call for 1-2 hours and dive deep into aspects of your strategy such as your target audience, how to reach them, how to stand out from your competition, and what is the secret sauce behind your brand. We'll be taking organized notes the whole time and you'll have access to these in your final brand files for future reference.
Now that we've chatted through all aspects of your brand, it's our turn to put our heads down for a week and get to researching + planning. At the end of this phase, we'll deliver to you an amazingly in-depth brand strategy guidebook that will be the North Star for the rest of your business' life.
Whenever it's time to create a marketing campaign, hire a new employee, or develop a new product, you'll have this document to refer to in order to help decide the way forward and make sure you're making aligned decisions.
During this phase, we also propose 2-3 strategy-informed visual solutions for the look and feel of your brand. We go beyond just basic moodboards for each of these, including typography inspiration, potential fonts that could be used, and a live website homepage mockup so that you can get a feel for how the brand actually might come to life.
Here comes the fun part! Now that you've chosen a visual direction and we've completed all the discovery, research, and planning behind your brand strategy, we can now move onto creating the visual identity of your brand.
We believe in presenting brand concepts that are fully fleshed out. So, during the first step of this process you'll receive a presentation outlining not only all the logo variations, colors, and fonts included in your brand identity, but a handful of digital mockups that will help you actually envision how your brand will appear in real life.
After you receive this presentation, you'll have two rounds of refinements to explore anything you think is necessary in order to convey your brand's message more effectively.
Because of our in-depth strategy process that we complete beforehand, we find that the vast majority of our clients have barely any changes they'd like to see to the initial brand concept presentation.
If you've selected a package that includes collateral (think business cards, social media templates, stickers etc.), we get to work on this in the week after your brand identity is finalized.
At the end of this process, you'll receive all of your final brand files in a nicely packaged folder structure. We provide a clear set of brand guidelines (with examples of what and what NOT to do) so that it's easy for you to stay consistent with your brand in the future. Additionally, we provide a guide for understanding your file formats, color codes, and tips for making the most out of your new brand.
Woohoo! Now that we're done with the brand development portion of the process, we are now able to move onto packaging (if it is included in your project).
The secret sauce for making a packaging project run smoothly is:
- Being super organized with all of the bits and pieces that you need to supply (packaging copy, die lines, printing info, ingredients, barcodes, badges, net weight, disclaimers, nutrition facts—you name it!).
- Not beginning the packaging project/design until the above content is 90% there
When we dive into this part of the project well-prepared with everything that needs to go on the packaging, we can focus more on the design and concept itself rather than updating and tweaking the necessary content.
Packaging can be overwhelming if you've never done it before, which is why we provide a comprehensive checklist of everything that's needed on your end so that the process is a bit less daunting and more clear + easy for you.
Like the brand identity, for packaging we provide an initial concept presentation fully fleshed out with mockups, and there are two opportunities for refinements to the design + content. Your final files are delivered so that they're print-ready according to your specifications and can be directly handed off to your printer.
Production + Photography
Something that a lot of people don't realize when starting a branding, packaging, + website project is that there needs to be roughly a 2-3 month gap in the middle of the timeline to 1. get your products printed + produced and 2. get your products professionally photographed.
Your website design truly comes at the END of everything else—it's the last thing you focus on that leads right up to the brand's launch. It's important to have your photography (or at least a good chunk of it) finalized before diving into the site design because much like copy, your photos make a HUGE impact on the design of the site.
For this reason, we highly recommend a couple-month long "break" between the packaging + web design phases of your project so that you can focus on getting your products produced + photographed.
See below for an example of a project timeline laid out visually:
We're in the home stretch! Now it's time to take allll that we've done so far and craft your brand's own corner of the internet.
At the beginning of this phase of the project, your site's information, details, and copy are due from you. This will be clearly outlined in an easy-to-follow checklist that will help you stay organized and on track.
If you want to outsource your site's copy (which is often the most daunting part of gathering what's needed for your site!), we offer this as an add-on to your project scope.
When it comes to the site design itself, the structure of the project depends on which type of package you opted for:
With a template-based site, we will work together to determine your site's needs and find a theme that works best for the functionalities and layout that you're looking for.
From there, we will use your brand's colors, custom fonts, and custom CSS to stylize the site and make it your own. Just because it's template-based does NOT mean it's going to look DIY or like everyone else's site!
The end result is a stunning and branded site that works for you and comes at a more affordable cost than custom development.
Our custom development packages offer a higher level of flexibility when it comes to the design and functionality of your site.
We start the process by mocking up how your site will look from scratch. This gives us a totally custom and differentiated feel and allows you to make design decisions that wouldn't necessarily be possible with a template-based site.
After we finalize the site's design in the mockup stage, we then move onto the development phase of the project where your site is built and brought to life.
After the site has been designed, the next steps for both package options above include optimizing the site for mobile, installing any necessary on-site apps, and running through a series of testing and pre-launch tasks.
We recommend that before launching your site, you have about a week-long "soft launch" so that you're familiar and comfortable with your site's backend and ordering system before your real launch.
It's important that you feel super comfortable and empowered to update your site as your brand evolves, so we also provide training videos to walk you through the backend of your site for future updates/promotions/product additions etc.
At the end of every project, we set you up with a handful of materials that ensure the success of your new brand. See below for the full list of deliverables that a typical brand development, packaging, and website project includes:
- Brand strategy session notes
- Brand strategy guidebook + competitive analysis
- Brand guidelines document
- Brand identity assets (logos, colors, font guidelines etc.)
- Any collateral pieces that were included in your project (business cards, social templates, stickers etc.)
- A series of digital mockups portraying your brand in real life
- Guide covering how to use your file formats, color codes, and how to get the most out of your brand
- Your print-ready packaging files
- A stunning, high-converting branded website with apps + functionalities
- Website training videos
- Backup of your site's custom CSS
We want you to have a partner that you can rely on when it comes to any future branding, design, or website needs—which is why we don't say sayonara as soon as our project together has wrapped up!
In order to support you in a convenient, flexible way, we offer one-day design sprints so that you can get the design help you're looking for whenever the need arises.
Our past clients rave about these because they offer you a quick turnaround, live collaboration, and it's like having a full-time design employee but only when you need it (and without the commitment of a yearly salary). Plus, we get a lot done during these days!
Learn more about how our post-project design days work here.
We've put a lot of thought and trial + error into our process over the years. What we've landed on is streamlined, strategic, and, most importantly, produces the results and ROI that you're looking to get when launching your brand.
Interested in learning more if we're the right fit for you + your brand's needs? Schedule a free 30-minute discovery call today.
We'd be thrilled to get to know you!