Building a Brand from the Ground up Through Brand Chemistry

Building a brand is like building a house.

First, you need to find your location, then you need to look at the surrounding houses and analyze the market volatility and trends. At Element Six, we do this for brands by conducting a situational analysis. We research and evaluate the target audience, competition and industry trends. What does the market look like? Where are there gaps or opportunities?

Next, you need to determine where on the land your new house will sit. Will it be at the edge of the property, or will it sit in the middle; how will its positioning on the property affect its sun exposure? How large of a house will it be in relation to your property, and what is this going to mean for the overall design? A brand needs to go through a similar process—something we call “brand synthesis”. This is the step where we determine the intellectual and emotional essence of a brand through positioning and personality development.

You need a sound plan to follow when building a home—a blueprint. To do this for brands, we create a “brand formula”. We distill the findings from our above exploration into a brief, ensuring our solutions are grounded in strategy.

Once you’ve laid the groundwork, it is time to start the construction of your new house. You can think about roofing and siding materials. Will you have hardwood floors or wall-to-wall carpeting? In branding, you also need to do this sort of creative exploration. We test and develop branding elements and visual styles that harmonize with the blueprint of the brand. This is where we get to determine such things as logo, typography, colors, graphical elements, page architecture, and brand nomenclature.

Just like a house needs a strong foundation, a brand needs to be solid and grounded in strategy. In order to build that hot-tub on your roof down the line, you need to make sure that the underlying structure is sound. Without a sound foundation, everything that is built on top will be unsteady and unsafe. This is where we lay out your branding guidelines. We define the rules for a brand’s visual and written tone to ensure consistency throughout all communications, and pay off the brand’s promise—its emotional connection to its audience. Keep in mind that consistency breeds recognizability, builds loyalty, and makes your foundational brand promise easier to remember.

And now for the fun part—decorating. Your personal flair comes through in interior design and decorative touches where form meets function. For us, this is the tactical application of your brand through print, digital or other engagement channels. Each occurrence should pay off the predetermined positioning and personality. You wouldn’t put victorian furniture in a Frank Lloyd Wright-style house; an inconsistent look can make your product or service feel disjointed and can give your customer the impression of mismanagement or confusion.

Once your house is built, you need to think about the maintenance of your house: how to keep it clean and fresh. You need to fix things that break and water your plants—keep it feeling bright with a vase full of cut flowers. A brand needs to think about the same sort of things: maintain your presence through strong SEO, email marketing and social media. You need to stay active, and develop fresh and timely content that your audience will find helpful or relevant.

Whatever your stage of branding, Element Six can handle “new construction” to build your brand from the ground up, or help you renovate your existing brand to gain and retain equity.

So why exactly do you need a strong foundation for your brand? The reason, ultimately, is threefold.

1. Ensure you are paying off your strategic brand promise.

2. Ensure your brand can stand the test of time and remain unique amongst its competitive set.

3. Ensure you maintain consistency both visually and on message, to build recognition.