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7 Ways to Build a Brand That Will Grow With You

It’s no coincidence that some of the most profitable businesses in our world also have the most recognizable brands. Think LEGO, Nike, Starbucks and Google — all internationally recognized brands that have had a lasting impact on their consumers.

They've all succeeded in keeping their consumers' attention year after year while offering essentially the same products and services—a difficult feat even for the most established businesses!

But there's one thing these brands have done differently that sets them apart from the rest: They've continued to evolve and grow their brand alongside their business.

Starbucks has adapted its iconic green logo more than six times since opening in 1971. Nike continues to evolve its tagline to include all athletes and all bodies, reflecting its ever-growing target audience.

These are examples of brands that have remained timeless even as our world has changed. And your brand can do the same. We promise!

Here are the seven simple steps we use with our clients to help them build a brand that will grow with their business.

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Step 1: Have a brand strategy

Think of your brand strategy as a blueprint. You wouldn't start building a new home without a detailed plan, right? The same goes for your brand.

Your brand strategy is the blueprint for how you want the world to see your business. It should authentically communicate your values, purpose, and story. It will also set you up for future success, as you can refer back to it as your business grows.

Put simply, your brand strategy keeps your brand consistent as your business evolves.

Step 2: Design flexibility into the brand

Brand flexibility is a huge consideration for our work at Little Ghost Creative. It’s a key component we consider with every brand identity we create.

A flexible brand means the visual components of your brand (logo, icons and colour scheme) can be easily adapted to reflect your business needs as they change.

Brand flexibility will support your business as you add or change your products and services, reach new audiences, create content, design packaging…the list goes on!

With a flexible brand, you won’t need to reinvent the wheel every single time your business grows. Instead, you’ll use your brand’s base design system to inform new design applications you can easily use.

Step 3: Design for future business goals

Hand-in-hand with building a flexible brand is making sure your brand identity can support future business goals.

At Little Ghost, any brand we build is also built for the future. For example, we’ll add secondary and tertiary brand colours that won’t necessarily be used from the get-go, but can easily be pulled from as the business grows.

Take product packaging, for example — many of our clients start by offering one or two products when they first launch their business. As the business grows, so does its line of products. So when the time comes, we can quickly design new packaging by using those secondary and tertiary colours we’ve already set aside.

The same goes for businesses that launch sub-brands or new divisions of the company. With a dedicated set of secondary or tertiary brand colours, it’s easy to design for future business goals.

Step 4: Design a scalable brand system

Along the same line of flexibility and brand extension is building a brand that can scale.

Everything from messaging and positioning to colours and typography should be considered when you’re thinking about scalability. You want your brand to be able to change and adapt to various applications.

New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is a great example of a brand that must scale fairly often as new exhibits open, seasons change or social commentary on art evolves.

Here’s a fantastic case study showcasing how the MoMA identity scaled for a new gallery space in 2019.

It’s also important to note — sometimes you may need to add new design elements to your brand identity system in order to scale for different applications. Don’t fear! This is all part of business growth and signifies what you’re doing is working.

Step 5: Be intentional with your brand architecture

Your brand architecture is the structure of sub-brands, products, product lines or internal employee branding within your business.

With a new business, brand architecture might not be something you’ve put much thought into. And that’s okay! But to have a brand that can grow with your business, you should at least have a rough idea of your future brand architecture.

Our Founder and Director, Robyn, did a lot of brand architecture work while directing the design team at SkipTheDishes, Canada's number one food delivery network.

Here’s an example of the hierarchy we developed using colour:

Skip’s primary brand colour was red, which we used for all identity work, national campaigns, etc..But when it came to any brand assets for the couriers who delivered food, we used dark blue as the primary brand colour.

On top of that, we had a third primary brand colour, light blue, which was used for any branded items for internal employees like swipe cards, stickers and swag items.

This is just one example of how having an intentional brand architecture will not only ensure brand consistency but also allow your brand to grow with your business.

Step 6: Train your team

What goes hand-in-hand with creating brand guidelines? Ensuring you and your team know them like the back of your hand.

Brand training is a critical component to the long-term success of any business, especially a growing one. If you and your team can’t stand up for your brand then it only exists as a set of guidelines.

So train yourself and your team to connect to your brand in all ways — from your visuals to your values. If your team can confidently speak about your brand, they’ll have no problem understanding how it needs to adapt as your business grows and changes.

Step 7: Have a brand launch strategy

A brand launch shouldn’t be treated as another task you check off the to-do list. It’s a strategic step in the branding process.

Outlining a brand launch strategy ensures you don’t miss anything when introducing your brand to the world. It also helps build brand awareness and some hype around your launch. All important things in a brand roll-out!

With a brand launch strategy, you can identify what elements of your brand you might want to hold off on launching until your business reaches key milestones.

For example, you might be building an app you plan to launch once your website reaches one million monthly users.

Having a detailed brand oll-out strategy will help you know:

  1. How exactly to launch that app
  2. What marketing assets you’ll need to promote it
  3. What new brand elements the app will need

Basically, a brand roll-out strategy eliminates the guesswork. As your business reaches each new phase of growth, you can reference your roll-out strategy and have a clear path of what should be launched next.

Be sure to read our post 3 Strategies For Launching Your Brand This Year to understand the various ways that we approach brand roll-outs.

For your business to have a lasting impact it needs to be bigger than what you’re selling.

This is one of our favourite quotes we like to share with clients (and now you!) that shows the impact of a purposeful brand.

So, there you have it!

It’s no coincidence that the most profitable businesses in our world also have the most recognizable brands. Our vision is to see conscious business owners empowered to transform the world for the better.

So let’s make sure your brand is built to grow with your business!

Use these nine simple steps when you're developing your brand and we're confident you’ll have no problem evolving your brand with your business.

We’d love to hear about what you’re working on. Every groundbreaking idea has to start somewhere, what’s yours?

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