Prior to embarking on identity and promotional projects, steps are taken to provide groundwork for the creative process. This involves performing analysis of a brand, its targets, and the marketplace where the brand must function. Brand analysis and the strategy that follows it takes varying shapes and different levels of depth depending on the project. However, a desirable path is:
- Listen — gather extensive input from clients and brand users. By listening client expectations for their brand and insights from users, it is possible to construct goals for the brand and the scope of the creative activity.
- Research — probe into the topic of the brand to discover how new or not new it might be, and what competitive, cultural, economic, or political obstacles my be forthcoming.
- Report — create formal reports in the form of brand analysis, competitive reviews, user profiles, market saturation, and marketplace expectancy for clear knowledge of the process forward.
- Explore — use the research insights to guide but not determine the creative exploration. Create ideas that answer the analysis but also go beyond the boundaries to divulge unexpected creative results that may open up new opportunity.
- Execute — select and develop the most promising ideas, test, and refine into successful brand identity and promotion.