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Brainstorming exercises for out-of-the-box branding

Updated: Jul 22, 2018

When the juices aren't following and you need to grab your audience's attention and keep their attention, try these branding brainstorming exercises!

What exactly is Brand Identity?

Brand identity is the image you give to the public. It is the first layer of interaction between you and your target audience and gives your demographic some immediate and important information. It is like the ‘hook’ to a good essay or the frosting decorations on an amazing cake. Brand identity includes numerous components and many parts of marketing can incorporate your brand identity.

Here are some common ways companies and organizations create and communicate a brand identity:

Logos, mottos, packaging, business cards, email designs, websites, advertisements, bumper-stickers, merchandise, social media campaigns.

Creativity and Consistency

Creating a brand identity is really an artistic endeavor. It requires both creative, out of the box thinking along with some long term consistency. Your target audience needs to be able to see your branding multiple times and to be able to recognize who you are immediately. Companies like Nike™, Target™, McDonalds™ and Starbucks™ do this very well. Each of these businesses brand in ways that are easily identifiable because they have consistent logos and many creative target audience interfaces.

#Rulesofthumb: It’s okay to change parts of your branding, but keep your logo as consistent as possible. Find creative ways to deliver your logo.

See through the eyes of your Target Audience

Spending time thinking about how your target audience experiences the world is probably one of the most valuable exercises you can do when developing your brand identity. The experience of your target audiences is really the most important experience of all, so understanding your target audience as deeply as possible is essential. Here are some exercises you can do to get yourself to see like your audience.

First, ask and try to answer questions about your target audience:

What age range are you targeting?

What gender or genders?

Where does your target audience live in the world?

What kind of home do they live in?

What kind of food do they eat?

What do they probably do for fun?

You can brainstorm more questions like these to get a fuller picture of your target audience.

Now for the fun part. Visualize your target audience’s daily experience.

For instance, if your are targeting college students, imagine what a day for a college student might look like. Follow this character through the day, imagining what the world looks like, smells like, feels like and sounds like for them. Maybe they ride a bike to class and wear a helmet. During this ride, they may be listening to music, looking at the road and surrounding buildings, carrying a backpack and lock for their bike.

And lastly, brainstorm ways you might be able to reach your target audience.

There are no right answers here—so let your ideas fly! You might notice, in your visualization, that your target audience will see his bike lock every day, wear his helmet every day and look at the road every day. Let your mind wander and write down all the spaces your brand could show up, no matter how crazy the idea is.

This visualization can be really important in finding creative ways to promote your brand. The college student’s commute to class may open up an opportunity for advertisement or design that you may not have previously considered. For instance, you may decide you want to make stickers for helmets with your logo.

#Ruleofthumb: your audience’s experience is the most important. What they see and experience can drive creative ways to promote your brand.

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