Brand Identity Series, Part 2: Brand Profile

Brand Identity part 2: Brand Profile

Every brand must have a starting place.

Call it a justified basis.

Or a valid foundation.

Or as one of our clients recently called it, the brand’s “rationale.”

Without an established starting point for your brand, you invite confusion, misperception and–worst of all–doubt about your brand’s identity.

Doubt takes hold when your brand relies more on what’s subjective (what people like and their preferences), rather than relying on what’s objective, or that which can be perceived as true and authentic about your brand. That’s why the starting point we’re talking about here goes beyond origin stories or founding myths.

Before a brand becomes a coherent and effective identity, it is first an idea. While that idea is eventually brought to life through words, colors, pictures and attitude, you must first place the idea of the brand on a stable and sturdy foundation. If a brand’s identity is a function of how it talks, how it looks and how it acts, then you must first start with how your brand thinks. This is where a Brand Profile comes in.

By defining what your brand is and what it is not, a Brand Profile uses a structured, single-page document to provide the insight and clarity needed to lay the foundation for all subsequent identity development – from logo or wordmark creation and typography choices to messaging voice, color selection and image treatments.

An effective Brand Profile succinctly captures the key components of how your brand thinks – your brand’s psychology – and pairs it with key insights about your target audience and their motivations. This not only ensures that your brand’s purpose and values lead the way, but it also guarantees that serving the needs of your audience stays in focus.

With these elements methodically organized on a single page, a Brand Profile is designed so the content can be grasped quickly, referenced easily and evolved as needed. And because a Brand Profile is crafted with authenticity and truth and its core, it serves as both a backstop for decision making and as a continual source of brand inspiration.

To see how a thoughtful Brand Profile can lead to effective and creative identities for brands in the real world, take a peek at AHM’s work for our partners at Hop Valley Brewing Co., Revana Collective, Roseburg Forest Products, Zentopia and Southport Lumber Co.