Hopefully, you got the chance to read the first part of this article in last month’s checkout – the link is here. In it, we covered the first two steps to creating great branding for grocery: starting from a value proposition; and exploring the practical solutions. In part two, we look at the rest of the branding journey – from concept development, to refinement and even consumer research.
1. Concept Development
From this comes the ‘fun bit’! This is where the initial concepts are developed by the chosen designer – be it in-house or through an agency. Brand name is where this area can differ slightly – sometimes the brand name is identified prior to the Value Proposition, sometimes through the Value Proposition, and sometimes different concepts are given different brand names. Brand names can also develop ‘organically’ through inspiration from the concepts.
We usually start from 3 or 4 entirely separate concepts for the brand. Before being designed in packaging format, these tend to be as a single ‘concept canvas’ showing the logo and the key branding features. We tend to ‘dial up’ the ideas within each concept to truly show them off – so the ‘winner’ ideas within the concepts can be easier identified.
For the concepts, it is very important that the concepts are somewhat ‘universal’, in that they synergise well between the physical products on which the branding will be displayed, and other areas such as web space, print ad space and anything else displaying branding.
2. Concept refinement
Once these concepts have been pulled together comes the next step – choosing a ‘winning’ concept and refining it. Sometimes, we find different elements from different concepts can work together – so we combine and refine. This is where the branding really starts to take shape.
Often, this is where we start mocking up the branding onto packaging, ads and other platforms where branding could be displayed to give more of an idea of what the finished branding can look like. How long this stage takes varies – some branding ideas pull together more quickly than others, but this doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a problem with any! Good quality branding is no different to good quality anything – it regularly takes time to get right. As branding is the most important element of marketing, it is vital that this is right.
3. Optional – Focus Groups
As a full service consultancy at HRA, we frequently take branding projects to consumer focus groups, to gain valuable insight into what it is that consumers are looking for, and to see which branding concepts most strike a chord. This can be undertaken at any stage – be it in the initial concept development, or during refinement.
Since the birth of marketing itself, the consumer has been at the very centre, and getting consumer insight right is the key to unlocking a successful brand and marketing strategy. In our seven years as a consultancy, we’ve found no better way to get under the skin of the consumer than through focus groups. These are where target consumers are identified and hired to take part in discussions about the branding ideas, where they give their points of view on what they would potentially change, what they might choose should it be a comparative focus group, and how they might respond to such branding.
Are you looking for help along the branding journey? At HRA, we work at all stages of the design process, frequently nurturing concepts into successful brands. For more information, contact Roseanna@food-and-drink.marketing, or alternatively call us on +44 (0) 1803 203387 .