This question has been asked ever since the very first philosophers began to ponder their existence. And while it is debatable whether we are any closer to a finite answer, it can be argued that the thesis that we are what we perceive ourselves to be is as good a definition of ourselves as any other.

By extension then, it could be said that we are to others as they perceive us, and their perception is often informed by how we see ourselves, and how we express ourselves. 

Branding is the expression of a business as it chooses to be perceived. Through effective branding, a business can express its ethos, values, heritage, personality and culture as well as present the products and services that it has to offer. Little wonder that over the past twenty years, brands have become valuable assets of any successful business’ intellectual property. 

Brand Development and Brand Management have become essential disciplines in business and organisations that wish to present themselves in a particular fashion. A well presented brand will not only tell the world who you are and what you are doing here, but it will also keep yourself and your employees focused on those objectives.   

We have prepared a method by which we can extract the best of what you do and stand for in as few words as possible. It may take a little time, and will probably require some soul searching, but we think you’ll find it to be an invaluable exercise in extracting the essence of your organisation so that we can use it as the key ingredient in developing your brand.



1. What is it that you do exactly? Give us a brief summary and, if you can, summarise that into two to five words that clearly define what you're all about. Can you articulate Who You Are, and What You’re Doing Here in a short, clear description?  

2. Give us a taste of similar businesses (national / continental / international) so we can see how they express themselves, and please share any comments on how you think your brand does or should differentiate itself from theirs. What makes you different?  

3. While driving / reading the paper / surfing the net look out for any logos, brands, look & feels, corporate ID's etc. that appeal to you (even if they have nothing to do with your sector). You'll be surprised how things will jump out at you when you start looking for them. Send us a photo or web link and tell us what you like and/or dislike about these in respect of the image you'd like your brand to communicate.  

4. Your current brand: What informed its style and the colours used? The name you've chosen - why? Was it your first choice? What other names did you consider, and why did you abandon them? Are there any other names you like? What's behind the tagline (if you have one)? Are these elements still relevant and do they portray where you see yourself going? Answers to these questions will help us understand where you're coming from.  

5. A Ten Word Brief: This is a very effective technique to hone in on the personality of the brand you wish to portray... Give us at least ten words (in descending order of relevance) that would best describe your brand's personality... These examples might help get you started; but please add your own and delete the irrelevant (try to have at least five words that aren’t here that would describe you):
Government / NGO 
Corporate / Private
Conservative / Adventurous
Loud / Soft
Serious / Fun
Local / Global
Bold / Moderate
Young / Old
Rich / Poor
Modern / Classic
Male / Female
Capitalist / Socialist
Does your brand subscribe to any particular ethic/s? (Moral / social / environmental / service / quality, etc)?
What colour/s would best represent your brand (and why)?  Any other personality traits? 

Please take some time to do this exercise properly, it will put us in good stead for the brand development, which in turn will help keep you, your staff and your customers focused on how to project yourselves. 



6. Your audience: Who do you want to talk to? Please define the demographic of your target audience; specifying their means (financial), interests and where relevant; their gender and any other characteristics. Provide these demographics for a sniper target (very specific), and a broader shotgun target. 

7. What form of media do you anticipate using to communicate your brand and services? This will help inform the design as well as plan for a communications budget.
Stationery: business cards? (how classy - highbrow / in-between / budget? how many?) letterheads? (how many?) comp slips?
e-Stationery: Word template? e-mail signature? PowerPoint template?
Signage? office / shop front / on other sites (please define).
Need a website?
Need presentations designed? printed or PowerPoint?
Need copywriting? From defining your core values, mission statement and vision, to producing (or beefing up) copy for your brochures, website etc; we can help.
Advertising needs? Let us help prepare an effective marketing campaign for you. 

8. What timelines do you anticipate for...
the finalisation of logo & corporate ID?
the finalisation of stationery design?
the finalisation of printed stationery?
the launch of the website?
the planning and implementation of a marketing strategy?
any other needs??? 

9. What can you afford to invest in your brand? We’ve saved the toughest question for last! Creating a brand identity can cost anything from as little as R20 000 to hundreds of thousands of Rands, depending on the company you choose to assist you, and the speed and extent of your roll out.  

Being a young business ourselves, we’re very competitive on price (yet we hope to keep our clients through the quality of our work). We can come up with the right name for your organisation for R5000, and design your logo for another R10 000 - depending on your needs. After that, we can work on a brand identity and an affordable marketing strategy, rolling out on a monthly basis to maintain a momentum in keeping with the budget you set. Obviously, the extent of this rollout and its impact will be regulated by your budget. Please give some thought as to what you can afford to spend on your branding, and we’ll send you a marketing plan telling you what we can do for you within that budget.  

10. GREAT! When would you like to start? Launch date for new brand. Now that you’ve answered the above questions, much of your hard work has been done. Send your answers to us, and we’ll prepare a cost estimate within 48 hours, proposing a timeline that takes into account your needs and means. On your acceptance of this proposal our hard work begins! In any event, we hope this exercise has assisted in defining who you are, and what you’re doing here.