How to create a strategic brand before even thinking about the brand visuals with Solveig Petch

This is an interview with Solveig Petch also known as “Petchy” who is a brand strategist and identity designer for ambitious business owners. She crafts strategic brand identities with a straightforward approach and a touch of tough love. In this interview, she shared her knowledge on how to create a strategic brand before even thinking about the brand visuals.

Petchy studied design management following her desire to work within the creative fields since she was young. She said the degree spoke to her because it was all about bridging the gap between business and design.

After her studies, she worked for years and co-founded a design agency. She then set up a solo venture called Petchey, where she is a design generalist and designed all kinds of design works from business cards to books. Finally, she set out to do her own solo business where most of her work is on strategy-based identity design.

In her interview, she shared her knowledge about the difference between a brand and branding where she said that having a logo does not mean you have a brand. A brand is how people perceive your company while branding is taking actions to influence people’s opinion or perception of your brand.

She emphasizes that a brand is not just the visual part, so she created a five-step framework to help create a successful brand identity. The first four parts are about strategy and the last part is when you work on your visuals. She emphasized the importance of having a strategic foundation before going into the visual side of branding.

The first step of the five-step framework is to define your inner core. It is when you define what you want your brand to be and where you want it to go. So you look at things like your vision and mission.

The second step is to look outwards, you look at who you want to work with, your ideal clients, and your competitors. She said that as you look at the external factors, maybe you can find the gap in the market where you can fit in and take your share.

Step number three is when you humanize your brand and inject a little bit of personality into it. It is important to have a clear definition of the previous steps before proceeding with the third step to make sure you are creating a brand personality that communicates well with your target audience.

Step four of the framework is when you start to craft your message that ties with the previous steps. It is important that your message reflects your brand personality and the core message is clear. Try not to have too many messages at once as to not confuse your audience. Your brand message does not necessarily mean a slogan, a brand story is also powerful in communicating your brand to your target audience. Your message does not have to be long nor short, but it has to be clear on what your brand stands for.

Soleigh also talked about the difference between a personal brand and a business brand. She states that both types of brands need to connect to their audience. However, personal brands are best when you are the sole person in your business while company brands are best when you are branding a business that is not connected to you personally.

Next, Soleigh shared her insight on what aspects of the brand to focus on when starting from scratch. She believes that you should know what your values are as a brand from the start and not be scared to push people away. She says that it is best to be clear on your values to make an impact with the people you want to work with.

When asked what her favorite tools are for branding and design, she answered that as a designer she uses Adobe Suite. Though she emphasizes that Canva is also a good tool for creating visual brands due to its ease of use.

Finally, she shared the fifth and final step of the five-step framework where you finally work on the visual part of branding. In this step, you integrate your brand identity into your logo. This is to make your brand more consistent and recognizable. Your brand logo should embody your brand’s mission, vision, and message.

Here’s a special freebie from Petchy!

The Brand it! checklist
When was the last time your brand had a health check? Use this handy checklist to help you take a closer look at all of your brand’s elements and determine whether it’s all looking stellar, or if it’s time to shake things up a little. And yeah, it’s free – so there’s really no need to procrastinate. Grab a cuppa (or a mojito or whatever floats your boat!) and get to work on that amazing brand of yours!

Grab it here (The opt-in form is at the bottom of the page)

???? Solveig Petch, also known as Petchy, is a brand strategist and identity designer for ambitious business owners who want to take their brand to the next level. From her cosy home office in rural Norway, she crafts strategic brand identities with a no bullshit approach and a sprinkle of tough love.

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