You’re probably thinking, ‘Lisa; you’ve gone stark raving crazy – what’s science got to do with branding’? And I get that. Science and branding aren’t 2 words that you’d usually see together like wine and cheese.
Before I fell into the design world, I studied science at Uni. One thing it taught me was to solve problems.
Things aren’t always as they seem, and you need to learn, adapt, change and modify constantly. It makes perfect sense for your business branding.
Think of it as a science experience.
You ask questions – what, why, how, which, when, who or where.
And you keep learning, adapting and evolving. This encourages us to explore other’s results, look at past success and failures, and helps our brain to get creative to find new solutions.
And if you make a mistake, don’t stress it.
Mistakes can lead to a new hypnosis which may suit you better!
Did you know that penicillin was invented by accident? Poor old Alexander Fleming, back in 1928, accidentally left a cover off a petri dish used to cultivate bacteria. The dish was contaminated by mould that became known as penicillin.
See, science! He made history and a medical breakthrough by mistake.
So, how does the scientific method help with branding?
- Ask questions (AKA Design Brief)
Also known as a brief, you should always start any design or branding concepts by asking questions – what, why, how, which, when, who or where?
Why do you want a new brand?
How do you currently generate revenue? How will this change?
Who is your target audience?
How do people find you?
What will make this project feel like a success?
Where are we now?
Where do you want to be?
Do your research
Science is evolution. It’s all about looking at what’s been done already. Remember – you’re going to stand on the shoulders of giants!
- Check out your competition (locally and overseas)
- Find leaders in your industry – what are they offering?
- What are the established practices in your industry?
- Can you learn from their failures?
- What did they do to become famous or well known?
Construct your hypothesis
Here you need to think about the requirements of your project. In science terms, a hypothesis is an educated guess. When it comes to branding, you want to be a little bit more specific. You’ll also have your own unique set of goals and objectives. Be SMART.
- Specific – What are you going to achieve and what actions does this involve?
- Measurable – What data will measure your branding goal – money, interaction, more customers etc.?
- Achievable – Be realistic – do you have the skills and resources to achieve your branding goal, or will you outsource this?
- Relevant – Does your branding goal align with broader business goals – why is this brand concept important?
- Time – When do you want to relaunch with your new branding, and do you have enough time?
Test your hypothesis
I love thinking of this part like when you’re in the lab, mixing all the chemicals and hoping to hell that you don’t blow up the building! Sure, you want to create an impact, but you want to do it right.
- Brainstorm your ideas – colours, themes, imagery, shapes, fonts etc.
- Create – vision boards, branding concepts, designs concepts
- Evaluate – what do you like, what will your customers like – test and ask
- Choose a solution – what’s working for you or your customers?
- Develop – play with your design and branding concepts
- Prototype – choose what you want to run with
Develop your solutions
Once you’ve got your ideas in place, how are you going to get it out into the big wide world? What’s your game plan? What tactics will you use? What do you need?
- Are you re-branding or re-positioning?
- Do you have strategic partnerships?
- Do you need SEO?
- Have you got a communications strategy?
- Are you going to design or redesign your products and services?
Report your results
Next, you need to evaluation your solutions. It’s essential to be 100% honest and not be afraid to say, ‘Yeah, I think that may be a mistake’, or ‘It doesn’t feel like me’. Are the branding and design concepts meeting your requirements?
- Yes! Awesome – test the market and activate the project
- No. Bugger – buy don’t worry; refine it and go back to step 4
The Scientific Method (and branding) is always an ongoing process
Branding is fun – you need to enjoy the process!
Treat branding (and your life) as an experiment, and you’ll never have a failure. You’ll simply have more information for the journey ahead. Ask questions. Feed your brain with right and wrong answers. Don’t be afraid of failure.
And I guarantee, you’ll get the best final results! Never stop being curious.
Like this blog? Feel free to share it with your networks or leave your comments below if you’ve given the scientific method a go. I’d love to hear from fellow science lovers!