Brand – Apr, 2021

Building a brand from scratch – Where do you start? | Ice House Design

Building a brand from scratch – Where do you start? Building a brand can seem incredibly daunting. It’s a complicated process, with multiple steps and considerations. To complicate things further, it’s  difficult, expensive and a waste of time to pivot a brand in the midst of its lifecycle, meaning you want to get things just right the first time. This article looks at four things to consider when building a brand from scratch.


Before you get started building your brand from scratch, do your research. Look at the competition in very close detail – you might have a brilliant idea, but if it’s already been done and doesn’t have a USP, it might be destined for failure.

Research your target audience as well, looking at both qualitative and quantitative data. Though instinct is very important,  not listening to your audiences before you start your brand is like choosing to travel through Bath blindfolded, when you have the option to both use your eyes and Google maps.

When you think you have things sorted, test your brand ideas with small groups – don’t allow the process to become insular, always check that your perception of how things will be received matches the reality, so there are no nasty surprises.

Choose a name

While this may sound simple, this will be pretty much the only thing you cannot change while retaining the brand. It can be done but the loos of latent goodwill will be significant. Logo, visual identity and support graphics can be updated, purpose statements can be tweaked, but changing the name effectively means very significant changes to the organisation.

Choose something which stands out. Recognisable, and saying something about the company. All of this, while remaining fresh and elegant – it’s no mean feat. Luckily, you can choose almost anything, as long as it doesn’t already exist. You can use an acronym, make up a name, use a related word, or simply describe what you do – for example Cardiff Galvanisers – if you’re in Cardiff and do galvanising. URL’s are important. Getting the right web address and making sure it’s available, is critical. Search at Companies House to find other company names that are registered. It often requires many hours of searching that can in some instances come to nought. And very simply, a search engine search to find out if you are potentially going to be treading on anyones toes.

Design your brand

Who are you? What do you stand for? What makes you unique? What is your brand personality? Why is your company more attractive than someone else’s? Where will you position yourself in context of competitors? How can you encourage loyalty? Does your business have charm and charisma? How will you treat stakeholders – Ryanair or Emirates? How will your company express itself? Do you have longterm plan to sell the business? If so, how do you design the brand to exist without its founders? Can you put this down in a couple of paragraphs?

Design a visual identity and logo marque

This is something that need to be outsourced. Even if you have a strong idea of the logo you want, a graphic designer is essential in order to make sure its right for your business.

The worst case scenario is that it’s only be done half properly and further down the line and needs to be altered or complexly redone. Worse than the expense, is the loss of latent recognition, goodwill and the disturbing of perceptions.

You don’t want something that fades into obscurity when seen from an angle or from a distance, or could be mistaken for something else. Ideally, it should be simple, so that it can be scaled to size and will age well in physical locations.

All of these concerns can be addressed and solved by a good designer, so pick them well and you’ll have a logo which never needs changing.

Apply the brand

Once you have your visual identity and logo , market research, and brand name, you can implement the idea and put it into practice. At this final stage, it’s important that you achieve brand consistency. You want each aspect of your business – marketing, customer service, the billing process – to match, in aesthetic and experience.

Execute your idea well across the board and you’ll have carried out arguably the hardest process. The key to this execution will be planning, as once the ball is rolling, you’ll want to carry the momentum forward. Get this right, and you’ll have a brand which will thrive for years to come.

Ready to get started? We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with the team via our contact form or call at your earliest convenience on +44 (0)1225 466 080.

Posted by Jack Owen