Adam Irwin
Adam Irwin

The Fundamentals: Why you Should Plan your Brand Before Doing Anything Else

Call it self-preservation, but I can’t stress enough the importance of getting your brand nailed down before doing, well, anything else really.

The brand isn’t just guidelines for designers to thumb through when they need a CMYK value. The planning process you go through to create such a document is actually where you lay the foundations of your brand. Without this fundamental architecture in place, you risk creating a flawed brand that doesn’t have the legs to fulfil your commercial ambitions. Regardless of how much you invest in media spend or how much content you create for your online channels.

I was once given an analogy to explain the importance of investing in brand planning before anything else.  Imagine you’re at a party. A bloke turns up who’s very loud and flamboyant. He thinks he’s very clever and so he makes a lot of noise and bangs the table when he talks. The trouble is he’s not on the same wave length as the other guests, so they just ignore him or stir the ice in their drinks as he bellows at the top of his voice.

Regardless of media spend, without good brand planning any marketing you do is unlikely to relate to the target audience, and if your brand doesn’t relate to your consumer you won’t motivate them to engage with you or buy your products and services.

Now imagine you’re at the same party. A quieter chap who was sat in the corner surveying the room has started chatting with the other guests. He’s well dressed and is well matched to his audience. A crowd has started to form as he tells an inspiring story that captivates the other guests – he’s witty, charming and making jokes that people in the room relate to. Guests at the party find him endearing but crucially, he doesn’t need to shout to get the attention of other guests, people engage with him because what he has to say is compelling to his audience.

I’m not suggesting you don’t need to invest in media, you do. But you will get a much better return on investment if you plan your brand before you invest in media spend and start shouting.

Key Points

  • You can of course build a business without nailing down a brand. But if you have big ambitions for your business, you won’t get far without brand planning
  • The biggest brands in the world are the most powerful companies for a reason. They all started from an idea at the beginning.
  • We live in a world where consumers, (B2B and B2C) expect to have a brand to engage with. Consumers will naturally gravitate towards competitors’ brands if they are stronger
  • The work you put into planning your brand will inform every single brief you give to any third party, for any output: online, offline, TV or print.


So plan your brand and it will work harder for you, and give you a better ROI.

At Ponderosa we put planning at the heart of everything we do. If you want your brand to work harder, drop us a line or pop in for a cuppa and a chat. 

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