Even as children back in grade six, we knew there was something special about the swoosh or those three stripes we found on our desks. They were brands that inspired. Brands that inspired you to make every last segment of pencil lead count, as your chemistry teacher turned to the periodic table on page 345.

While some companies have the luxury of throwing bags filled with Benjamin Franklin at the likes of Landor and The Brand Union, figuring out a brand on your own brings its own satisfaction. In this particular case, I’ll use the example of Musafir – a brand I’ve been working on these last few weeks.

If you’ve read the first post in this series, I’ll skip having to discover the brand for obvious reasons and jump right into defining it. Now there are books that ramble on about procedures to define your brand, and animated slides that make even less sense. In all honesty, all you need to do is look at your competition, look at your market and find your niche.

I’ve personally seen brand pyramids that can go as far as nine tiers and rarely do they share the same terminology, but it’s relevance that matters at the end of the day. We found our nirvana in understanding our brand’s benefits, personality, values and essence.

With the definition locked in, the abstract moves to the tangible – creating the brand’s visual identity. You’ll have noticed that a bit of color theory went into the brand pyramid above; and with good reason too. The two weeks it took to define this particular brand were overshadowed by the four it took to approve a visual identity.

This is obviously the most subjective step in the entire process, with the only boundaries being those set by the brand pyramid. However, ten rounds of archaic, indistinguishable and complex artwork later, we finally reached a consensus.

Musafir, Experience travel
Musafir’s original logo scratches and the final logo in 2008

And that in a nutshell is defining and creating a brand at its simplest. There’ll be more about cultivating and communicating a brand in the posts to follow.