Brand Vision Boards & The Branding Journey
We recently went on a “branding journey” here at Untold Content, where our team met by video chat over the course of several weeks to brainstorm and create our brand image. Our goal was to establish a coherent brand image that revealed the heart of what we do with and for our clients and communities. What we found in those conversations was that it’s pointless to begin a branding journey by diving in to designs we like and typographies we love. Successful brand journeys must start with words, not designs alone.
By asking deep questions about the nature and heart of our business—what deliverables we most love to work on, who we love working with, what “vibe” we give off when collaborating—we were able to establish a foundational understanding of our branding vision before ever talking about design.
User-centered designers would agree that all excellent design starts with knowledge, concepts, and what we’re calling here visions.
Brand Vision Board Example
So we created the following brand vision board to host all the deeper thinking that informs our brand image (check out our design-based brand board here):
While a good old-fashioned brand board showcases your organization’s brand in one impactful, visual package, a brand vision board reveals the words, knowledge, and mission that drives your brand: your organization’s vision for what impact your brand makes on the world.
The Ten Elements of a Brand Vision Board
We designed our brand vision board to capture all of the information that drives our vision as a company. What are our strategic, true north goals? What content will be deliver and why? Who will benefit from this work? In a way, a brand vision board serves as a one-page business plan that anyone in our company can reference quickly to remember the key concepts that drive our work.
We recommend that your brand vision board include the following elements:
- Tagline: Although this is featured at the top of the brand vision board, you might not start your brand journey by discussing the tagline. This often comes later in the process, after you’ve established who you are and what you do.
- Who We Are: How will you package yourself to the clients, leads, and communities you want to serve? What are the characteristics of your team? Do you have a shared educational background or level of experience? This is the place to establish who you are as a company.
- What We Do: Second to knowing who you are is establishing what you provide (and even more importantly, what you don’t provide). Try to make this section as tactile as possible.
- Vision: This is your organization’s vision for the future. At the highest levels, what do you most hope to achieve? This is your opportunity to dream big about the zoomed-out impacts you will make on the world.
- Ideal Clients: After establishing the higher-level items, like who you are, what you do, and your vision, it’s time to get more focused on the practical issues that drive you toward those big goals. It’s essential that you understand your ideal clients so that you can focus your content marketing and outreach efforts on building relationships with those audiences.
- Client Pain Points: Anything you create and deliver should address a client pain point, which are the gaps in your ideal clients’ work and their needs. We find that many of our clients are decent writers, but lack time and resources to write. This knowledge drives our business model (i.e. we do writing) and our content mission statement (i.e. we provide resources to support better business writing).
- Content Mission Statement: Inspired by the book, Content, Inc., this section of your brand vision board contributes directly to your content marketing strategy. Whatever content you will develop and deliver as an organization—whether web copy, blog posts, podcast episodes, YouTube videos, email newsletters, white papers, peer-reviewed publications, and ANY other content-based deliverable—should align toward a larger mission that contributes to your organization’s vision. A content mission statement indicates the medium you will deliver content in (for us, this is primarily our blog), what you will provide, who you will provide it to, and why it will help them. This is a key aspect of your content strategy because as you go to write or create content, you can return back to this mission statement again and again to ensure that what you create serves your larger mission. Alignment is key to successful communications.
- Advertising: Once you create content, how will you share it with the world? This is not traditional advertising, but rather an opportunity to broadcast your message and build client relationships by addressing their pain points. Choosing the best networks to deliver your content and creating a content calendar is key. Check out some great advice on this from social media guru, Kimberly Jimenez.
- Products: What key products and services will you deliver? This is where you write down the kinds of things you produce (and make it clear what falls outside of your content strategy by leaving some things off the list).
- SEO Keywords: If you’re creating amazing content that no one can find, then what’s the point? We use the Serps keyword research database and Google Trends tools to see what common things our clients and communities are searching for online and then make sure that we word our blog posts and online services in ways that the Google SEO spiders will understand and rank highly. If you want people to find your content, then you should consider identifying the most common search phrases that will lead folks to your work.
Your brand vision board reveals at the highest levels what you are up to as an organization and what impacts you hope to create. Enjoy the process! And remember that articulating a vision is key to establishing a successful brand for your organization.
Create your own brand vision board with our free template download!
Check our our design-based brand board here!
Love this idea? Want to know more? Learn how to write your organization’s content and communications strategy.
Want us to help you build a content strategy that aligns with your organizational mission and vision? Check out our content marketing services!
Learn more about our online business writing courses.
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