4-D Branding: How to Build Your Brand

Tom Stofac

When my daughter was around 2-years old, we were driving around town one morning when she pointed out of the minivan (hey…we had three kids – don’t judge) and said ‘Taco Bell’. Actually, in her still-Southern twang, it sounded more like ‘Tah-coh Bayull.’

But that’s not the amazing thing. Most kids that age can string together a couple of words. The amazing thing was that she was pointing out a Taco Bell restaurant but she was far too young to read. No. She didn’t recognize any words. She recognized a brand.

And there, in a sweet two-year old southern-twang nutshell, is a very important lesson in branding. The lesson? Branding is very important.

Now, in this example, we’re talking about the visual identity aspect of a brand. But that’s but a small part of building a brand that folks can recognize, believe in, and count on to deliver time and time again. And all those steps that lead up to the creation of that visual identity are vitally important as you seek to build your own brand.

Or, better yet, engage the help of professionals in building your brand.

Now, not to brag, but here at The frank Agency, we happen to have a nice collection of just such professionals. And, together, we have crafted and perfected a branding exercise that works, and works hard. It works because it’s based on honesty, and built by hard work, from introspection, qualitative and quantitative research, experience, and insight.

We have a name for this process. It’s called 4-D Branding®. The four D’s are:

Discover (unearth everything you think about your brand, what others think about your brand, your place in the competitive landscape and more)

Dissect (take those discoveries and use them to tear apart the current brand)

Define (put it all back together again, applying critical thinking to find the nexus of ‘who we are’ and ‘what the market needs’)

Develop (rolling out the new brand, including the brand architecture, which outlines everything from positioning and brand values to the brand promise and brand voice)

There you have it. Again, we call it the 4-D Process. Clients who have undergone this exercise with us tend to call it other things. Like, ‘amazing’, or ‘the most important work we’ve ever done’.

All modesty aside, it’s quite remarkable and rewarding to play a part in developing a strong brand. Perhaps that is why, every time we do it, we can’t wait to do it again.

So, how about we do it again. With you. Let’s find out just how strong your brand can be. Give us a call, and let’s put 4-D Branding to work for you.

—By Tom Stofac, Executive Vice President/Creative Director

Category: Branding
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