Creating a Successful Brand Identity - Part Two

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You’re back for part two! We were excited to kick-off our mini series with some homework (No skipping ahead, read through part one). So, how did it go? What were your observations? Did you see some common trends among your competitors? Did you spot any unique differences in your services or product? Are you feeling like you totally got this? You may even see similarities among your competitors but know you can stand out with some smart marketing.

This post is going to help to keep laying the foundation of your brand whether it's a new or refreshed identity. Of course, any good brand comes with a good name, right? When Lindsay and I were starting Piquant Marketing we really did dive deep, did our homework, and worked on defining what our strengths were and what we wanted to be known for. Being a food marketing agency, we had a whole universe of foodie words, ingredients, flavors, etc to play with. We spent three weeks filling up notebooks and text threads with possible names, which mostly resulted in cringe faces or a quick Google search to see that our stroke of naming genius was already in use. It felt hopeless at times, but invigorating at others to know that we were going to keep pushing until we had something that was uniquely ours. More on our story later. In the time being, let’s think about your brand name with a few more exercises.


Your best friend is a mind map. Jot as many ideas as you can. Incomplete thoughts are welcome. Give yourself time and lots of paper. Don’t forget to break out the thesaurus!


Are you playful, serious, a bit risqué, a thought leader? Setting the tone for your brand early on is important as it will lead the design process. List as many words that you feel describe your tone.


Is there a specific place or even street that plays part of your business story? Was there one particular instance or item that triggered your stroke of genius to create your business? Is there someone that led your vision? Do you have a family story? 

We were lucky enough to meet Rajen from Ursa Major Winery recently. Ursa Major is a constellation that in Latin translates to “Greater (or larger) she-bear”. Rajen talked about being able to see the constellation so clearly at night from the winery and also how a large mother bear often snuck on to the winery property to eat their grapes. He also saw the mother bear figure relating back to his own mother bear who raised him and his six siblings, which inspired the big dipper logo containing the seven stars for the seven children. From there Ursa Major Winery has not only an engaging story that will stick with you, but a unique identity with their logo and name that related back to the winery itself and location (#goals).


It’s always best to think big! Will your product line expand down the road to other products? Will it expand past your city, province or even country? Growth could seem crazy to some in the beginning, but it’s always good to settle on a name that’s going to be flexible down the road.


Warning, through the naming and design process you’ll get antsy. You’ll think “oh, that’s obviously the one. No need to continue.” Wrong. Try and create as many unique names as you can. One may stick out as being the clear winner, but try to ignore that urge to just move on. Create a list with a minimum of ten options that are: a) Not in use by a competitor brand (even internationally) and b) Has good options for web address and social handles available.


Remember that mini advisory committee we talked about last time? It’s time to send out an e-mail or survey with your options. Take your top five and send it out to a group of people that you know you will get honest feedback from.

Back to our Piquant Marketing name. We thought a lot about our tone, our personalities, how we wanted to be memorable and still have a name that related back to food. Piquant - Pleasantly sharp taste or appetizing flavour. Piquant - Pleasantly stimulating or exciting to the mind. Piquant synonyms - spicy, zesty, strong, salty, savory, intriguing, stimulating, interesting, fascinating, colorful, exciting, lively. Yep, Piquant sounded about right.

So take this week to think about your story and what tone you want your brand to set. Drop us a note at to let us know how your process is going. Next week we’re on to all things logo development!