The Ups, Downs, and Leaps of Building a Brand

Embarking on a brand project can be an emotional journey. We're here to guide you through it.
By 
August 25, 2023
Embarking on a brand project can be an emotional journey. We're here to guide you through it.
By 
August 25, 2023

If brand development has ever felt like a topsy turvy rollercoaster, you’re not alone.  

From the work of Brené Brown to the parables of Daniel Tiger, there’s a mountain of evidence around the benefits of naming your emotions. But, while building a brand triggers a wide range of feelings, rarely do brand leaders pause to identify and sit with them. We’d like to change that.

As you read through, we hope you’ll feel seen, heard and—above all—inspired to keep after the answer you’re chasing.

The Six Stages

In our experience guiding brand leaders through hairy challenges, there are 6 emotional stages that inevitably occur.

Stage 1: Realization

Confusion. Apathy. Logo soup.

This first stage, it dawns on you that something is wrong in your brand: there's confusion, apathy, frustration.

It's like stubbing your toe on the same coffee table again and again—until you finally get so fed up, you decide it's time to rearrange everything.

With fire in your belly, you take off in search of a better way.

Stage 2: Rush

Head nods. Fist bumps. "Let's do this!"

You're not taking no for an answer—this project needs to happen, and it needs to happen now.

Fueled by vision and adrenaline, you boldly face the challenge. Budgets become available; you've enlisted a team to help—it's all really happening!

Stage 3: Haze

Data overload. Decision fatigue. Doubt.

As with any worthy endeavor, speed bumps are part of the journey. You roll with the punches—from scheduling conflicts to getting consensus—and when you feel weary, you lean on other brand believers, keeping the faith in a solution you can't yet see.

Stage 4: Awakening

Goosebumps. Laughter. A few (happy) tears.

Then, one day, a breakthrough happens.

A phrase captures a leader's heart. A research finding puts everything into focus. The more you shape and polish the ideas, the more excitement takes hold.

Stage 5: Climb

Approvals. Edits. Socialization.

You know exactly what you need to do for your brand—and while it's an uphill trek, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. You plough forward through the final rounds of approvals and activation planning, hopeful that it's all going to pay off soon.

Stage 6: Leap

Jitters. Joy. Anticipation.

At last, it's time to take your changed brand out into the world.

Vibrating with excitement, you hold your breath and leap forward. Activations go live; external rollouts are underway. You actually did it—and while the journey was (slightly) harrowing, your brand emerges changed for the better.

Check out more posts

4 questions to better brand storytelling

Brand Strategy
4 questions to ask yourself when enhancing your brand storytelling.

The X Factor: Experiences That Advance Your Brand

Brand Experience
How a smart experience strategy can distinguish your brand and leave a lasting impression.

Brand Forensics Episode 2: The Mistake

Brand Strategy
Digging in deeper we look at where the execution of the Max launch diverged from the likely business strategy behind it (i.e., where it all went wrong).
Got a brand problem?
Got a customer problem?
Got a culture problem?
Got an identity problem?
Got a recruiting problem?
Got a messaging problem?
Got an all-of-the-above problem?
Got a brand problem?
Got a customer problem?
Got a culture problem?
Got an identity problem?
Got a recruiting problem?
Got a messaging problem?
Got an all-of-the-above problem?

Put Artful Problem Solving to work for you.