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Gustavo Espinoza | 08 June, 2022

Managing branding projects

Branding project management is how it is planned, organized, and managed. This can be thought of as the time, people, and other resources needed to complete a branding project in a manner that is aligned with the client’s goals and objectives, including timings.

Developing branding projects requires you to take a very particular approach in terms of management, as creativity and design are most of the time very subjective matters. The management team must be very flexible in managing the variety of work styles and skills of each one of the members of the design team. It is essential to have several touch points across the entire process, constant revisions, and collaborate well to produce top-notch creative projects.

Project managers must have clear goals and objectives from day one, considering some extra time for when creativity stalls, balancing tasks across the team, and keeping everyone organized since there might be many other projects working in parallel. With a solid plan and strategy, design projects flow easier, removing ambiguity and saving the team time reworking unnecessary edits from the beginning.

Types of projects

There are different types of design projects. Some can be very straightforward, like developing specific print or digital brand materials requiring only a quick brief with the client and a single team member to create the final project. Others can be more complex where the creation process goes through different stages and requires more team members and a greater range of skills and resources to complete. Some clients need us to develop a brand from scratch, ideating the core concept, defining its name, and constructing a comprehensive design system that involves illustrations, iconography, and patterns. This process requires more time and must be planned out very well, dividing each step into different phases.

Development Stages

Going into more detail, branding project management is how it is planned, organized, and managed. This can be thought of as the time, people, and other resources needed to complete a branding project in a manner that is aligned with the client’s goals and objectives, including timings.

It is important to pay special attention from start to finish, observing the number of people and time involved, the review and approval process, whether it is internal or external, and any other potential compliance risks or issues. The main challenge of branding project management is to use the least amount of resources to create effective projects that align with the goals and objectives of the client whilst not compromising the creative capabilities of the team.

  1. Kick-off

Every branding project must begin with a solid briefing session where the client’s business requirements, vision, and the problems that need to be solved are well understood and documented. It is important to ask questions about all the wants or needs, but it is even more important to know why as it will provide a deeper understanding of the project.

Getting clear on the expectations of the outcome and the process from the beginning is crucial to project success. Discussing the scope, timings, requirements, information, and even communication methods like email or instant messaging groups is fundamental to achieving a smooth and efficient development process.

  1. Planning

If you are already clear on your design process, it is key to create a solid actionable project plan, assign tasks accordingly to individual team members and create a detailed timeline. Since branding projects could be complex and get messy, it is recommended to split the process into smaller milestones and stages. Having a clear plan and timeline in place from the beginning will ensure that everyone in your team is in the loop, proper allocation of time, resources, and people, track progress and keep the project on schedule. It is also crucial to take into account and anticipate potential risks, delays, or conflicts to keep the process as realistic and feasible as possible.

  1. Creation

Once the entire team is aligned with the project’s objectives and execution plan, the next step is to perform some research, establish design direction, and produce initial design concepts, wireframes, and mockups for the team’s review. Branding projects require to have multiple touch points, revisions, and adjustments before getting to the desired final product.

It is important to ensure that the design team has the tools and resources they need to finalize their projects on time and don’t compromise on quality and creativity.

After internal review and sign-off, the project is ready to be presented to the client for approval and gathering feedback. Branding proposal presentations should be well organized, straightforward, easy to digest, and very visually appealing.

  1. Fine-tuning

On average, it should take two to three revisions to finalize a branding project. Once the client has shared comments and feedback, it is crucial to clarify questions and vague ideas on a call to align and avoid wasting time on reworks and edits.

  1. Outputs

The completion of a design or branding project is determined by the delivery of final files and the brand resources that were created for the project. It is crucial to be well organized and share files in the most common proper formats.

As reviewed, creativity can be very subjective and without a proper project management approach that will help set clear objectives from day one that make the creation process more subtle, it will be complicated to produce the best possible creative outcome.