This is the part where I should tell you that the projects on this site are the simplified versions of what a branding project might look like. There's larger conversations and processes that should take place. This is a quick summary of what my process looks like.
Step One: Aligning on Goals and Purpose
AKA the Kick-off meeting. I like these to be immersive and all hands on deck. Here is where we define the problem, and align on purpose and goals for the project.
Step Two: The Deep Dive
The next step of the process is a "deep dive" (a brainstorming term I learned while working at IDEO). This becomes a brain dump of ideas, studying case studies, finding common themes, learning more about the client, using lots and lots of post-its, going out in the world and observing your audience, asking questions, and testing ideas.
Step Three: The Strategy & Story
Next, taking all I've learned thus far, I create a list of core principles, a larger "North Star" vision (Elle Luna taught me that term). This really helps set up every project for success. Through that you can start putting together what story you are trying to tell through the branding.
Step Four: Design the Visual Brand
After we're all aligned on core principles and our brand strategy, I let that work inform the visual identity. I'm mostly focusing on this part of the process on this site. I've seen the magic and importance of each part of this process in order to set up a brand for success.