Table of Contents

Latest updates

1 Mar 2023 | version 01.02.01
Separated the content into different individual pages instead of having a super long one-pager.

20 Nov 2022 | version 01.01.01
Officially published on Github as an open-source repository and added a dark theme.

20 Sep 2020 | version 00.01.14
Major content changes. Added “Brand Entity” as a third part of what makes up a Brand, alongside with “Brand Identity” and “Brand Perception”. Also, added section “What is a Logo?”.

6 Sep 2020 | version 00.01.13
Made background colour lighter. Copy-edited content spelling and grammar.

26 Mar 2020 | version 00.01.12
Major content update. Added "Developers vs. Programmers" to "Terminology" section. Added multiple TPG case studies to "Brand Strategy" section. Added whole new section "Digital Product Development".

9 Mar 2020 | version 00.01.11
Added new books to the "Bibliography" section.

25 Feb 2020 | version 00.01.10
Added "Business Development" section.

16 Feb 2020 | version 00.01.09
Added "Basic Touchpoints" section.

01 Feb 2020 | version 00.01.08
Updated "Moodboard", "Visual Language", and "Tools & Resources" sections, and added "Brand Guidelines" section.

30 Jan 2020 | version 00.01.07
Added "Bibliography" sub-sections, "Poly Forum" and "Colophon" sections.

27 Jan 2020 | version 00.01.06
Added "Bibliography" section.

21 Jan 2020 | version 00.01.05
Added "Visual Identity" section.

20 Jan 2020 | version 00.01.04
Added "Key Messages" section.

16 Jan 2020 | version 00.01.03
Multiple content changes.

21 Oct 2019 | version 00.01.02
Added Community, Info, and Version features.

20 Oct 2019 | version 00.01.01
We've published our original alpha as a public beta.

Some info about our project

Our goal is to publish free and open-access educational information on branding and brand identity design.

Eventhough we've already spent several years trying to see how we put this project together, this project is still in its early stages of development.

For the future, we have high hopes of building a useful platform for creatives all over the world to use as a resource and make their professional careers easier.

Join our community!

Poly Forum is a place to discuss branding, share tips and resources, ask questions, request feedback, and connect with other creatives from around the world.

Learn More ›

Business Development

So you've decided to start a business. Odds are you're getting yourself into something much bigger and difficult that you might have first imagined. However, don't beat yourself down. The solution to facing the herculean task of starting a business is research, planning, executing, and continuously optimising step-by-step. The good thing, is that we've got you covered! Following this framework can be a helpful tool to guiding you through the process of business development.

1. Market Research

Exhaustive research is the cornerstone of a strong Brand; It bridges the gap between Business Goals and Brand Identity. Furthermore, the Market Research is not only useful for the Identity Design, but it's also useful for all marketing activities of the business.

The Polyfen Group

You can browse the Market Research we did for our business at

1.1. Business Analysis


Gather information about the business


Marketing Analyst

Estimated Workload

0.5 – 2 hours


The best place to start is to gather as much information as possible about the business by answering the following questions:

  1. Why does the business exists?
  2. Is it a new business or are they already operational? If it's an existing business, how long has it been operating?
  3. Does the business already have a name? Are the business owners willing to change the Brand Name?
  4. What products / services does the business offer?
  5. How many people work in the business?
  6. Where is the business geographically based?
  7. How are the product / services distinctively better than those of the competition?
  8. Does the business already have a Brand Identity? An existing website or social media presence? If so, why are they wanting to Rebrand?
  9. How are the business' products / services priced when compared to the competition?
  10. What would be the business' ideal customer?
  11. Where are there customers geographically located? Is the business planning to expand to other markets?
  12. What problem do the customers have that the business can solve?
The Polyfen Group
The Polyfen Group incorporates multiple sub-brands segmenting different services, organisations, and products all related to the creative industry; especially to the Branding process.

Polyfen, a creative agency offering Brand Identity Design services for new and emerging businesses.

Poly Atlas, a web platform which features a guide of best practices in Branding.

Poly Forum, an international community of creatives dedicated to discussing Branding.

The goal of The Polyfen Group is to serve integral Branding solutions for every step of the process while segmenting our subsidiary Brands each one tailored for a different target group.

Further information can be found on our Business Plan available at ›

1.2. Target Public Analysis


Identify the Target Public


Marketing Analyst

Estimated Workload

0.5 – 2 hours


By understanding the business and surveying the industry we can already intuitively narrow down some demographics of what an ideal customer should be like.

Furthermore, especially if you're designing a Brand Identity for a foreign market, it's very important to understand the cultural context. You can start by surveying the country's cultural background and demographics on Wikipedia or on Geography Now!.

However, it is possible for a Brand to have multiple Public Groups which serve different purposes. For instance, a creative agency might have a Public Group (A) which includes decision makers of other businesses needing creative services, and (B) people from the creative industry who would be interested in the content published by the Brand.

At this point we must identify the different possible Public Groups, breakdown their corresponding demographic characteristics, and make User Personas stereotyping the ideal Public member of each group.

Each User Persona can include traits like:

  1. Profile Picture
  2. Name / Pseudonym
  3. Age
  4. Gender
  5. Residence location
  6. Occupation
  7. Income
  8. Socio-economic class
  9. Interests
  10. Brands they trust
  11. Unsatisfied need / Problem
  12. Solution offered by the business
  13. Desired business goal

This is a good time for your business to follow your Persona's interests in social media as a reference for the content they are consuming.

The Polyfen Group

Here is an example of a User Persona.

Profile Picture
Pseudonym Business Brandon
Residence Melbourne, Australia
Age 43 yo.
Occupation Founder & CEO
Income $9.000USD
Socio-economic Class High
Interests Entrepreneurship, Business, Marketing, Finance, Technology, Advertising, News.
Brands he trusts Forbes, Bloomberg, Business Insider, Inc., Ted Talks, Ideo, Deloitte, Accenture, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur.
Problem Is the Founder & CEO of an emerging company in the Business Consulting sector but their Brand Identity doesn’t reflect the high quality of their services.
Solution Finding a reliable team of experts who can identify their branding needs and design a compelling brand identity which will guarantee better business results.
Goal Getting him to contact us in search of our services.

1.3. Industry Analysis


List the Industry leaders and direct competitors


Marketing Analyst

Estimated Workload

0.5 – 2 hours


By now, based on the Business Analysis, we know the Industry and Niche it belongs to.

A quick Google search can help us identify the industry leaders worldwide, and by adding the location of the specific markets of the business to the Google search we can also find direct competitors operating in the same area.

Different tools can also be used to better understand the industry and Target Public, like (1) Who's using and following related social media hashtags, (2) Who's following your other brands from your industry on social media, and (3) Analytics tools (like SimilarWeb, Alexa, and Quantcast).

For more technical, complex industries, you may browse research publications on ResearchGate or

Make a list of both the industry leaders and direct competitors considering (1) which traits are common in the industry's brands, (2) which traits can be used to differentiate the business' Brand over its competitors, and (3) which brand is closer to the business' aspirations.

While you survey the industry it would be useful to additionally list Keywords that you might find relatable to the industry.

The Polyfen Group

Here's a sample of the top ten industry leaders we've found for Polyfen's Industry Analysis.

Brand Bio
Pentagram Pentagram is the world’s largest independently-owned design studio.
Interbrand At Interbrand, we believe that growth is achieved when an organization has a clear strategy and delivers exceptional customer experiences. We do both, through a combination of strategy, creativity, and technology that helps drive growth for our clients’ brands and businesses.
Landor Landor builds some of the world’s most agile brands—brands that thrive on change.
Lippincott We are a creative consultancy specializing in brand, innovation and experience design
Superunion We're a next-generation brand agency built on a spirit of creative optimism.
FutureBrand We are the creative future company.
Blind We Help Brands & Businesses Gain a Competitive Advantage in the Connected World.
Motto A branding agency for game-changers + rule-breakers.
Basic A design agency built to build modern brands…
Curious We believe asking the right questions makes brand stronger.

1.4. Research Conclusion


Summarise key insights of the Brand Research


Marketing Analyst

Estimated Workload

0.5 – 1.5 hours


After considering all the surveyed information summarise your key insights regarding the business and which direction would be most effective for the Brand Strategy.

The Polyfen Group
Our business model is a compelling take against our competition and has the potential to become a leader of the creative industry through attracting, engaging, and delighting our target public.

2. Business Plan

The Polyfen Group

You can browse the Business Plan we did for our business at

3. Products & Services

Define what would be the best quality Product or Service that your business can offer to its customers; Then reverse engineer what would be the process for developing those Products or Services; Lastly, write down the workflow guidelines for your team-members to follow.

For us at The Polyfen Group for instance, this very platform, Poly Atlas, serves as an internal wiki referring to the workflow of the services we provide.