Semester-Long Project Part One

Part 1 – Creative Brief, Brand Content, and Identity Package


Points: 30 pts
Due date: Mon, Jan 28 at 11:59 p.m.
Resources: Google doc, Canva, Photoshop, Illustrator
Summary: The goal for this task is to establish a foundation for your mock company including name, purpose, vision, target audience, and visual identity.


ASSIGNMENT FILES

Walk-Thur of Part 1 with Examples

OVERVIEW

In COMSTRAT 310 student teams generate original social media, PR, and advertising campaign elements for a single fictional company, organization, event or initiative. Students will conceptualize a fictional brand or mock company. Ideas for student concepts and links to past team websites can be found on the Teams page. You are not limited by geography but encouraged to select a location or region you are familiar with and not to over-complicate by having multiple locations. Mock companies can also be online-only.

Throughout the semester, students create digital assets as part of an integrated campaign. In preparation, they will establish a project founded for brand, audience, and message. You will engage in visual storytelling and digital content creation for a website, social media channels, email marketing, and blog.

The goal for this task is to establish a foundation for your mock company including name, purpose, vision, target audience, and visual identity.

Categories for semester-long projects:

  • ENTERTAINMENT (movies, music, concerts, video games, etc.)
  • HOSPITALITY (i.e. restaurant, food truck, brewery, winery, coffee shop)
  • LUXURY GOODS & SERVICES (investing, jewelry, resorts, boats, vacation homes, etc. )
  • NONPROFIT, PHILANTHROPIC or POLITICS (supporting a specific cause, initiative, proposition or movement)
  • RETAIL (fashion, merchandise, crafts, hobby store, online store, candy store, tattoo parlor)
  • SPORTS & FITNESS (golf course, fitness center, sports complex, yoga studio)
  • TECHNOLOGY & ELECTRONICS (computers, mobile, televisions, smart devices, etc.)
  • TRAVEL (tours, hotel, bed and breakfast)

Assignment Components

  1. Project description
  2. Vision and goals
  3. Audience and reach
  4. Competitor review
  5. Naming exercise
  6. Brand and visual concepts
  7. Core messaging

Formatting Guidelines:

  • Format: Outline provided, use shared doc your team creates in Google Drive
  • Font:  Times, Arial or Calibri recommended (10-11 pt)
  • Spacing:  Single or double spacing is fine – page numbers recommended
  • Include a title page with your company name, team member names, label for Part 1 and date
  • Pages: 2-4 pages

References:

TASK

(1) Have one person on your team access your shared Google folder and create a new document. Call it 310 Project Part 1 and save it (make sure it is in the shared folder so all team members have access)

(2) Work together to complete the outline provided below. This task will require that team members showcase skills in research, writing, and layout.

Outline:

Project description: Briefly characterize the nature of your mock company. Is it a company, organization, event or initiative? Overall – what do you do, what services do you provide?

Vision and goals: In 1-2 paragraphs, articulate your overall vision for the semester-long project. What is the rationale behind the idea? Why do you think such a concept would be successful with the target audience and chosen market? How will your concept stand out from similar ideas or competitors? What would hope this idea will achieve in the short-term? What is its long-term potential?

Audience and reach: Describe your ideal customer by outlining the following information:

  • Audience type: How would you characterize this person? i.e. mom, student, grandparent
  • Audience awareness: What do you think they already know about the company?
  • Goals, needs, and motivations: What do you think motivates this person to be successful, to make purchases, to engage with companies?
  • Challenges and frustrations: What do you think frustrates this person as a consumer? What barriers do they face? (i.e. money, transportation, technology)
  • Media Usage and preferences: What do you think they are searching for on Google? What type of content would make them stop, click, and read? What types of posts would inspire them to engage with your posts? (e.g. polls, videos, photos, questions, etc.)

Competitor review: Select 1 company to focus on for a competitor review. This could be a direct or indirect competitor based on products or services but regardless, you should select one that attracts a similar target audience.

  • Name of company you are profiling for your competitor review:
  • How do you perceive this company’s overall quality – in customer service, production, in delivery? Good or bad? Either way – please elaborate.
  • What would you note as their main weaknesses or areas of opportunity?
  • Based on their social media postings, blogs or message forums – what are their customers saying about them?
  • Promotional assets (current visibility – advertising, PR, awareness) How visible is the company and/or product? Would you say they are well-known and recognizable? Why?

Naming exercise: Your mock company name does not necessarily have to be completely original (meaning it might exist in other communities) – but you will not be allowed to use trademarked names and should be aware of any implications your name ideas have (in translation, urban slang, or alternative meanings).

Outline for your naming exercise:

  1. Identify 3-5 keywords or phrases you would search for to find a company like yours.
  2. Take the same 3-5 keywords and phrases and check them at thesaurus.com, Dictionary.com , and UrbanDictionary.com. What did you find?
  3. When you think of your company – what images, shapes, or other visuals come to mind? List 2-3.
  4. What 2-3 attributes would you want future customers to note to describe you as an organization? For example – trustworthy, reliable, friendly.
  5. Check your ideas… identify 2-5 mock company name ideas. Check each one on Google and Trademarkia.com and report on what you find. If your company name idea yields matching Google results or is trademarked – consider variations.
  6. After completing step 5 – what is your final verdict? What is your final decision on a name?

Brand and visual concepts

  1. Brand statement: Create a brand statement that summarizes the following:
    • Position: How do you want your company to be perceived in the minds of customers?
    • Promise: What do you think your customers expect from your company?
    • Drivers: What do you think your company does better than anyone else? How will you stand out from the competition?
    • Personality: What does your company stand for? How would you define your values, beliefs, philosophy? What is your commitment to your customers?
  2. Use Canva, Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Spark to create your logo concepts. Select 1-3 colors you will use consistently throughout your promotional materials. Make a note of the font(s) you use for future reference when creating your website and digital content. Use of icons is encouraged. Reminder that you have access to royalty-free illustrations within Canva and tools such as Pixabay and Storyblocks. For this section include the following:
    • Logo concept(s) including variations (multiple ideas are OK at this stage)
    • Note fonts used
    • Note 3-5 colors you want to use as part of your visual identity (primary vs. secondary)

Core messaging

  • List 10-20 keywords and phrases that you would affiliate with your company. Think of words and phrases your target audience might use to search for your organization on Google.
  • Craft an overview statement for your company (name, industry, location, products, and services). It should answer questions such as who you are, what you do, what makes your organization unique, what region(s) you serve, relevant facts and stats, and the value you provide (1-2 paragraphs)

(3) Turn it in

Once you have completed all aspects of the outline, turn in your assignment:

  1. Review document layout and formatting (consistency in bold, ital., underline, spacing) and that your sections are clearly labeled
  2. Proofread and check grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation
  3. Verify you maintained consistency in personal pronoun use and provided complete and thoughtful responses
  4. Verify all elements and sections are complete
  5. Have one person on your team upload your final document to the designated drop box in Blackboard as .docx, pdf or shared Google doc link (ensure permissions are set for view/edit).

GRADING CRITERIA

Using elements of a standard “Research, Writing, and Creativity” rubric – you will be graded on research, content, completion, creativity, and conventions.

  • Research and Preparation: Demonstrated exploration of purposeful research with proven accuracy, citing of resources (where appropriate) and evidence of thoughtful and thorough preparation.
  • Content: Meets all the criteria for the assignment. All content is in the students’ own words and is accurate. Provides clear purpose and subject; pertinent examples, facts, and/or statistics; supports conclusions/ideas with evidence.
  • Comprehensive and Thorough: All aspects and sections of the assignment are completed in full with no holes. Demonstrated ability to research to complete all tables, templates or outline requirements.
  • Creativity: Students demonstrate creativity and innovation in completing the assignment content and any layout or design elements. The final product is unique, powerful, effective, and compelling.
  • Conventions: Document is easy to read, and all elements are very clearly written, labeled. The document has no misspellings or grammatical errors.