Brand Design

Get to know our Brand Design model, the Brand Identity Model and the book that we wrote about it.
Discover that strong brands are relevant, differentiating and credible.
We’d love to grow along with your brand and organization.

Brand Design

To us, Brand Design is the ideal combination of a powerful brand strategy and creative design. The aim: interior, exterior and behaviour in perfect harmony, so that the brand commands a relevant, differentiating and credible position over its competitors. But how do we do that?


Branding is not an exact science; there’s no mathematical formula for it. But relying purely on your gut feeling is not such a great way to do it either. So in 2002, we developed the Brand Design model as the foundation for us and our clients in building strong brands. And since times change, in 2017 we updated the Brand Design model with 22 physical and 22 digital brand touch points.


Yes, I want to receive the new Brand Design model.

Brand Design Model Ruud Boer ENG
Brand design proces btm

Brand Design process

We apply our Brand Design model from the inside out:

  • Mental brand identity: identifying the most relevant position, direction and aim of the brand.
  • Visual brand identity: designing an attractive and differentiating look and feel for the brand.
  • Brand touch points: developing all physical and digital brand touch points.
  • Orchestration: aligning, embedding and introducing the new Brand Design internally.
  • Brand activation: bringing the brand to life in the hearts and minds of the target group.


Yes, I want to download the Brand Design process.

Mental brand identity

Mental brand identity gives the brand strategy direction. The dot on the horizon where your brand commands a relevant and differentiating position. We define this for six components:

  • Brand vision: vision of the market in a couple of years and the position that the brand can command by then.
  • Brand mission: internal mission to make the brand vision a reality.
  • Brand values: three words that express what makes the brand unique and valuable for the primary target group.
  • Brand personality: the brand’s character, e.g. described as a human being or compared with other brands.
  • Brand promise: summing the brand up in one sentence (payoff line).
  • Brand essence: the core of the brand in one or two words.


I want to know more about mental brand identity.

Visual brand identity

A brand’s design is more than just its logo. As a professional Rotterdam-based Brand Design agency, we design a total brand experience for all the senses:

  • Sight: the differentiating visual aspects, such as colours, layout, photography, etc.
  • Touch: the differentiating aspects that can be felt, both physically and mentally.
  • Sound: the differentiating sounds connected to the brand.
  • Taste: the differentiating, specific taste of the products.
  • Smell: the differentiating scent connected to your brand.
  • Tone of voice: the type of speech used by your brand: formal or familiar, jargon, etc.
  • Brand icons: characters typically associated with the brand, such as M&M’s sweets, entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, pictorial trademarks like Apple’s apple, etc.


Tell me what you can do for me.

Brand Identity model door Ruud Boer RM

Brand Identity Model

There are many different brand models around for defining your brand identity. But what about your visual brand identity? For a brand like Zwitsal, its specific scent and the colour yellow are part of its brand identity. We think it’s important to state and cherish what makes a brand unique for all the senses. Which is why we have developed the Brand Identity Model, to define your brand identity on one sheet of paper. This is essentially your mental brand identity, augmented by the specific differentiating aspects of your visual brand identity. Together, they address your primary target group. We’d be happy to help you with your input for the Brand Identity Model.


Yes, I want to receive the Brand Identity model.

Brand touch points

Once your brand strategy and mental brand identity have been defined and your visual brand identity has been designed, we as your Rotterdam-based design agency will design and develop all your brand touch points. We call this 360-degree Brand Design. That is why we have integrated 22 physical and 22 digital brand touch points into our new Brand Design model.


Physical brand touch points can be your correspondence set, business cards, office building, interior design, company cars, workwear, annual report, brochures, products and services, packaging, trade fairs, events, advertising and even internal touch points, like a brand passport, staff magazine and brand manual.


Digital brand touch points can be your website, web shop, SEO and SEA, online advertising, online video, influencer marketing, social media, apps, computer games, virtual reality, email marketing, affiliate marketing, viral marketing, PowerPoint and intranet.


Want to know what we can do for you physically and digitally?


At BTM, we call the final stage of the Brand Design process orchestration, which consists of three parts:

  • Alignment: bringing all the brand touch points into perfect harmony in their look & feel (visual brand identity) and their message and brand values (mental brand identity). This creates ‘visual synergy’.
  • Embedding: defining the mental and visual brand identity in a brand manual, so that colleagues, external agencies and the next ‘generations’ of marketers are familiar with the brand identity in pictures and text and can apply it properly.
  • Communicating: introducing the brand internally to all staff, so that they realize that they too are part of the brand, know what the brand stands for and can apply it properly in their work.


It’s child’s play if everything is properly aligned. But many companies and brands skip this step or don’t take it seriously enough, meaning the Brand Design process won’t ‘stick’ properly.


Yes, I want to know more about orchestration.

360 graden Brand Design Model 2.0 - Hogeschool Zeeland

Design Review

Strong brands have visual synergy: all brand touch points are in perfect harmony in their design and content. We’ve developed a clever tool for this: Design Review. We use it to assess whether all brand touch points fit in with the brand strategy and brand identity and whether they form a powerful brand. We place the brand touch points into four groups: excellent, good, medium and unsatisfactory. In the process, there is a difference between strategic (key) touch points versus incidental touch points. This gives each client and our designers a perfect view and understanding of the future creative challenge.


Tell me more about your Design Review.

Brand activation

At BTM, branding is made up of Brand Design and brand activation. Brand Design is used to make the brand ‘market-ready’, after which brand activation is used to bring the brand to life in the hearts and minds of the target group. We have developed a Customer Brand Journey model as a tool for brand activation. It maps out your brand points of contact in four stages: Orientation, Purchase, Use and Evaluation. It’s the perfect starting point for thinking about service design: how can we use the brand touch points to make the Customer Journey even better, with extra service and a positive experience.


Yes, I want to receive the Customer Brand Journey model.

customer brand journey ENG
Boek Brand Design Editie 6 - door Ruud Boer RM

BRAND DESIGN: the book

Ruud Boer, Dutch qualified marketer and director-partner at Rotterdam-based design agency Bataafsche Teeken Maatschappij (BTM), has put Brand Design on the map. His book BRAND DESIGN, first published in 2002 and now in its 6th edition and 17th impression, has become the standard work for how to build brands. The book is used in every higher professional education programme in the Netherlands for students in marketing, communications and design. We are rather proud of that. Read more…


Want to know more about Brand Design?

Send a message to Ruud Boer, the author of the book.

We’d be delighted to meet you to explain how we can make your brand and organization grow too.