Once the strategic objectives have been set, it is important to establish the ownership of the project – is the council the lead partner, or will responsibility sit with the LEP, or perhaps a town centre partnership board, or destination marketing agency?
Who is the political lead? Is it the council leader or one of his/her Cabinet? Set up a project group, involving external partners if appropriate, but keep it small. You want to avoid a ‘branding by committee' scenario. Get a senior level project sponsor - preferably your chief executive – who will champion the project. This does not need an overly formal project structure but to avoid problems later, the key things to establish early on are ownership, accountability, sign-off, and senior support.
You should also get a budget agreed for the brand development phase. How much this is will depend on what you are planning to do in-house, and how much you will need to rely on external support. Be realistic about your in-house capabilities and don't underbid at this stage.