You know them well. The big businesses. Coca Cola, Nike and Apple. But which one thing does these companies have in common?
A strong and consistent brand identity. Most of these companies products you can recognize without even seeing a logo! Their long-lasting impression on the marketplace and worldwide recognition are living proof of the power of branding.
How can you learn from these brands? Building a strong brand required taking a few steps. Its best to do this in the early stages of your product or business development, even before creating your website or other assets like logos and business cards. That being said, its never too late to make sure your business becomes an admired brand.
Lets briefly look at the process of building your brand identity, no matter what state you are in.
01 | What is brand identity?
A brand identity coalesces your business' vision by portraying it in a way that is understood - and most importantly, embraced - by your target market. Once you’ve thought about how you want people to relate to your brand, you’ll need to determine the elements that will turn it into a unique, recognizable identity.
These include the things that make your brand look and sound a certain way, such as your choice of color palette, use of language or fonts.
Coca-Cola's brand identity begins with a red logo in script text. The red color elicits confidence in the person who drinks a Coke, while the script typeface is all about enjoyment.
02 | Why is it important?
Your brand is so much more than a logo on a website. It is something that lives and breathes. It evolves and adapts as your business grows. A well thought through brand identity will set you apart from your competitors in the eyes of your prospective clients. It will also help in establishing a sense of comfort and familiarity among your customers which helps you retain loyalty, engagement and future success.
Once you understand the “why” of your brand, it will make growth come naturally, too. It's something you can always use as a consistent reference for your branding, marketing and content as your business continues to expand.
03 | How to decide on an identity for your brand
Building a brand identity is an investment of time, creativity and effort for the sustainability and longevity of your business. It’s also a brilliant opportunity to secure all facets of your brand and decide how to share them with the world. Use this guide below and get ready to welcome your brand.
04 | Shape your brand’s personality
Before you think about how you’ll represent your brand to the world, put yourself in your brand’s shoes. Just like you and I express ourselves by the way we dress, speak and act - your brand also expresses itself with unique features. Here's how to give your brand a personality that stands out.
What inspired you to start your business? What do you want to achieve? What can you offer your community? Your brand’s story is the linchpin of building an authentic narrative that resonates with your audience. If you can answer these questions and communicate them with your customers, they'll be more likely to feel a connection to your product.
Understanding “WHY” you are doing this business is the main key in understanding how you should build a brand. Ensure that your brands' traits and quirks stem from this “WHY” and this will ensure consistency going forward which will build trust from your clients.
Make sure your brand stands out from your competitors, by researching them first. This is a best practice to understand your target audience and ensure that you stand out from the rest. Use the best of your competitors to start, then understand the worst to enhance your brand. This will set you apart from them and your customers will see it.
There is no joy in creating a product and business, but no market to sell it on. Would it make sense to create the wheel if a wheel is already created? Understanding your target market will help you understand their needs, and this will help shape your brand identity.
05 | Get down and dirty
Now that you understand your brand's identity, it's time to get down and dirty and design your brand. If you are not comfortable with doing this part alone, let us know and we will help you!
Your brand's assets are a unique set of elements that help customers and visitors identify with the values of your brand. It is important to reflect what your brand identity is in the design of your brand. Let's look at this:
If your brand could talk, how would it sound? Authoritative? Casual? Funny? Encouraging? Perhaps all of the above?
Your brand’s tone of voice refers to the kind of language used to communicate with your audience. By consistently using a particular tone in your website copy, writing, marketing materials, and blogs, you can personify your brand and embody a distinct style.
Your brand colors have a lasting impression on customers, affecting the way they perceive and interact with your business. Here’s some advice: colors trigger emotions. The subliminal response to colors can run the gamut from excitement or elegance to seriousness or friendliness - the list goes on.
Apart from setting a particular tone, these colors should be used consistently throughout your brand’s assets. Studies show that the use of signature colors improves brand recognition by 80% - think of the exciting red that’s inextricably linked to Coca-Cola, or Apple’s iconic use of white. Over time, audiences will associate your color palette with your business and familiarize themselves with your brand identity.
Your brand’s font tells a story just as much as the content itself. Although choosing a font seems like a subtle decision, typography is a fundamental element of brand identity design. Select a font style that reflects a cohesive message and remains stylistically in line with the rest of your assets. Also, consider the way you want your text to be arranged, taking into account important design principles such as visual hierarchy, white space, and alignment.
Most people will agree, your logo is the face of your brand. Whether you hire a graphic designer or create a logo of your own, use the brand personality you’ve built as a starting point for your brand’s logo design. The goal of making a good logo is to create something that audiences will remember and recognize immediately, so make sure it’s one-of-a-kind and captures your business’ essence.
Make sure that all the above assets and decisions are saved somewhere safe. This will serve as your style guide going forward. Keep it safe, there is nothing worse than not having your original logo if you want to make small adjustments in the future!
06 | Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
You now have a brand identity. You have your new assets. Now it's time to show the world, and start building a known identity.
Building a website is an essential part of owning a business. An online location for audiences to find more information about your brand, your website underscores your brand identity with attractive visual features and informative text. To heighten the professional perception of your brand, choose a domain that includes your business's name.
If you’re a brand that sells goods - whether in person or via an online store - remember that customers love creative packaging. The packaging says a lot about your brand’s identity and has the capacity to satisfy customers before they enjoy what’s inside.
Think outside the box - pun intended. By playing around with the material, images, and text, you can create a packaging style that reflects the visual identity of your brand.
It’s true that we live in a digitally focused world - but business cards never get old. Displaying your contact information along with your brand’s logo, a business card is a friendly and professional way of reminding new connections to reach out and add you to their contacts. Business cards can be made in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles, so designing a business card that expresses the identity of your brand won’t be a problem.
Good email marketing is a strategic way to build brand awareness, promote new products and engage with customers. Email marketing services make it possible to design custom emails, which means you can stamp your brand’s identity all over it. Whether your emails are promotional or informative, be sure to use the elements of your brand identity design, such as your logo, brand colors and fonts.
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