You, as an individual, have your own personal identity that sets you apart from me and others. Perhaps you have a uniquely handsome face or a special personality trait that makes people easily recognize you as you.
In business, there’s also what we call “brand identity” which is really not far in definition from the personal identity we are talking about.
Brand identity is what makes your business recognizable and relatable to your clients and customers and what makes it stand out from the competition.
For you to understand better what is brand identity and how to build and develop an excellent one, I will walk you through this step-by-step guide for that purpose.
What is Brand Identity?
People often use the terms “brand,” “branding,” and “brand identity” as if they are the same things. But the fact is that they are not. So let’s split hairs here.
The term brand means the public’s perception of a business or company. Say, for instance, that you have shoe business and you want to portray an image to the consumers that you sell the coolest, most durable shoes ever. The image that you’re trying to represent and the relationship that the customers have to your business is what you call the brand.
Branding, on the other hand, means the practice of building a distinctive brand as well as its promotion to the public through advertising campaigns. So to impress potential consumers that you have the coolest shoes out there, you need to work on and develop the desired image of your business.
The research, designing of brand identity, advertising strategy, and management of assets that you put towards building that desired image is the branding.
Lastly, brand identity is the selection of all brand elements created by a company to paint the ideal image to its target audience. The logo, slogan, color schemes, typography, graphics, and design are examples of the brand elements that form your brand identity.
Creating and developing a strong brand identity will make your business or company easily recognizable to your customers. It will be associated with your product or service, and it will help connect your company to your customers, as well as forge customer loyalty.
How to Develop a Strong Brand Identity
Defining Your Brand
Before you learn about the various tangible elements that will form your brand identity, it’s crucial that you know who you are as a brand and what’s the goal you’re trying to reach. You can determine that by essential elements, such as your company’s mission, core values, brand personality, brand voice, and unique positioning.
It’s crucial that you know these elements and have a better understanding of each before you start creating your brand identity. You can also ask yourself these simple questions to help you get a clearer picture of who you are as a brand.
- Why I started this business?
- What values and beliefs that this company cherished?
- What makes us unique from our competitors?
- What are the three words that can best describe our brand?
If you know and understand better what defines your brand, you can now start to create the identity that will make your brand easily recognizable to your target audience.
Creating a Brand Name and Slogan
Two of the first things that will instantly ring a bell to consumers is the brand name and slogan of a company. So in building your brand identity, you should put importance on these two elements.
Ask yourself if you want your brand name to be descriptive and straightforward, or creative and witty. Keep in mind that originality is the key to naming your brand, and you should avoid lengthy or hard-to-spell brand names.
In this technologically advanced age, you need a website and social media to advertise your brand. So, again, a unique and original brand name is crucial because it will be easier for your customers to look you up on the internet if the name of your brand doesn’t share the same or similar name with another. You can use tools like Namechk for you to check if your desired domain name and social media handles are still available.
In creating a brand name and slogan, you should make sure that you gather key persons in your company in the process. Get them to visualize a brand and slogan that will define the core values and goals of your company.
Designing a Brand Logo
The logo is the visual centerpiece of your brand identity. People see it on your physical store (if ever you have one), packaging, website, social media pages – everywhere. Thus, when designing your logo, you should see to it that it meets these following criteria:
- Clearly conveys who you are as a brand,
- Clean, simple, and visually appealing,
- Memorable, versatile, and timeless,
- Fits in your industry’s standards.
You can opt for an image or your brand name itself as your logo, and you should make sure that it tells a story and portrays the identity that you want to communicate to your target audience.
Choosing the Right Typography
Typography refers to the font you use for your branding materials. It’s an essential component in building your brand identity because every font possesses its own personality and conveys an emotional effect on the beholder.
You can choose either one of these four major font types for your branding materials, namely: display, script, serif, and sans serif fonts.
- Display fonts are one of the most familiar and catchy fonts used in advertising. Each display font has eccentric and variable designs to its letters, as well as unusual outlines and edges. It is often used by companies who want to make a bold statement about their brand.
- Script fonts, such as Pacifico or Allura, mimics cursive handwriting. They’re often used to create an elegant or feminine vibe to a brand.
- Serif fonts, such as Garamond or Times New Roman, are characterized by a feature that looks like an anchor on the end of each letter. Such fonts are ideal to make your brand appear conventional, old school, and trustworthy.
- Sans serif fonts have smooth-edged letters and lack the anchor that you see in their serif counterparts. They’re often used to give a modern touch to a brand.
Selecting the Right Color Palette
Perhaps you have read or heard about color psychology? Well, if you haven’t, you should know now that colors can affect moods, feelings, and emotions. In branding, for instance, color is a great communication tool to convey your brand’s purpose and intent.
That’s why it’s advisable that you use colors strategically according to how you want your audience to perceive your brand. So here’s a list of colors and their corresponding meanings that you can use to get your message across to your target audience.
- Red is an intense color which conveys passion and excitement. You can use it if you want to portray your brand as bold and passionate.
- Blue is an aesthetically appealing color. It’s ideal to tell your target audience that your brand is credible and trustworthy.
- Yellow communicates fun and happiness. Its cheerful effect can make your brand appear accessible and affordable.
- Green is the most versatile color in the spectrum. It has a calm vibe, and it conveys the essence of Nature. Green is also culturally associated with money.
- Orange conveys friendliness and playfulness. It’s the ideal choice if you want your brand to appear accessible.
- Pink is the color which has a soft and feminine vibe. If you sell products for women, pink is undoubtedly a great choice.
- Purple exudes luxury and splendor. Sometimes, it’s also tied to femininity. So if you want your brand to convey those qualities, purple is an excellent choice.
- Black is effective in making your brand appear formal, modern, and sophisticated. In fact, it’s one of the most used colors in advertising.
Platforms to Express Your Brand Identity
There are different ways to bring your brand identity to the forefront. Here are some platforms that you can use for that purpose.
If you have physical stores, signage plays a considerable role in expressing the identity of your brand. You should make sure that your signage instantly grabs the attention of bystanders and pedestrian. You can incorporate your standard brand logo, color palette, typography, and other design elements into it.
It’s also essential to consider the material of your signage. You can choose from acrylic sheets, aluminum, vinyl, alumalite, dura-wood, and metal. If you opt for metal signage, you can visit shield CO Metal Signs for that purpose.
Product packaging can impact a consumer’s buying decision. So, if you’re selling physical products, you should make sure that you put importance on the packaging. Packaging is also an effective way to make your brand design stand out.
Your website serves as a repository of information about your brand and the products or services you’re offering. Before your customers decide to transact business with you, they’ll probably visit your site first. Your website is also an excellent platform to express your brand identity through its design and features.
Millions of people use social media, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. No wonder that it’s a capable platform to reach out to your target audience and display the identity of your brand. In social media, you can post, comment, share, and communicate anything that’s related to your business.
Brand identity is an essential aspect of making your brand easily recognizable to consumers.
It can shape the consumers’ perception of the brand, build the brand’s reputation, and emphasize the brand’s purpose and core values.
Therefore, you should put your efforts towards building a strong brand identity for your business success.