Creating a strong brand identity for your business
If you use the terms ‘brand’ and ‘logo’ interchangeably you wouldn’t be on your own, but that doesn’t make it factually accurate. Whilst a logo is a great symbolisation of what your business offers and stands for, it is only a fraction of a businesses material that overall creates a strong brand identity.
Audio 13.23 Minutes
What sets your company apart?
What differentiates your company from millions of other businesses? Having a strong brand is the crux of ensuring your business is noticed and is differentiated for your competitors.
Before you dive right into developing brand identity, it is important to remember exactly what a brand is and how to sculpt one accordingly. It would be brilliant if this process were as easy as taking a business name and superimposing it onto marketing material! Unfortunately it’s not quite that simple.
The term branding originates from the same ‘branding’ process that farmers use to mark cattle. Thankfully, now the concept has developed to represent much more than a business name.
Nowadays your brand is a non negotiable aspect of your business, defined as the collection of your name and product type.
Look at the bigger picture
First, you need to be clear about your business goals, what milestones do you want your business to accomplish and when etc. Start by deep diving into your core values, brand narrative, tone of voice, and your unique selling point that makes you stand out from your competitors. Next, assess how your brand is being perceived currently, so you can address which areas need to be improved to be in line with your business goals, values, brand messages and so on.
Create a visual plan
Once you have established a strategy for how you want your brand to be perceived, it’s time to see how the visual attributes come into play. Create a timeline of each visual asset you want to include, rather than trying to accomplish everything at once. Start by identifying which areas need the most attention first. This might be things such as a logo, colour palette, font, imagery, imagery and so on. Next, determine which areas these visual assets are attributed to. This may include your website, social media profile, advertising, promotional items etc.
Create a brand style guide
It is important that you have a set of brand guidelines to ensure that there is visual consistency throughout all areas of your business. This will help to create a strong brand identity and awareness. This guide will explain how each visual element should be portrayed, in terms of colours, which platforms it will be used on etc. This is a brief overview of brand identity, the process requires a lot of planning, research and development for each stage to ensure success.
What to Expect
Steve ( Growthlytics) has dedicated his career to Digital Marketing and his knowledge and skills in this area are second to none. These skills married with a solid knowledge of lead generation make him a huge asset to any online business.
US Director at Monevo.com
What is brand identity?
How do you define brand identity?
What are the elements of brand identity?
Why is brand identity important?
How do you build brand identity?
What is brand identity?
Your business’s brand identity defines its values, your communication methods and how these represent your product, as well as how your product is interacted with. Brand identity is often comparable to the ‘personality of your business’, how it comes across and behaves.
Branding helps leave your customers with an impression of the product and business as a whole. This impression should be imprinted on the buyers mind if done correctly and the strength of your brand identity determines how long lasting this is.
Brand identity example
Popular health and wellness brand Wellbeing 365 ‘s logo is displayed at the side.
This company’s brand identity begins before you can even focus your gaze on the letters. The bold colours of the typeface elicit positivity. The differentiation between each colour connotes an entire spectrum of to ensure complete wellness as opposed to just one aspect. The logo shows all these health and wellness aspects being combined in one place.
This brand is not just its logo however, many other central aspects make up the entirety of its brand identity. Lets dig deeper.
Why is a strong brand identity crucial?
Your brand embodies literally everything your business sells, stands for and advocates. Further, this concept is born in the business but evolved in the minds of the customer. This highlights how important brand identity is to the success of your company.
From this, if your brand is merely your logo, you will not be able to imprint your product on the minds of its consumers such as Wellbeing 365 have. We will explain the 6 components in creating a strong brand identity and why you should consider including all of them in an effort for your business to succeed.
— Brand Identity
Your business’s ‘face’
Your logo essentially is presented as the face of your business. However, this ‘face’ aims to do more than just looks pretty. The contribution of your logo to your overall brand identity should tell your customers that this image personifies your company,
Trust and credibility.
Making your product memorable is helped by its branding however this isn’t its sole purpose. Your brand will also gain more authority in its marketplace. Once the business’s face has been established, it then needs to be maintained to increase credibility in comparison to its competitors over time. This will only increase your number of customers.
First impressions in advertising.
Your brand identity provides the foundations for all advertising campaigns present or future, this includes print, online and video adverts. When your face is well presented to potential customers it is more credible to make a lasting impression.
The mission of your company.
By investing your time, resources and money into branding your business you’re giving the company a backbone to lean on, giving your business purpose. Having a company mission statement is a great way to clearly express to potential buyers what you stand for, but it should not be presented to the world until your brand identity is secure.
Impressing both existing and new customers alike
With a face, credibility and a mission statement, you are well on your way to creating a strong sense of brand identity. This is more likely to attract like minded customers to your brand. Once established as a customer, this individual will turn to your brand for a sense of belonging, this underlines why consistency is crucial.
Your brand identity
In the process of your brand becoming a well loved household name, there will no doubt be an extensive amount of work required. We have put together a short guide on the steps needed to create your businesses strong brand identity.
— Business Branding
Creating your businesses brand identity
The 5 steps include: your audience and it’s competition; logo template; language you can connect with; avoiding certain aspects; maintaining brand identity.
Your audience and its competition
Similarly to when you set up your company, the first stage in creating a strong brand identity is market research. You should be sure to have a deep understanding of the following 5 things: audience; competition; mission; personality and your SWOT analysis.
Audience. Narrowing down your audience allows you to target your services to a more engaged audience. Learning the differences between each niche will only benefit you in the long run, you will have a deeper understanding of your audience, in turn creating a more targeted brand.
Competition. Where does your company fit against its competitors. Can it offer an audience something that the competition cannot? Understanding these differences allows you to develop a successful brand. Understanding and monitoring the progress of your competitors can give you insight into successful and unsuccessful branding strategies.
Mission. Understanding your products and audience is one thing, but having clear goals and vision is the form of a mission is another. If you can establish your company’s purpose you can create a ‘personality’ for it accordingly.
Personality. This doesn’t necessarily mean a person or your staff, but more the personality of the business. The types of colours and imagery used represent your brand as a whole. Visual aspects particularly enhance your brand’s overall tone of voice. Whether you want your brand to be sassy or classical is developed from it’s personality.
Gaining a deeper understanding in the form a SWOT analysis is beneficial to your brand overall. Looking deeper in the characteristics of your business helps you understand which of these you want to portray at an early stage in your customer journey. SWOT analysis stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
After conducting a sufficient amount of market research and analysis, it is time to personify your company and bring it to life! Experts have often looked to design as the ‘silent ambassador of a brand’. When creating your aesthetic image here are some things you need to consider:
This vital element holds together the branding of your business. Whilst not the entirety of the brand identity, it is widely distributed across all materials, both online and offline. Use the following considerations to ensure your logo is cohesive.
Interesting form. Your products, packaging and presentation are finalised by the addition of your company’s logo. All of these aspects make up the overall logo and how it is integrated into your brand. This helps maintain consistency across all marketing materials.
personify your company and bring it to life!
Colour and style. Having a colour palette rather than one specific brand colour allows you to provide variety into your branding. This makes it easier to create unique designs whilst still remaining inside the brand guidelines. However, this should be done with caution. We are not suggested to mix several fonts for example. In this aspect this would be the opposite, the typography should be consistent across all collateral both online and in print.
Templates. Having a rigid structure to all marketing material that a user would be faced with daily is beneficial for your overall brand identity. By creating templates you enable the branding to be consistent across emails, letters, handouts and business cards that customers may receive. This increases the brand’s credibility as it looks more professional and unified.
Consistency. This aspect of branding should drive the rest of your creation. Being consistent with your brand can literally make or break its identity. When using templates to follow the previous design choices based on your audience’s needs, you will be able to create a harmonious brand identity.
Flexibility. Whilst consistency is essential to a strong brand identity, ironically so is flexibility. As a society we’re always looking for the next best thing, so by allowing some wiggle room in your campaigns and taglines you are ensuring your audience remains interested. The important part is making sure your changes are consistent across all marketing collateral.
Document. Creating clear do’s and don’ts of your brand is key. This allows your brand guidelines to be followed more closely and consistently. This gives power to your brand as it will become unbreakably cohesive. This gives the opportunity for your brand to always be compliant to how you intended it.
Language you can connect with.
This describes the embodiment of language on social media following your brand being established. You have taken the necessary steps to develop your brand identity within the business, so now it’s time to integrate this into the wider community.
One of the most common ways to do this successfully is to ensure the target audience is engaging with your brand’s quality content. Experts often describe your business’s content as your online brand. Your content almost provides a ‘shop-window’ to your wider brand and business. If your content isn’t immediately engaging your whole brand will be labelled boring rather than the content itself.
Language. By using a language style that connects with your brand, you will only build on your brands identity and the credibility of your business as a whole. It would be most appropriate to use professional language for a high-end brand and more conversational language for a brand that is more laid-back. This aspect engages your brand and is ricocheted across your entire business. This is the first reason why it is crucial to match your brand’s tone of voice to the rest of your business.
Emotion and connection. Your customer loves a story, particularly those that move them on an emotional level. That’s why companies with strong brand identity aim to connect to their customers on an emotional level. This induces the foundations of a loyal customer.
Advertising. Ads, whether they’re digital or traditional are still the most effective way of announcing your brand to the world This means you can introduce a snapshot of your brand to a nearby target audience as a starting point.
Social media. This channel provides a wide range of platforms in which you can launch your brand. This ‘digital real estate’ is often used to further establish your brand and its new identity. This channel is brilliant when it comes to talking to your customers on a personal level through ads.
By directly engaging in conversation your customers feel an affinity towards your brand. It is important to reply to all comments and messages on such platforms so other users can see an ongoing dialogue between your brand and other customers.
— things to avoid
Avoiding certain aspects
All the above advice and guidance can be followed closely and your business would be left with a strong sense of brand identity, but if you fall in the trap of some branding no-no’s you could be hindering rather than helping your brand.
No mixed messages. Construct a clear message and use visuals alongside it appropriately. If something makes sense to you, this doesn’t mean it will also make sense to your customers.
No competitor copying. Even if, in your opinion, your main competitor has the best branding in the world, this isn’t an excuse to lift this and build your own brand on top of it. It’s tempting as you know their branding works for your product or services as they’re a direct competitor but don’t fall into this trap. Understand the aspects you like, but only take these as inspiration, your brand identity should be unique and original.
No mismatch between online and offline. It is a given your print materials will look slightly different to those online but aim to minimise this gap and be consistent with colour, type, theme and message across your marketing collateral.
Maintaining your brand identity
In addition to the other aspects of marketing, it can be tricky to know which aspects are working without using KPIs. By using performance metrics such as Google Analytics, surveys and customer feedback you will be able to monitor how people talk about and interact with your brand.
From this, you will be able to implement changes and modify your brand identity as necessary. The memorable brand you have created requires the use of consistent style, language and colour as this is what makes your brand instantly recognisable amongst your audience. It also helps this target audience recognise that your vision is more than just a logo.
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