When I mention brands like Google, Apple, Starbucks, or Coca-Cola, you will probably first picture their iconic logos, colours, or mission statements.
This is exactly what brand identity is. It’s the embodiment of your business – its goals, values, and missions. It helps you stand out in the overcrowded market and builds stronger relationships with your consumers.
Just like Jeff Bezos says, “Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Let’s see a few key steps to creating a recognizable brand identity.
Do your Research Carefully
Any aspect of launching a business starts with solid market research. There are a few things to clarify before you start working on your brand identity:
- Your target audience
You shouldn’t bother catering to numerous audience segments. Different customers want different things, right? Your goal is to learn what customer groups are most interested in your products or services so you can adapt your tone of voice and message to them.
- Your value proposition
This is what sets you apart from your competition. Is there anything you can offer to your customers that other brands in your niche can’t? You need to monitor your audiences and see how they grow over time so you can adapt your brand accordingly.
- Your mission
Every brand has a mission that is clearly defined in its mission statement. It should tell your customers more about your visions and purpose and encourage them to choose you over your competition. After all, if you don’t know what your business’ goals are, you won’t be able to build a consistent brand personality.
- Brand personality
Observe your brand as a human being, with a set of different personality traits, needs, and goals. Based on that, you need to determine your brand personality early on. Do you want it to be confident, authoritative, feminine, ritzy, playful, or casual? The choice of your brand personality will dictate almost any aspect of your online presence, from creating a logo to writing website content.
One of the most effective ways to learn more about your brand is to perform SWOT Analysis. In other words, you will identify your brand’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that may harm your business in the future. This is a fundamental aspect of your research phrase, as it will help you make data-backed decisions.
Choose a Name that Reflects your Values
The name you choose defines your business image and impacts how people will perceive it. They help you stand out from the sea of similar brands and build relationships with your audiences.
Stats back me up on that, emphasizing that 77% of consumers make shopping decisions based on the brand name.
When chosen carefully, a brand name can even become synonymous with an entire class of products. For example, you buy a Band-Aid when you cut your finger or an Aspirin when your head hurts.
Now, there are different methods for choosing a brand name. Some would use eponyms, misspell words on purpose, create compounds, or even make portmanteau words to create authentic brand names. The options are multiple, but whichever option you choose, always make sure your brand name is easy to pronounce and memorize. It should reflect your brand values and stand for them in the long run.
Design your Visual Personality
Now that you’ve set your value proposition and chosen the right name, you need to visualize your brand identity. There are a few key steps to take:
A logo is the critical aspect of your branding process, as it is the most memorable brand element. It’s the first thing customers will see when interacting with your brand and something they will recognize you for in the future. The logo you choose needs to be aligned with all aspects of your brand presence. No matter if it’s placed on a huge billboard or your website, it needs to evoke the feeling of consistency, create familiarity, and inspire customers to take action.
According to the Impact of Color on Marketing study, 90% of users’ snap judgements are based on colours alone. This is why you need to choose your brand colour palettes carefully.
Remember that each colour creates a particular emotion in a customer. For example, red symbolizes passion, love, and anger. Orange is energetic, while yellow is the colour of happiness and friendship. Green stands for nature, blue is synonymous with trustworthiness, while black is sophisticated.
Logically, you need to choose colours that reflect your brand personality. Be careful, as you don’t want to overwhelm your audiences. Pick one or two colours as your core, defining colours. Then, choose your secondary colours that would complement the defining colours. This depends on your brand, niche, and customers. For example, many organic product manufacturers use green in branding. Makeup and cosmetics brands, on the other hand, choose pink as this is the colour of femininity.
Just like with choosing your colours, you need to choose fonts that work for your brand. For example, serif fonts are a traditional option, sans serif is modern, while script fonts are elegant and luxury. When choosing fonts, consistency is key. Even though “mix and match” fonts have become popular over the past few years, they may hurt your overall brand image and affect how people remember you.
Establish your Tone of Voice
Just like your visual identity, tone of voice helps you set yourself apart from other businesses in your niche. It lets you increase your brand familiarity and, above all, gain your audience’s trust.
Now, your goal is to align your tone with your brand values and goals. Try to describe your brand personality in a few words and then determine what communication style you want to use. Make your decisions wisely, as you will need to use the same communication style consistently across all online (and offline) channels. For example, if you decide not to use emoticons on your website, you shouldn’t use them on social networks, either. No matter which browsing channel they use, always choose a tone of voice that is friendly and easily understandable.
One of the most effective ways to increase brand familiarity and conversions is to work on your brand consistency. Once you design your visual personality and set your tone of voice, you should create a detailed brand style guide that would dictate the implementation of your brand’s elements across various channels. For example, the sizes of your logo or images won’t be the same on your site’s homepage and your flyers, etc. The same goes for your brand’s voice. No matter if it’s your blog, ad copy, or social media post, your communication style needs to remain unchanged.
Start Promoting your Brand
Now that you’ve created your brand identity, it’s time to start promoting it.
First, don’t forget about the importance of offline marketing. Designing on-brand business cards, giving out flyers, or sending out catalogues via direct mail are just some affordable and yet effective methods to increase your brand’s reach. You can even add QR codes to them to boost customer journeys and lead customers from the offline world to the online one.
Second, create a solid blog and enrich it with some quality storytelling. Your customers love stories. They move them and help them understand the human side of your brand. This is an amazing opportunity to bring value to them and, at the same time, establish closer friendships with your customers.
Third, start advertising. Use the abovementioned style guide to create on-brand ads to spread the word about your brand. This is an amazing way to increase your brand reach and increase brand awareness when you’re just starting out.
Finally, leverage the power of social media. They give you an amazing opportunity to humanize your brand. In addition to sharing your branded posts, you can use them to publish behind-the-scenes photos and videos of your staff to make your brand more relatable. Social networks let you listen to your customers in real-time and let you provide instant feedback. This is what many popular brands do. If you look at Netflix, for example, you will see that they answer each customers’ question or complaint in a friendly and professional manner.
Measure your Brand Identity
Just like with any other aspect of your marketing campaigns, you will need to track the performance of your brand regularly. For starters, create solid surveys, track social media discussions, ask for reviews, and rely on Google Analytics to gain insight from various resources. This is the only way for you to understand your brand sentiment and identify the branding tactics that work for you.
Sure, building a memorable brand can be tedious. Apart from getting your creative juices flowing, you will also need to back up each idea with solid research and market analysis. Above all, you need to keep testing your brand performance and update it continually.
Is there anything you’d like to add? We’d like to hear from you!