McDonald’s big yellow ‘M’, Starbucks’ woman in a green circle, Apple’s bite taken out of the fruit, Amazon’s A to Z arrow, Ferrari’s prancing horse, Nike’s tick mark…
No matter where you are, what language is used, whether you’re in the middle of nowhere or in your home city — you’re sure to instantly recognize these iconic logos. That’s the power of a strong, impactful and consistent brand identity.
So, how to create a brand identity? What is a brand identity?
In this blog, we’ll walk through the answers to these questions, while also learning how to create a powerful brand identity that’s impactful and memorable.
What is a brand identity?
A brand identity portrays and stands for who you are, what you want to say, how you want people to perceive and remember you, and how you want people to feel when they think of your brand. In short, it’s your brand’s personality that it’s recognized by.
More often than not, people believe that a strong logo is all that it takes to create a brand identity. While it’s true that a logo plays a huge role in creating a memorable brand identity, it takes more than just that.
If you recall some of the most iconic brands across the globe, you may be able to recall not just their logos, but also some of their advertisements, taglines, campaigns or even the jingles and language they use to get their message across. For example, if I say ‘Just Do It’ or ‘Finger Licking Good’, chances are you know what brand I’m talking about.
Creating a brand identity is thus a mix of various factors, including:
- Shapes and Colours
While these are the key elements, what truly makes these memorable are — consistency and relevance. Whether you’re trying to grow your business with social media marketing, revamping your website, using email marketing, or growing your blog, you must be consistent and relevant across all efforts.
Why is creating a brand identity important?
Whether you put in the efforts or not, every brand does have an identity. However, when you carefully create a strong brand identity you ensure that people see it the way you want them to. Additionally, an impactful brand identity creates instant recall for consumers, makes it easily recognizable and memorable, and overtime brings along customer loyalty.
Customers start associating with a brand that has a strong identity and are more likely to do repeat business, compared to a brand that is new and unrecognized. Most importantly, a stronger relationship can be built upon trust and credibility.
How to create a brand identity
Now that we understand what brand identity is and why it’s important, let’s understand how to create a brand identity. Creating a brand identity starts by understanding what you’re offering and to whom are you offering. Your target audience plays a pivotal role in creating a brand identity that’s impactful and strong.
Thus, the first step to creating a brand identity is — understanding your products and services.
A deep understanding of your products and services will help you answer the following questions:
What am I offering?
What does my brand stand for?
Who is my target audience?
How do I want my audience to perceive my brand?
To successfully answer these questions you must conduct thorough market research, and fully understand the needs and demands of your target audience, your competitors, as well as your value proposition.
By now you should be able to define your brand’s mission and state a set personality for your brand.
Next, define the key design elements.
How do you want your brand to look? This includes the logo, the colours and fonts that resonate with your brand identity, the templates, the shapes, images and packaging.
Defining all these key design elements will help you create a consistent and impactful look across platforms and channels. For example, your logo must stand out across different social media platforms, while also looking great in your email campaigns. Similarly, the fonts and colours you use must highlight key information on your website while also stand out in print advertisements and hoardings. When someone receives an electronic message or a packaged delivery, the design elements must instantly create a recall value, connecting to all your mediums of communication.
Now, it’s time to think voice, tone and language for effective communication.
You know how some people are known by the way they talk, or certain phrases that you associate with specific people — you want to try and achieve the same recall for your brand.
Every piece of communication you send out — on your website, emails, social media marketing campaigns, advertisements — must sound like it’s coming from the same brand. This also heavily relies on the results you get from the market research as you’ll get an understanding of what best resonates with your audience. Are you a friendly brand? Do you use direct communication? Is a professional and formal messaging best suited for you? Depending on who you’re talking to and what you offer, you’ll be able to answer these questions.
However, no matter what style of communication you choose, the idea is to ensure that it creates a direct connection with your audience. They must be able to feel, understand and relate to it.
Do you see your brand shaping its unique personality? Here’s a 5-points checklist for branding your business. Make sure you’ve covered it all.
Now that we’ve dressed up and given a voice to our brand, it’s time to take note of the things we must and mustn’t do to ensure consistency and a unique personality.
The ‘Musts’ include:
- Monitoring brand perception
- Regularly connecting with your audience
The ‘Must Nots’ include:
- Copying your competitors
- Mixed messaging
- Being inconsistent in terms of design or tone
This sums up and answers how to create a brand identity, however, what’s equally important is keeping it strong and relevant.
In this highly connected and digital era that we live in today, people are always looking for newer brands to do business with. Additionally, customers today are highly intelligent and aware of their needs, how to look for the solutions, who to seek recommendations from, and also offer critical feedback for others and for brands to take note off — you need to be at the top of all these to ensure your brand is ticking all the right boxes.
Keep your ears open to know what people are saying, and demanding for. This will help you further strengthen your messaging and allow your brand identity to shine through.
It’s also extremely important to be sensitive to global and local issues so people can see the human side of your brand and connect at a deeper level. For example, using inclusive images to strengthen your stand on equality and discrimination, or addressing serious issues by stating what your brand is doing towards it are all small but significant ways to show you care.
Create a Powerful Brand identity; Create an Impact
You have the power to create an impact and be remembered with a strong brand identity. With ever-increasing competition, staying relevant and coming out as the strongest requires you to create such an impact that people recognize and recall your brand no matter where they see it pop-up.
Understand your brand mission, understand your audience and then create an identity that speaks to them directly. From your logo to your voice, you can control how people see you and think about your brand.
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