Your brand identity is the secret ingredient that separates you from every other Tom, Dick, and Harry, Inc. on the street, just as your individual identity makes you who you are. What about the look and feel of your brand? It’s what shapes your firm.
Nevertheless, what is brand identity, exactly? Just what relevance does this have to the creative process? And how do you go about developing a formidable brand identity that propels your company to greater success? Here’s the breakdown:
Just what does it mean when we talk about "brand identity?"
We will kick things off with a definition. What exactly is meant by the phrase "brand identity?"
Brand identity is the collection of all aspects that a firm generates to project the correct image to its consumer. Brand identity is different from “brand image” and “branding,” even though these phrases are commonly viewed as synonymous.
The phrase branding refers to the marketing technique of actively shaping a distinctive brand. A company's brand is its reputation in the marketplace.
Let us get into this a bit further.
Take yourself for example, a student in the middle school years. It's natural for a shy preteen to want to fit in and be accepted by their peers so that they can claim a spot at the most popular table during lunch. However, you cannot make other people think the way you do. There is effort required to build this brand.
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Keeping up with the latest memes requires tuning into the appropriate YouTube channels. The next time you go to the gym, try practicing your free throws. And developing a likeness of your science teacher, Mr. Archibald. All of these things you're doing add up to your branding, or the efforts you're making to create a specific reputation.
The last thing you need to do is to make sure you have the right appearance. You work hard so that you can afford to buy the brand-new Adidas sneakers that everyone is talking about. You go to the barber and have a new do. You go through try-outs and ultimately make the basketball squad.
Brand identity is expressed by outward appearances, such as clothing, grooming, and membership in a group.
Your brand identity is what makes you instantly recognizable to your customers. Your audience will link your brand identity with your product or service, and that identity is what forges the connection between you and your consumers, fosters customer loyalty, and decides how your customers will perceive your brand.
Before you know what concrete pieces you want to make up your brand identity, you need to know who you are as a brand.
Sum up your brand's identity, we can look at these components:
Exactly what are you trying to accomplish (your "why?")
What you hold dear (or, what motivates your business)
Brand persona (what kind of character would your brand have if it were a human being?
How you stand out from the crowd is what makes your business successful.
How you want your company to seem to potential customers (if it were a person).
You need to have a firm grasp on each of these components before you can begin crafting your brand's identity.
If you’re having problems figuring out who exactly you are, don’t stress it. Clarity on your brand's identity can be achieved with as little as a good old-fashioned brain storm.
Have you ever asked yourself:
For what reason did we launch this company?
To what extent do we hold these core values and principles as a company?
Just what is it that we excel at that no one else can match?
Exactly what sets us apart from the rest?
In just three words, how would you define our company's product or service?
What are the three terms we would want our customers to use to characterize us?.
After you've settled on your brand's essence, you can begin developing an identity that communicates that essence to the people who matter most to your business: your consumers.
Design: the cornerstone of your brand identity
Just like your Adidas developed the brand identity of your middle-school-star-athlete persona, your design is what will build the brand identity of your firm.
Your corporate design assets are the concrete aspects that will affect how your brand is perceived. Things like your company's emblem, labelling, packaging, website, visuals for social media, business cards, and even the garb your staff wear.
In other words, nailing your design Equals nailing your brand identity = developing a successful business that’s a true depiction of who you are as a brand.
How then do you create an identity for your company through design that truly hits the mark and propels it forward?
It is important to lay the groundwork for your design structure, the fundamentals of your brand's identity, before you go headfirst into the creation of your design assets.
The building pieces you will want to determine before you generate your design assets include:
Logos, business cards, and other promotional items all benefit from carefully considered typography. Logo and brand fonts deserve special care while selecting. There are four distinct styles of typography:
Serif typefaces (like Times New Roman or Garamond) contain what look like an anchor (or to some people, small feet) on the end of each letter. If you want your brand to come across as reliable, old-fashioned, and timeless, this typeface is perfect for you.
Without the foot, or serif. Hence, "sans serif." Letters in sans serif fonts (such as Helvetica or Franklin Gothic) have clean lines instead of the anchor or "feet" of serif fonts. Brands benefit from a more sophisticated look and feel when they choose sans serif fonts.
Script typography are meant to seem like cursive writing (there goes all that practice you did in elementary school). Using these fonts (such as Allura or Pacifico) is a terrific approach to give your brand a more elegant or feminine vibe.
It may be said that display fonts are in a class of their own. Whether it's the letters' odd shapes, contours, shadows, or a more artistic/hand-drawn edge (like Metallica's lightning bolt typeface), every display font has its own unique quality. Do you wish to make a profound impression and launch a memorable brand? One excellent choice is to use a display typeface.
Picking the right typefaces may make or break a brand's image.
Colouring comes up next. Varied colours have different meanings to different people, including your potential clients, so it's important to choose your branding colours and logo colours carefully.
The rainbow hues (and a few others) have several positive effects on corporate identification, including the following:
Red: When you see the colour red, you immediately think of energy and fervor. If your brand is energetic, fun, and youthful, this is the way to go.
Orange: Like red, orange is a stimulating colour that works well if you want to project an image of warmth and levity. Because it is not as widely worn as red, it will help you stand out.
Yellow: The colour yellow is the colour of joy and sunshine. The happy atmosphere makes it a great pick if you're in the market for something that seems casual, approachable, and reasonably priced.
Green: An highly flexible colour, green may be employed for just about any brand. However, there are two common associations with the colour green in Western culture: wealth and the outdoors. If your company is associated with either of these things, green would be a great choice for your brand's colour.
Blue: If you want your business to appeal to a wide audience and earn their trust, blue is the colour to use because it is the most widely liked colour.
Purple: If you want your business to exude an air of opulence and sophistication, opt for the regal hue of purple.
Pink: Whether you think it's a good thing or not, pink has been traditionally associated with femininity; as such, it should be considered if your business is aimed at women. Additionally, this shade works wonderfully for delicate and opulently styled products.
Brown: Brown is one of the least utilized brand colours, yet its rarity may work to your benefit. Each unique action you take will set you apart from the crowd. The colour brown can also lend an air of masculinity to your product or service.
Black: As a timeless and always-effective colour, black is your best bet if you're trying to convey an air of modernity or sophistication.
Aesthetic considerations of form and shape should not be overlooked when designing. You may utilize this subtle but powerful tool to further reinforce the response you want from your customers; for instance, a logo with round shapes and rounded corners will elicit a significantly different response from one with square corners and sharp edges.
Here is an example of how switching up your brand's presentation may do just that:
Round shape: The roundness of shapes like circles, ovals, and ellipses evokes feelings of comfort and security. Round shapes in branding can evoke a sense of togetherness, warmth, and love. The rounder shapes are also interpreted as being more feminine.
Straight edged shape: People associate power and efficiency with geometric forms that feature sharp corners and lines. But beware: if the shapes aren't balanced out with something entertaining, like lively colours, they can feel impersonal and fail to connect with your clients because of the no-nonsense lines' tendency to evoke feelings of stability and reliability.
Straight lines: Lines that are perfectly straight have their own connotations; vertical lines are associated with masculinity and strength, while horizontal lines are associated with calm and serenity.
Creating a Logo and a Branding Strategy
As soon as you have established the foundations of your design, it is time to collaborate with a designer to give form to your brand identity and translate who you are as a business into marketing materials.
The identity of your brand can be communicated in a variety of ways. There may be some assets that are more crucial than others for your company to function.
In the restaurant business, for instance, it's important to give careful consideration to both the food and the decor. A digital marketing agency, however, needs to focus more on their website and social media pages.
Common characteristics of brand identity include:
Your logo design is the cornerstone in your brand identity. Work with your designer to ensure that your logo meets all of the following criteria:
expresses your brand's identity and values clearly;
appeals to the eye; simplicity, cleanliness, and lack of clutter go a long way.
Not fashionable; you don't want your logo to look dated in 6 months.
Follows the norms of your field, and if you deviate from them, do so on purpose;
Leaves a deep impression on the listener.
To further ensure you have the logo you need whenever you need it, you should have your design partner provide it in a variety of formats (such as a black and white version or several sizes), all of which should be consistent with your brand's overall aesthetic.
A company's website is a key part of the company's overall brand identification. Especially if you’re running an internet business or a digital product, your clients will undoubtedly check your website out before opting to do business with you. If you want people to remember you, your brand identity needs to shine brightest on your website.
Packaging of goods
If you're selling a tangible good, great packaging is essential to getting noticed by potential buyers. Never discount the power of thoughtful design to enhance the customer experience, which in turn increases the likelihood that they will become loyal and return for more purchases, whether you're planning the label on a bottle of cold brew or the envelopes in which you'll send your customers' new clothes from an online store. When designing packaging, you have a fantastic chance to really let your creativity shine.
Business cards are a need if you plan on engaging in any kind of business development activities. In the perspective of potential clients or consumers, a well-designed card is a chance to reinforce a positive impression of oneself. Having your company logo on one side and your contact information on the other is all that is necessary for a business card.
Conceptualizing Email Layout
Customer interaction and sales can be boosted by using email. However, most consumers have reached inbox overload, so you'll need a solid design plan to cut through the noise and expand your clientele via email. Contemplate why you're sending the email. Do you want to get to know me on a more intimate level? Then, keep it succinct and straightforward. Intent on imparting knowledge? Then, add some graphics to make it stand out and format it such that it is easy accessible and scannable. Is there a new apparel line you want to promote to your clientele? Highlight a handful of high-quality product photos.
Formulate a brand's style guide.
You should absolutely establish a brand style guide once you have your design assets to ensure they are used correctly. The future designs you create will be consistent with your brand identity and will inspire the desired reaction from your target audience if you follow the guidelines laid out in this article.
Maintaining uniformity amongst all brand communications is crucial for success. You don't want the social media representation of your brand to diverge much from the website's. Customers would be confused, and their perception of your brand would suffer as a result. You should always use a brand guide that specifies how to present your brand consistently across all channels. That is the key to long-term success in establishing your brand and attracting loyal customers.
Brand identity briefly
What makes you stand out from the infinite sea of competitors and tells clients what they can expect from working with you is your brand identity. And if you want people to have a good impression of your company, you need to make sure that your brand identity is spot on and that your designs truly reflect who you are. Now that you have a firm grasp on the essentials of identification, you can move on to the design phase.