Brand Identity: What is it & How to Develop Your Brand’s Identity
When it comes to running a successful business, one of the most important aspects to focus on is brand identity. Brand identity is a combination of elements that distinguish your business from competitors and help create a connection with your customers. It’s an effective way to communicate the values, purpose, and USP of your company. It should shape your marketing strategy so that customers will recognize your brand anywhere.
Brand identity is about more than just designing a logo, choosing brand colors, and being done. It requires a strategy to ensure every element positively reflects your brand. In order to do this, you need to first understand every intimate part of your brand. What do you represent? What’s your mission? What are your values? What do you do? How do you want to be perceived by the world?
It can be an intimidating and overwhelming process to establish your brand identity. However, there’s no need to be deterred – we’ve got you covered with our comprehensive guide to building your brand identity. You’ll learn exactly what brand identity is, how to develop a powerful brand identity strategy that will set your brand apart from the masses, communicate your story effectively, connect with your target audience, and be instantly recognizable across all of your outputs.
With billions of businesses out there – how else are you going to beat the competition without a strong brand identity?
What is Brand Identity?
Brand identity comprises all of the outward elements created by a brand to convey its messaging to its consumers. It’s the components of your company that make you immediately recognizable and distinguish it from other brands in the market. Think: your logo, your color scheme, your font, your values, your communication style. It’s the combination of visual and verbal expressions of your branding that communicate the values, purpose, and USP of your brand.
Your brand identity is a powerful tool to help customers recognize, remember, and connect with your business. It acts as a promise to your customers that your brand will always be a certain way.
While a brand is a set of features that separates one company from another, a brand identity is the part of a brand that hones in on its core personality.
Benefits of a Strong Brand Identity/ Why is Brand Identity Important?
Establishing your brand identity is crucial for successfully communicating your brand’s story to your customers/ potential customers. It has the power to shape how customers interact with your company. Will they notice your brand among the masses of competition? Will they connect and engage with your brand? Will they have a positive and consistent customer experience when they come across your brand on any platform? Brand identity will ensure all of those and more.
Before you get started, think about a brand like Apple. It has mastered its brand identity so much so that its sleek and simple style is synonymous around the world. Even a much smaller brand, like cosmetics company Glossier, has nailed its uber-millennial brand identity to the point of instant recognition for those in its target market.
Elements of Brand Identity
Brand identity is made up of several elements, including the logo, colors, font, imagery, voice, and tone of a brand. Each of these elements should be consistent and recognizable to create a strong brand identity.
Every brand needs these basic elements to their brand identity:
- Typography/ font
- Color palette
- Tone of voice
Beyond that, when building a brand identity, you should consider:
- Photography style
- Illustration style
Your brand logo is a crucial part of your brand identity because it’s a visual representation of your brand that is often the first thing people see. It needs to be memorable. The colors you choose for your logo should be consistent across your other brand elements too, so that they work together to create a cohesive look.
Typography/font is another aspect of brand identity. The font you use for your brand should be easy to read and professional-looking, while also reflecting what it is that makes your brand stand out. It also needs to be consistent across all elements of your brand identity.
Imagery is another important feature of brand identity. The visuals you choose should be relevant to your brand and tell the story of your business. They should be used across all channels.
Your color palette has the power to evoke certain emotions within your customers as different colors are associated with different emotions.
The voice and tone of your brand should be consistent across all platforms. It must be authentic and reflect the values and culture of your business.
Top Tips for Establishing a Brand Identity
Developing your brand identity is an important step in creating a powerful brand. It’s important to take the time to develop a unique and recognizable brand identity that communicates the values, purpose, and USP of your business.
When developing your brand identity, it’s important to consider your target audience and the values of your business. Your brand identity should be reflective of your target audience and should represent the values of your business.
It’s also important to consider the other elements of your brand, such as your mission statement, tagline, visual style, and messaging. All of these elements should be consistent and work together to create a cohesive brand identity.
Creating a brand identity is a process that requires careful planning and strategic execution.
Remember, in order for your brand identity to be successful, it needs to be:
- Unique, to stand out from the crowd.
- Memorable, by leaving a strong visual impression.
- Scalable, so that it can evolve alongside the business.
- Cross-platform compatible, so that it reflects your brand well wherever it appears.
- Consistent, so that it’s instantly recognizable as your brand.
- Coordinated, so that each element works together.
- Intuitive, so that it’s not too difficult to implement.
Conduct a Competitor Analysis
Before you can dive right into the nitty gritty of the design process, there’s a few things you need to outline first. A competitor analysis is hugely important because building your brand identity is all about setting yourself apart from the competition. In order to do this, you need to know exactly what it is your competitor is doing, and use your learnings to help your brand do them even better, or make strides in a more innovative direction and differentiate yourself.
We recommend not only comparing your competitors to your own brand, but also comparing your competitors to each other, to see what valuable insights that could pull up.
Identify Your Target Audience
Your target audience will help determine future decisions in the brand identity process, such as color schemes, typography, and values, to ensure that your brand is as relatable as possible.
Define Your Brand’s Values, Mission & Vision
This involves asking yourself a few questions about your brand. Firstly, what do you do? What does your brand care about? Why are you doing this? Combine your values with what it is that your brand does, and from there you can work out your mission and vision for the future. These will dictate what your visual brand identity will communicate to customers.
Your brand’s values, mission, and vision all form its core principles.
Establish Your Brand’s Personality
How do you communicate the things you care about? The things you do? This is what your brand personality is. You can’t set your tone of voice guidelines without first figuring out the personality. Is your brand young, friendly, and relatable? Or old, wise, and authoritative?
Develop a Brand Voice & Messaging
The next step is to create a voice and tone for your brand. The voice and tone should be consistent with the values and culture of your business and should be used consistently across all elements of your brand identity.
When deciding on your messaging, take your value proposition into consideration to make sure it tells your story in the right way.
Craft a Mission Statement & Brand Story
Your mission statement is one element of your brand identity that forms part of your brand story. It’s important to keep it concise – it should take up no more than just a few sentences. It should focus on the long-term mission of your brand, and be broad enough to leave room for expansion. However, it can evolve over time as your brand and industry evolves.
Get Creative with Visual Elements
The first visual element customers will see of your brand is your logo, which should be recognizable and memorable, and should align with the values of your business. The logo should be used consistently across all elements of your brand identity.
Another visual element that needs creating is the color palette. The colors used across all of your brand’s outputs should align with the colors used in the logo. The colors should be used consistently across all elements of your brand identity.
The next step is to create a font. The font should be easy to read and professional-looking. You can have a few different typefaces for different purposes, as long as they work together cohesively and there are not too many (which would dilute your branding). You should never have more than three.
The problem with design is that there’s no one size-fits-all approach; it’s subjective. Its perception can be totally different from person to person, often influenced by culture, community, identity, gender, politics, and more.
You’ve already outlined all of the above, so now it’s time to take them and portray them through all of the visual elements that make up your brand. What colors communicate the above? Which visuals? Think about what you want people to feel when they come across your brand.
Maintain a Consistent Brand Identity
As should now be abundantly clear, when it comes to brand identity, consistency is key. The most crucial parts of the entire strategy is that every element works together, all of your marketing adheres to your brand identity guidelines, and there’s no confusion caused by lack of consistency.
Creating Brand Identity Guidelines
Creating brand identity guidelines is an important step in developing your brand identity – because this is what will allow you to maintain consistency. The guidelines should include the logo, colors, font, imagery, voice, and tone, as well as any other elements that make up your brand identity. They should be clear and easy to understand, with as much detail as possible to help your teams with the practical side of executing your brand identity.
The guidelines should also include rules for using the brand identity elements. For example, the logo should always be used in the same size and orientation, and the colors should always be used in the same way. Rules should be included for using the brand identity elements in different media, such as on print materials, in digital media, and on social media.
All of the information needed to keep your brand identity as intended, and consistent, should be detailed in the brand identity guidelines. Think of it like a brief to be referred to before beginning each job. This will keep your teams on track across the board.
Measure Your Brand Identity’s Success
There are multiple ways to measure your brand identity’s success. You can:
- Run regular surveys to provide you with customer feedback
- Assess data from Google Trends
- Utilize brand tracking software
- Monitor brand perception by tracking your brand name in Google searches, tracking your mentions and what people are saying about your brand on social media, etc.
Utilize Brand Identity Services
If you’re looking for help with creating a powerful brand identity, there are a number of brand identity services and agencies available. These agencies, such as Moburst, can help you create a logo, color palette, font, visuals, and voice and tone, as well as develop brand identity guidelines.
Brand identity services can also help you create a comprehensive brand identity that is consistent across all elements of your brand. They can help you create a memorable and recognizable brand identity that communicates the values, purpose, and culture of your business.
Once you’ve created your brand identity, it’s important to build on it. Building your brand identity is an ongoing process that requires strategic planning and execution. With the right strategy and execution, you can create a powerful brand identity that will help you stand out from the competition and build loyalty among customers.
Now that you know what brand identity is and how to create a powerful brand identity for your business, you’re well on your way to creating a successful brand.