How to Create a Brand Identity For Your Business
Similar to how your personal identity makes you unique, your brand identity has a similar effect on your business. It’s that part of your company that sets you apart from the crowd. According to Q M Design Group, a Santa Clarita marketing agency, making your company stand out in the eyes of the public and having a strong brand identity is key to a successful business.
What exactly is a brand identity?
To put it simply, your brand identity is your company’s public image. It is the public’s overall perception of your business and building a solid brand identity is one of the first and most important steps of creating a successful business.
“A brand identity is the outward expression of a brand, including its name, trademark, communication, and visual appearance.” – Marty Neumeier (Branding expert)
Your brand identity is a way for you to communicate with customers, differentiating yourself from the rest and encouraging engagement from the public.
Let’s dig a little deeper.
Imagine you’re a new kid at your high school and you want to be perceived as cool and get invited to sit at the popular kid’s table. You can’t just force others to have this image of you, so you begin putting in work to achieve your desired image, joining the basketball team, getting a new haircut, buying the latest Adidas shoes, and making friends with the popular kids.
In a few months, thanks to your fancy shoes, haircuts, and team membership, you are now considered a popular kid in school. Your branding is complete and your brand identity is firmly established.
So what’s the business equivalent of fancy shoes and haircuts? It’s your business logo, name, associations, etc. The things that make your business immediately recognizable to customers.
Take Nike, for example, they have a popular and easily recognizable swoosh logo, usually accompanied with the tagline “just do it”. It doesn’t end there, they also have a mission statement reading “to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete.”
All these put together, along with various other things, form Nike’s brand identity.
Creating a strong brand identity for your business.
Having an avid brand identity is a crucial first step in publicizing your business. A recognizable and relatable brand is the bedrock behind every successful company and ensuring that your brand easily conveys your values to consumers is vital.
It sounds easy, but creating an appealing brand identity is littered with complexities, it doesn’t happen overnight, but is a process resulting in long-term relationships with clients. You can read this interview with John Durham for a first-hand perspective on brand building.
What are the necessary steps involved in brand building?
Know your target audience:
Who are you trying to reach? Directing your services toward a particular audience especially while starting out is key. A multi-million company like Nike might have a global following, but their initial effort was directed toward sports, a platform from which they have developed into the commercial powerhouse they are today.
Identifying your specific audience will benefit your brand building process greatly, do keep in mind who you’re trying to reach with your services and tailor your brand to meet their needs.
Establish your brand’s mission statement.
Once you have an idea of your target audience, establishing a mission statement is next on your list of priorities. Your mission statement should speak to your target audience, telling them exactly why your business was created and how their interests are shared by you.
Your mission statement is your company’s definition and everything from your brand logo, tagline, message, and services should be reflected in it.
Design your brand
Once you have a mission statement, the next step is giving your brand a face and voice – an identity. This is one of the more trickier parts of brand building, as it pretty much makes or breaks your business. Getting this part right cannot be emphasized enough.
Your brand design will include all the vital elements of your business such as your Logo, website, tagline, photography, video illustrations etc.
Think of Adidas’ three stripes, or the Apple logo- a symbol so iconic and globally recognized that they include the logo and not their name on their products. Both of these are examples of successful brand logos that have helped further their respective companies.
Your Logo is the cornerstone of your business, it should be kept simple, neat and should communicate what you value as a brand. It will appear on everything going forward and will become the face of your brand, so ensure you hit the right spot with this one.
Learn more on designing the perfect logo for your brand.
Now, this is where your branding needs to come out in full force, as your website is one of the more representative aspects of your business. If you run an online business or your company has a website for marketing products, then it should be optimized.
Your website’s layout is important and it should serve to highlight more reasons why a client should put their trust in you, with pictures of products and just about anything that can make your brand more appealing to newbies.
Consider your website to be your online portfolio, a platform that allows you to go into more detail about your products and services than you normally would on social media or ads.
Ask yourself, does my website stand out? Is there enough content? And does the site portray what my company is truly about?
Learn more on web layouts here.
Other factors like your color palette, product packaging, and typography play important roles in brand designing. if you get this aspect of your brand building process right, you’ve cleared a major hurdle on your way to a successful business.
Analyze and refine the brand:
It is crucial for a brand to provide customers with consistency and uniqueness. Both these qualities are what will ultimately from your business’ reputation and identity in the long run.
Always analyze the business for new ideas and outdated ones. A lot of startup companies make the mistake of trying to copy the big brands in everything but fail as they lack the financial and commercial might to match them.
Be aware of what the bigger brands are doing, what they do well (and where they fall short). Then use this to gain an upper hand over them by providing services that the bigger brands do not. Analyze and refine your services regularly to ensure you always render unique services that customers can only get from you, giving customers a reason to choose you over the competition.
Your brand identity is what differentiates you from the rest, a strong identity could be the difference between an ailing business and a multi-million dollar company.
When creating a business, you need to select the right visuals to support and reflect you and your work. As I said, consistency is key. You must visit and revisit these steps until you are sure that your brand is a reflection of you and all the ambitions you harbor for your business.
Integrate your brand into all areas of your business, from your website to storefronts, social media, and product packaging, your mission statement should be everywhere! Ensuring there is enough publicity and exposure to make your brand successful.