Brand Identity, If you put four or five pieces of your brand’s marketing materials in front of yourself, what would you see?
Can you see your logo, your visual representation of your business? Or you see an inconsistent image that doesn’t fit in the same category or feel like they come from the same place? If you see the latter, you have a big problem.
You don’t have a brand identity.
Creating a brand identity is an exciting step toward growing a successful business.
A brand identity is how a company presents itself to the world. It refers to all the elements that you might use to convey the essence of your business to your customers, including your messaging, logo, website, landing pages, signage, and product packaging, and the colors, fonts, shapes, and language that appear on them.
A well-defined brand identity, which aligns with the company’s values, helps build trust. A strong brand identity is essential for online businesses that lack the physical elements representing your brand. Good branding, like good wine, is going to take some work and time. Let’s look at how you can start building your brand identity in three simple steps.
Steps to take in Creating Your Brand Identity
A strong brand identity is clear, unique, and memorable, repeated consistently, and resonates with your target audience. Creating an identity like this is more easily accomplished when you follow six specific steps in order. Proceeding in this order allows you to understand where your brand identity currently stands and decide how it should look before you start making any changes.
Define Your Audience
Research the type of customers you serve. If you don’t know who you’re marketing to, your attempts to grow your business may be unsuccessful. Before you position your brand to connect with your desired customers, you need a level of understanding about your customers to appeal to their needs and wants. Identifying your desired customer base makes every part of your branding process easier. Use your research to create multiple specific, targeted versions of your buyer personas. Consider the following:
- What are their age, gender, job description, income, and education level?
- What is their personality like? What values, hobbies, and interests do they have?
- What type of lifestyle do they live?
- What are their day to day concerns?
- What solutions are they looking for?
- What other brands do they like?
What’s the “Why” Behind Your Brand?
Your brand purpose is the meaning behind your existence, an idealistic view of what you want to become to your customers or what you offer your customers and clients? (If you had an existing brand) You need to consider the products and services your offer, but you also need to think about how you provide those offerings and why.
For existing companies, before developing a new brand identity, you should first develop an understanding of what your identity looks like right now. You might be surprised to find that you already have a consistent brand experience between your website and product packaging. Or you might discover that you need to update your marketing to match new guidelines.
- Why do we provide these services and products?
- What do we hope to change for our customers?
- What improvements do we want to bring to their life?
- Why do we think it’s important to do this?
- What do we stand for?
Identify Your Brand Personality
A brand personality is ascribing a “set of human characteristics” to a brand. Brands that have a well-defined personality make the product relatable personally—customers connect on a visceral level and have to have your product in their lives. One way to help define your personality is to think about your standard.
What type of person would be a good reflection of your business? How would they talk? How would they look? A simple way to create a starting point for this imaginary brand representative is to ask you the question:
- If I could have any person to be a spokesman for my brand, who would it be?
From there, you can create a description of your brand personality.
Brand Emotional Impact
Infusing emotion into your brand is how you connect deeply with prospects and leave a lasting memorable image in their mind. If you pay attention to things your new, satisfied customers say about you, you can learn a lot about your brand’s ability to connect with your customer base.
What you want to know is:
- How do you want your customers to feel when they see your products?
- What emotions are triggered when your customers and clients use your products/services or interact with your brand?
- Does it make sense for your brand to be connected with trust, fear, guilt, competition, belonging, or some other emotional appeal?
If, for example, a preponderance of customers say that they feel relevant, that’s critical information that will help you build a brand identity.
Develop/Design Your Brand
When you have the answers to these questions, you will start to naturally build an image of your brand and the visuals that support it. U can use this information to build your visual brand.
- Choose your color
- Choose your font.
- design your
- Create a branding guide.
Keeping Your Brand Consistent
Consistency is one of the most critical strategies for marketing a brand. Consistency is crucial: If your website and social media profiles don’t match, customers might become confused or even think you’re not who you say you are. This consistency also establishes a feeling of professionalism across your branding. Update your online and offline assets, including packaging and event materials, so every customer sees your current branding no matter where they first encounter you.
However, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to maintain that consistency in our evolving world of multi-channel marketing. Unifying all of these communication channels to present a clear, concise, and consistent brand identity revolves around brand style, substance, and story.
Branding starts with people.
Branding starts with customers. Customers find out about the brand much like the way they get to know someone. It’s the first impression and the first few exchanges that get them intrigued about the brand. Once they’re excited to know more about your brand, they’re in the game–they’re ready to become customers and feel the sense of belonging that comes with identifying with a brand.
Branding starts with your employees. They’re the first brand ambassadors of your company. Internal branding, from designing the team structure to training the people who make up the teams, is also a part of building a brand identity. Internal branding brings the company’s core cultural values onto the employees at all levels to be the true representatives of the brand to the customers.
9 Questions to Ask Yourself
Once the above items are addressed, you need to ask yourself the following:
- What are the specific qualities of the services and/or products you offer? Be sure to be as specific as possible.
- What are the core values of your products and services?
- What is the mission of your company?
- What does your company specialize in?
- Who is your target market audience?
- What kind of message is your tagline sending to your prospects? Not every organization has a tagline, but if you want a tagline, keep it very short.
- Create a personality for your company that clearly represents your products or services. Ask, what qualities set you apart from the competition?
- Are you building a relationship with your target market? Which characteristics and qualities get the attention of potential prospects?
- Lastly, create a profile for your brand.