The Basics of Brand Identity

by | Apr 13, 2021 | Small Business

Developing a brand identity is one of the most important and beneficial things you can do for your business.

It is more than just a logo and it requires hard work, consistency, and dedication. With so many successful companies out there, and more being established every day, having a strong brand identity will help you stand out.

What is a brand identity?

A brand identity is the look, feel, values, and communication style of your business. Slapping your logo on everything is not enough to give your brand a personality or leave a lasting impression on your customers. A brand identity encourages your audience to keep you top of mind and helps shape their experience with your product. It is the overall perception of your business.

Building your Brand

In today’s world, a successful brand has to be consistent in both experience and communication. The more cohesive your brand is, the easier it is for people to connect with and understand your company.

So, what are the components of brand identity?

THE LOOK

This one seems quite obvious but can be a very tedious and extensive process. The look of your brand is what comes to mind when someone thinks of your product. Take Coca-Cola, for example. The iconic red colour, the consistent font, and the uniquely shaped bottle all bring to mind the Coca-Cola brand. These elements, even when viewed separately, are instantly recognizable.

This is achieved by creating a cohesive look across all channels. Whether it be Instagram, a magazine, or your product on a shelf, your design elements have to be consistent and recognizable. To do this, design decisions need to be made on:

  • Logo
  • Typography
  • Colour Palette
  • Packaging
  • Website, Email and Social Media
  • Business cards

Anything that will be visually associated with your brand must be designed to fit your identity. Creating a brand guide will help keep you on track with your design standards no matter what project you’re working on. Brand guidelines will guarantee that your content – whether visual or written – remains consistent, recognizable and reliable.

THE MESSAGE

Deciding on the graphics of your brand can be challenging if you haven’t given thought to how you’d like to be perceived. If we look at Coca-Cola once again, their brand identity message is confidence and enjoyment. The red translates to confidence, while the typography is about enjoyment.

Who you are as a brand is made up of a few key components:

  • Your mission
  • Your values
  • Your voice
  • What makes you stand out
  • Your brand personality
  • Your audience

Making these crystal clear in your mind can be challenging but is a very important first step. These are the elements you will turn to anytime a marketing or branding decision needs to be made as these are what you are trying to portray to the world.

To help you get started, here are a few questions you should ask yourself:

  • Why do you exist? Why did you start the company?
  • What 3 words would you use to describe the brand?
  • What problem do you solve?
  • What makes you distinct and how do you differ from your competitors?
  • Why should anyone care?

THE FEEL

Did you know that emotions are an important part of brand identity?

In fact, 90% of purchasing decisions are affected by emotions. If you really want to connect with and hold your audience’s attention, you must tell a genuine and consistent story. Studies have found that positive emotions toward a brand have a much greater influence on consumer loyalty than trust and other opinions. Brand personality and storytelling can be communicated through packaging, visual imagery, and the types of words used to describe the brand or its products.

Developing a brand identity allows your voice to be heard when you are not around to speak for it. If you want to leave a positive lasting impression, spend the time on creating a solid brand identity that is recognized by and emotionally influencing to your audience.  

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