How To Build Your Brand Identity
What is a brand identity and how do you create and build one? We dive into the details and nuances of the process to help you get started.
If you've been in business for a while, you might already have your brand colors, logos, and slogans hashed out. However, to maximize their impact on your intended audience, they need to work and build on each other. This is how you make a strong brand identity. Let's find out what you need to build a compelling brand today.
Make Sure You Have A Clear Vision For Your Company
The first and perhaps most important aspect is that you need to know what your brand stands for in the market and the image you want to project. Once you understand what your business should look like to its customers, you can only then start developing your brand identity.
Now, you might be asking – how can you gather the insights to understand your company's vision?
Well, to do so, you need to ask a few questions about yourself.
- Who are you?
- Who are your potential customers?
- What do you offer to your consumers?
- What sets you apart from the competition?
- What does your company hope to achieve?
These questions are fundamental to understand your company's vision. And the answers to them will help define the direction you need to take to fulfill that vision.
Understanding who you are as a business is essential. Knowing who you are and what you stand for is critical to surviving in business.
How can a company do business and improve if it still doesn't know itself?
Next, it is logical to know about your customers, potential or existing. As a business, you need to understand customers' likes, dislikes, and desires from a company like yours.
This will help you develop and improve your offering based on your consumers' wants and needs.
Then, you need to understand what value you offer your customers. Today, markets are saturated with brands offering similar items to consumers to solve their needs.
As a business, you need to be aware of what value you offer your customers to understand the market and what the consumers desire of it.
Once you know what value you offer your consumers, the next step is to discover what sets you apart from your competition. In a highly competitive environment, attracting a customer’s interest is quite tricky.
A business that stands apart positively will have a massive advantage in carving itself a niche in the market.
Finally, you need to ask yourself a question – what are the goals and aims of your company?
Understanding what you hope to achieve from this business endeavor and what you consider success is essential to building a strong brand identity.
Now that you have answered the questions above, the next step is to develop your company’s mission statement. It is an important step that will guide the development, implementation, and evaluation of all future marketing or business strategies.
A mission statement will also help you create the ideal brand identity.
A mission statement describes what you stand for and what success means to your company.
Write Your Mission Statement
Now you can sit down and write a motivational mission statement to guide your business in the right direction.
Your mission statement should speak about what you provide to your customers in a way that attracts them towards your brand.
For example, suppose your target market lacks customer support or after-sales services. If you provide them, then your mission statement should mention that. It could be anything from "We provide high-quality customer service" to "Our team helps businesses grow."
However, there is no requirement for you to make your mission statement public. Its purpose is to give the entire process of brand and business development a stable direction. If you do share it publicly, then it needs to be clear and concise. That ensures that consumers will not get confused by the message.
Once you have developed your mission statement using the insights gathered via those questions, the next step is to create your brand blueprint.
It's not a complex concept to grasp.
The purpose of a brand blueprint is to define your brand and identify how it needs to tell its story to the consumers.
Essentially, it includes all the data and information about the subliminal and visual elements required to create a unique brand identity and sets your business apart from the competition.
This set of guidelines is essential if you want to create an identity that is conducive to growth and scalability. And now that you know what you want to achieve with your company, it is necessary to plan how to do so.
Let's begin by discussing the three-step brand blueprint development process.
- Step 1: Define Your Audience
- Step 2: Identify Your Target Market
- Step 3: Determine Your Value Proposition
Step 1: Define Your Audience
Defining your audience is the first and most important step to developing any branding or marketing strategy. Every company is in business to serve its customers. Without knowing who those customers are, we cannot hope to succeed.
But how can you identify and define your target audience? How can you ensure that your products are appealing to the consumers you made them for?
To pinpoint your target audience, you need to answer these questions.
- Who are you addressing with your branding?
- Who are the people that require your services or offerings?
- Why should these customers choose you over the other, more established businesses within their range?
These questions might seem simple at a glance. However, they are crucial to developing a solid brand blueprint and a great brand identity.
First, you need to identify who it is that your message will speak to.
Depending on your demographic, your branding strategy's tone, voice, and even content will change.
Next, you need to ask who is it that requires your offerings. How will a consumer know that your product is designed to fulfill their needs unless you tell them about it?
Finally, the most important of these factors – why should a customer go for your offering instead of a competitor? As a business, you need to answer this question convincingly.
Let's be honest; there might be more established companies out there offering something similar.
So why choose you then?
If you manage to answer these questions successfully, then you can move on to the next step.
Step 2: Identify Your Target Market
Once you define your audience, the next step is to determine specific demographics within that target market. This step is essential to create your basic brand identity.
It helps you identify if your company is a B2B or B2C so that you can create the perfect visual identity.
That distinction is crucial when we consider a company’s brand position or business identity. If your company markets its products towards other businesses, your entire business strategy and branding process would be completely different compared to a B2C model.
Now, you need to ask these questions to identify and understand your ideal target market.
- Who are the consumers you're actually targeting?
- Are there any customer demographics you plan on reaching?
- Are there any specific industries that your company targets?
The first question may seem the simplest to answer, yet it can be one of the hardest things to identify in a business. Suppose we take the example of a kitchen gadgets company, which creates products that make it easier, simpler, and quicker to cook.
Now, this product might not be intended for everyone.
It is marketed specifically to those short on time to cook homemade meals due to their busy schedule. Next, you need to identify if there are any specific market segments where your product works well.
The insights gained will help you improve the branding strategies for those market segments that are not doing well. Moreover, they will help you develop a powerful brand identity.
Step 3: Determine Your Value Proposition
Once you have identified your target market, the next step is to figure out how your business stands out from the competition.
Today, many companies are offering similar products and services to their consumers.
Suppose you do not know what makes you stand out to your consumers. In this case, you will be unable to leverage that and build a solid brand identity and online presence.
But how can you identify how your offering differs from the market?
The most effective and easiest way to do that is to study your competitors. Know what they offer their consumers and how they go about solving their customers’ problems.
Once you know that, you will find it easy to discover what makes your offering unique.
You need to ask yourself:
- What problem or issue does your product solve for your consumers?
- Does what you offer provide all that your competitor offers?
- What makes your product unique?
Once you know the answer to these questions, you will be able to build a solid value proposition and then a powerful brand and business personality.
Now that you have your brand blueprint, you need to evaluate and come up with a suitable and catchy brand name.
This is the next step in your brand-building process.
Take Coca-Cola's brand identity as an example. For a supposed health drink or tonic, they came up with a name that was easy to say and remember.
Originally, Coca-Cola was supposed to be a vitality tonic, flavored with Kola nuts for its caffeine and fortified with Cola leaves, from which the powerful narcotic cocaine is derived. Combining the two seemingly similar sounding ingredients into a name, the resultant brand is known worldwide nowadays. That is why a good business name is imperative to building a solid brand identity.
You need to ask yourself the following questions.
- Does my business name represent my company correctly?
- Is it unique? Is there a chance that a consumer might mistake it for a competitor?
- Is it easy to remember for the customers?
If the answer to the questions above is a YES, you can say that your brand name is perfect for your company.
However, if you answered NO to any of the above, you need to go back to the drawing board and develop a new name for your brand.
Next up is your style guide. That includes elements such as:
- Color palette
- Logo design
Creating A Logo for Your Brand
The logo is one of your company's most important design elements to build a marketable brand. In fact, it is one of the most valuable assets you develop in your brand design process.
Essentially, it is the identifier that is displayed on the majority of your products. Anything from merchandise and your website to marketing materials, your logo is the one that makes your offerings recognizable. Therefore, you need to choose the perfect type of logo for your brand that speaks to your consumers on a subliminal level.
That is how you can ensure its success.
Finding The Right Fonts and Colors For Your Brand
This step goes concurrently with the logo design process.
The fonts you choose, and the color palette as well, are necessary to create a set of comprehensive branding guidelines.
Your selected typography and the colors that accompany them are as important to your visual branding as your logo.
Similarly, for a more serious business niche, typography and color palette that suits the aesthetic needs to be adopted.
Finally, you need to outline the tone of your brand voice. This is an important aspect of the entire brand development process.
Your ideal tone should speak and connect with your intended and current customers.
Adopt a simple and friendly tone, that attracts the consumer to your business.
This means using simple language that someone with the most basic knowledge can understand.
But in order to do so, you need to evaluate your target market to discover how they prefer to be addressed. If your customers are mostly corporate, then you need to adopt a more business-like persona and voice. Your brand's storytelling needs to resonate with the rest of the brand.
However, for a more laid-back business, you need to use a simpler and more friendly tone of voice.
Now you know what goes into creating a brand identity. The next step is to launch your brand to the market and find out how it performs against your competition.
Thanks to MarketSplash