What Is Brand Identity? This post is for those looking for insight on what is considered brand identity? Some key factors in developing a brand's Identity.
Thoughts on Developing a Brand Identity
What is brand Identity?
With the advancement of technology, speed of innovation, amazing creativity, increased competition, and demanding customers seeking satisfaction, having a brand, and managing one to check the boxes is paramount.
Brand identity 50 years ago was as good as your product and services were. Today, a lack of clear path and definition can see a good business spiraling down the drain faster than it was built.
For startups, SMEs, and even corporations, there is more to brand identity than why you are in business.
Your brand identity is the cherry on a large sundae but it is also the ingredients that make your sundae better than the next person.
So while you are figuring out how to distinguish yourself in a crowded marketplace, we have a question for you.
Is your current brand identity efficiently delivering the returns you expect?
Perhaps you need a design overhaul or a change in colors, a different tagline, or logo, regardless of what your needs are, this article is for you.
What Is Brand Identity? The Many Factors in Developing a Brand's Identity
What sets you apart? Can you answer that clearly? What is your selling point? In a world where millions of businesses compete to get the next customer, why should people come to you? What are you willing to offer that satisfies consumer needs?
If you had a concrete answer, that is brand identity.
So what is brand identity? This is a set of strategies and guidelines that defines a company’s position in society. It is an aspirational image, message, design, or argument that aims to create a lasting impression of the company in the society. Now brand identity is sometimes used alongside the brand image, but it is different.
Put it this way, your name is your brand identity, but your attitude and character are your brand image. So brand identity is what others say the company is and how it is perceived.
In a nutshell, brand identity is the visible appeal a customer gets when they think of a brand. Now, some people mistake brand, branding, and brand identity as the same, it is not.
Let’s use examples to explain these three terms for better understanding. A brand is what people associate you with. For example, Starbuck is to coffee just as Microsoft is computers. This is their respective brands.
Branding is a strategy that the company uses to get them noticed on the market. These are tangible assets that allow a company to sell itself to the consumer and enable it to be recognized, to create awareness, and extend loyalty.
So then, what is brand identity – it is a mix of your brand and the branding strategies used to appeal to the customer. Brand identity is an emotional connection your company has with a consumer. It is what is seen, recognized, and accessed. For example, the red color of Coca Cola, the Blue color of Chelsea football club, or the Red Devils synonymous to Manchester United.
So the brand identity has to cover the colors, logo, layouts, graphics, print design, social media, typography, web design, and all.
Developing a strong brand identity
For a brand identity to be effective, it must resonate with the consumers. It should also stand apart in the market, diverse ways to stay ahead of the completion, and fully portray what the company can offer now and in the future. When all these points are achieved, the brand identity should establish and generate value as a credible entity on the market.Sounds like a mouthful, but here goes. There are some things one must be willing to do to build an effective brand identity, an active brand identity.
Who are you?
While certain fundamentals play a role in your brand identity, you need to know who you are, what you are offering, and how to remain connected to your customers using your brand.
Consumers will interact with brand colors, logo, style, shapes, or other visual elements in identifying a brand. Although these are the brand identifiers, it is important to know what are your motivation, mission, and long-term goal for the brand.
Factors that define what your brand:
- The mission – why have you decided to go into offering the product and service? It should be solution-driven, as most people need answers for the WHYs in their lives.
- The Value – what is the moral behind the company? For example, Coca Cola was created as medicine, but today is the fastest-selling soft drink in the world.
- The brand personality – assume your brand was to come alive, how would you want it to look like? Visualize the appearance and how it will make head pop on the red carpet.
- Breaking forth into the market – businesses must remain relevant to last long in the market. Unless your product continuously offers a solution, it will die out one day. This also means identifying your competition and devising strategies to stay ahead of them. These include consistency, advertisement, and visual appeal.
- Your brand message – what is your brand telling the audience, and how will it achieve it? Do you want bold and blunt or soft and compassionate? While these are some factors that identify with building an active brand, other elements are fundamental to a successful brand.
Choosing a Name
Your brand identity starts from the name. What is in a name though? The right name is timeless, fun, and easy to pronounce and remember. A name enhances a brand, facilitate the branding, and look great in a logo, tagline, text, emails, and advertising. Remember that the name should sing and flow well in conversations.
The Right Name Put You in a Good Place
Choosing the wrong name can destroy your business, make you forgettable, and can be challenging to develop a brand. For example, some famous companies that changed their brand names are-
Google formerly Backrub, Pepsi was Brad’s Drink, Nike was Blue Ribbon Sports, Yahoo was Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web, and Sony formerly Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo. Can you imagine if these companies still had their old names? The right name catches your customer’s attention, connect with them, and make them want to reach out to your business.So if you don’t think your name doesn’t play a crucial role in your brand’s identity, think again.
Taglines and Slogans
Taglines are short phrases that capture your brand personality, voice, and position. The best tagline is incredibly effortless to remember and tell about the brand even if you have never heard about it. Taglines are also strategic ways of branding and building a lasting market that identifies with your brand.
Examples of famous taglines include KFC – Finger Lickin' good, L’Oreal – because you are worth it, and Nike – Just Do it.
If you are finding it difficult deciding who you are, what name or tagline you should choose for your brand and its identity, the following will help you. Whether your business is one person or you have a partner(s), the following questions should give you some clarity.
- Why are you in business?
- Where do you want the business to be in 5, 10, and 15 years later?
- What is the goal and mission of the business?
- Is your current location enhancing your belief or degrading it?
- Who are your customers?
- Where are your customers at and how will the business makes their lives better?
- Why are you better than the competition if any?
- Without thinking, what is the first phrase that comes to mind when you see your business?
- In three words – how would you and your customers describe your business?
Remember – although friends and family are great support structures in brainstorming the next step in a business, an honest opinion comes from outsiders.
Once you have got that on lockdown, let’s build the identity.
Design – The Foundation of a Strong Brand Identity
When we talk about design and brand identity, the first thing that comes to mind is the logo. Hmmm, while a logo is a brand identifier, it needs to be designed first. So what design would look good for your brand?
Your designs are a tangible asset that introduces, sells, and sustains your brand in any market. Your brand identity design includes everything from your logo, email, business card, web design, social media, graphics, and color.
In a nutshell, the right design enhances your brand identity and determines the longevity of your business. So what fundamentals make up the design for successful brand identity?
Let’s start from the bottom up.
The Typeface Chosen: Typography
Google is the most famous company that utilizes fonts like no other. Whether they are celebrating a world event or feeling colorful, Google knows how to use fonts and colors. Fonts play a significant role in brand identity. The most commonly used typography are-
Serif fonts are classic and unique characters that date back to the Roman era. These fonts have little anchors or extra additions to the letters and offer originality, trust, command, and a little playfulness when used in a brand. Fonts like Garamond, Palatino, Bodoni, and Times New Roman are some in this category.Display fonts are different and unique. Their unusual shape and outline distinguish their use in branding. Furthermore, if you are looking to catch the market, it doesn’t get bigger and bolder than Display fonts.
San Serif is the opposite of Serif; they are without the extra anchor and offer clean, efficient lines when used in design, logo, taglines, adverts, and writings on packages. San Serif fonts are bold, loud, and sleek and add a modern touch to any brand. Fonts in this category are Calibri, Helvetica, and Lucida Sans.
Script fonts are slender, cursive, and alluring. However, you need to be careful when using this font in design as it may not appeal to the older generations. Besides, it is a great way to soften a brand message.
Brand Color and Understanding of Color Psychology
One brand color that is stand out is Target. The red and white circle is unique to the name and the offer that the company gives to customers. Colors are known to have an emotional impact on customers and how people relate and perceive your brand.
- Red and orange colors are exciting, full of energy, and passionate. However, they are also fun, youthful, and relatable.
- Blues and shades of blues are warm, humble, and trustworthy. They pull consumers into the circle and appeal to a wide demographic.
- Purples, violent, lilac is luxurious, royal, rich, and exotic. Great for high-end brands
- Yellow is freedom, happiness, cheerful, welcoming, and elegant.
- Black is sophisticated, modern an classic
- White is clean, holy, safe, and stable.
Shape and Forms
Bet you didn’t know that the lines and forms of your design impact your brand identity. Vertical lines are associated with strength, sophistication, and power, while horizontal lines are synonymous with tranquility, calmness, and softness.
The same way shapes also play a role in shaping your brand identity. For example, round/circle means togetherness, community, and looking out for one another like the UNICEF logo.
Shapes with straight lines like squares, triangles, and rectangles portray stability, professionalism, security, and purpose. When paired with dynamic colors, it will speak to a young generation that is indecisive and cannot make up their minds. For example brands like Domino Pizza, Microsoft, and Facebook all use a square logo.
Now, that you have gotten the above let’s put it into action.
Your logo should combine your color, form, shape to communicate, appeal, and resonate with your customers. It should be memorable and simple to associate with. Whether it is classic or modern, just ensure you get the message right.
Who isn’t online these days? Everyone has a digital imprint, and your website must identify with your audience but also enhance your brand identity. It should blend into your logo design and use line, form, shape, and font in the most consistent way possible.
Business cards email, flyers, newsletters are ways that your brand consistently engages with consumers. So ensure it is well-designed, but also answers all the questions of who you are.
At the end of all, the term brand identity is the visual language of many companies. But when all is said and done, consistency builds a great brand. It allows your customers to follow you and value what you are offering. So when you are thinking about brand identity, let all your senses come into play.
Designing a brand identity helps marketers to develop and manage their brands in a dynamic and competitive marketplace. Creating an active brand identity requires choosing the right name, font, color, and consistency.
However, brand identity is more; it is your ability to collaborate the entire fundamental to set you apart on the market. When you nail your purpose and what you are offering, start designing
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