Establishing a brand identity is a journey all new businesses and budding entrepreneurs will go through. Discovering a brand identity takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight, and there’s no secret formula to getting it right the first time. Like most things in business, developing a successful brand identity is usually a case of trial and error, giving a few things a try and saying goodbye to the ones that don’t fit.
Don’t be disheartened if developing your brand identity takes longer than you expected. Even the biggest brands are continuously evolving their identities, with rebrands and restructuring happening every few years— your brand identity is never set in stone.
Nevertheless, establishing a brand identity when you’re starting your business is essential. Brand identities are what define your brand and make it memorable.
Developing your brand identity might feel like a mountainous task, but it doesn’t have to be. The process of developing your brand identity can be a fun and informative task that helps you understand your business even better. While your brand identity doesn’t need to be perfect, there are ways you need to approach constructing your identity to make it as effective as possible.
In this blog post, we’re outlining the fundamentals of brand identity so you can understand what your brand identity needs to do and how you can create a successful brand identity for your business.
What is Brand Identity?
Your brand identity encompasses all visual elements of your brand; brand identity is visual identity. These visual elements include colour palette, design, logo, tone of voice or messaging and imagery. The visuals you use for your brand are what make it identifiable to consumers and set you apart from other businesses.
A well-developed brand identity establishes your brand look and constructs a unique identity. This unique identity makes your brand recognisable in consumers minds. A well-established visual identity causes a connection to form in the consumer’s mind, relating your brand look with the products and services you provide. This link not only makes you recognisable but also builds trust as the consumer will start to become familiar with your brand image.
Brand identity not only shows, it tells too. A strong brand identity helps you look the part and fits your industry. For example, a sustainability brand with an earth-toned colour palette reflects the ethos, matches the products, and tells the customer that this brand knows what it’s doing in this space.
The key components of a Brand Identity
There are five key components when it comes to constructing your brand identity. These are:
- Colour palette
- Tone of voice/messaging
Different brands will include different design elements as part of their identity. Other elements might include:
- Web design
- Data visualization
Every brand is unique, and so, all brands have a unique design identity to fit their product and their consumer.
How To Create A Successful Brand Identity
To create a successful brand identity, you need to know your brand and your consumer as well as possible. In the previous step, we outlined what your brand identity may or may not include.
You might now be wondering, “how do I know what my brand identity needs to include?”
To understand what components you need in your brand identity and to create a successful visual identity, you need to do a little marketing and establish your consumer profiles, or buyer persons. This means understanding what your consumers want and need and determining your primary buyer persona and ideal buyer persona.
For many, this step involves asking questions you might not have considered before or that your may already know the answer to. You might ask: does my ideal consumer watch video content? Do I need data to build trust with potential buyers?
If your primary and ideal buyer persona don’t have time to watch a video, you don’t want to spend money and waste energy on creating an element of your identity that doesn’t resonate or attract your buyer personas.
Another way of looking at it is to personify your brand. If your brand was a person, who and what would their identity be? Understanding your brand will help you picture your visual identity, even before you’ve created your branding.
To develop a broader picture of your brand, ask yourself questions such as:
- Why have I built this brand?
- What is my mission statement?
- What are my ethos and brand values?
- What makes my brand different?
Establishing who and what your brand is will help you develop a successful brand look that conveys all these essential elements through visuals.
Creating The Visuals
The next step is to materialise your brand identity by creating engaging and attractive visuals. To do this, you need to decide on your brands colour palette, typography and logo. These elements will create the “face” of your brand, working together to create a full picture of who and what your brand is.
Consistency is key when it comes to brand identity. You want your brand to be instantly recognisable to your consumer. This doesn’t necessarily mean making everything the exact same but it’s important to maintain a consistent look throughout the different touch points of your business. Changing your visuals, colours, and type can confuse consumers which can result in distrust and make it less likely that consumers will remember your brand. Showing up with the same brand look across platforms and mediums is what creates a successful brand identity.
If you study the visual identity of well-known brands, you’ll notice they use the same logo, colour palette, and the same type across all their products and platforms. This is what makes them stand out and automatically tells you who they are.
If you have an existing brand identity you want to change, think about what your current identity does well and where it falls short. You can use a questionnaire to gain an understanding of the public perception of your visual identity. Public response will show you if your identity successfully portrays the ethos, mission and personality of your brand. This information will help you identify which parts of your visual identity are successful and which parts need reforming.
Brand identity can be transformative for your business when done right. It can help establish your place in the market, build trust, and make your business automatically identifiable. It’s a key marketing component for all businesses and one that needs to be done right. An unsuccessful brand identity is detrimental to the success of your business. By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to create a successful, influential and memorable identity for your brand.