When you think about big companies like Nike, Starbucks, Mercedes-Benz, or Apple, what comes to mind? Many things, we’re sure: a logo, fonts, a specific color palette, famous ads, catchy slogans, and even the tone with which this or that corporation communicates with the public audience with brand identity.
What exactly is brand identity?
Identity is a combination of brand values, communication style, and visual and emotional characteristics. This is the essence, the core factor of a company; this is what makes a brand different from others.
For example, the visual part of Coca-Cola’s identity includes a bright red color, a brand ornate font, and even the shape of bottles. And the emotional one-a a unique feeling of summer and youth, a trip to the sea with friends in a car, a bonfire and dancing on the beach, and that feeling when you take the first sip of an iced drink in the heat.
All these associations are not accidental. Coca-Cola has spent tens of years and millions of dollars getting us to perceive it that way. The values, appearance, and associations of the brand can be anything as long as they are powerful and unambiguous. For example, Gucci and Disney are as unlike each other as possible, but they have an equally strong identity. It is also important to understand the difference between brand identity and brand image:
- Brand identity is how you want to be perceived by your audience. It includes a logo, a slogan, communication tone, a color palette, values, and more. A brand
- image is how the audience actually perceives you. It is built on the reputation of the brand, the level of trust, the first impression, and the emotions that the company evokes.
A sign of good branding is when a brand’s identity matches its image.
Why is brand identity important?
A strong brand identity sets the business apart from the rest and helps the client establish an emotional connection with the company. In the long term, this leads to the growth of a loyal audience and the deeper involvement of buyers in the marketing activities of the brand.
How to Develop a Brand Identity
Building a brand identity takes time, effort, and creative resources. To make this process easier, we’ve written a step-by-step guide.
- Personalize your brand.
- Create brand characteristics.
- Create a brand book.
- Expand your brand presence.
1. Formalized Paraphrase Give your brand a personality.
Tell your story.
What inspired you to create your brand? What do you want to achieve? How do customers benefit from the company’s products and services? A well-thought-out back story will help the client better understand the brand and establish a closer emotional connection with it.
Write down key values. A clear value system is important for any brand—it defines the corporate culture, adds integrity to the business, and shows the client that you are not only interested in money. Each company should have a specific goal, whether it is the production of quality products, a high level of service, or the promotion of sustainable consumption.
Find a place for your brand in the marketplace. Make sure your business model has enough chances to succeed and stand out from the competition. To do this, conduct a SWOT analysis:
- Strengths What are your advantages over your competitors?
- Weaknesses (weaknesses) What are your disadvantages compared to your competitors?
- Opportunities What external factors will help your brand succeed?
- Threats What external factors could complicate the achievement of the goal?
- Define CA.
Make a portrait of a potential buyer with their age, gender, profession, social status, and other important indicators. This will determine what external attributes and tone of communication you choose for the brand.
2. Develop brand attributes
Tonality It’s time to give the brand a voice. How will you communicate with the audience—clearly and to the point, or with a lot of puns and jokes? To inspire or challenge the reader? Should I saturate the text with facts or create intrigue? Once you choose your tone, make sure to maintain it across all communication channels: website copy, UX copyright, blog posts, and email newsletters.
Color palette: every marketer knows that certain colors elicit certain emotions.
Choosing the right color palette will add friendliness, seriousness, elegance, or cheerfulness to a brand. According to research, choosing a corporate color increases brand awareness by 80%. To see this, take a look at the IKEA logo without the inscription.
Despite the fact that this is just an image of a yellow oval on a blue background, you can easily recognize it as the corporate logo of the legendary Swedish company.
Choose one or two brand colors and use them consistently on your website, in print, social media, and other media. This way, over time, your brand will become associated with a particular color palette.
with the color palette, choosing the right typeface can become your brand’s calling card. Classic serif fonts are usually associated with tradition and stability, flowery fonts with elegance and premium, and softer, rounded sans-serif fonts with technology and innovation.
The logo is the first thing a potential client sees. It doesn’t matter if you are going to create a logo yourself or hire a professional designer–the main thing is that it is memorable and reflects the essence of the brand. Check out current logo design trends for inspiration.
3. Produce a brand book
Brand identity is a difficult thing to understand, especially for those who weren’t involved in its creation. Therefore, it is important to create a brand book in which every detail will be spelled out: tonality, fonts, color palette, brand values, and other attributes. A brand book is needed for two reasons:
- The faster the company grows, the more people in it who make business decisions: managers, partners, and equity holders. Without a brand book, each of them will interpret the brand identity in their own way, and this will destroy the integrity of the communication and harm the brand image. The brand book serves as a set of rules that will keep the company from doing things that run counter to brand identity.
- You will almost certainly have to work with contractors: designers, copywriters, customer support, and more. The brand book will greatly facilitate their work and minimize the commenting process on your part: contractors will know what colors and fonts to use and in what tone to communicate with customers.
To give your brand integrity, make sure every detail matches the brand book. Here are some things to look out for:
- Site. Customers come here to learn more about the company, so try to create a site that matches your brand identity. Also, choose an appropriate domain name to give your site a more professional look.
- Packaging: Packaging can be as important to a brand’s identity as the product itself—think of the stylish Apple packaging, McDonald’s Happy Meals, or the iconic Tiffany & Co. turquoise boxes. Therefore, if you are selling products, consider original and memorable packaging in the colors of your brand.
- Business cards Yes, business cards have become less popular in the digital age, but they’re still an effective way to promote your brand and expand your professional dating base. The shape, colors, and even texture of business cards can all help reinforce the desired brand perception in the eyes of customers.
- Email newsletters. With the help of email services like Mailchimp and Or Salesmanago, it has become possible to send emails with unique designs instead of regular text emails. Take advantage of this: Use your logo, font, and brand palette in both marketing and newsletters.