Creating An Effective Brand Identity: The Ultimate Guide
What would be the first thing you’d want people to think of when they talk about your brand? Is it something simple like the logo or the tagline, or something more elaborate like the story of your brand’s success?
Whatever your answer may be, the underlying fact remains that every brand needs to have its own unique yet powerful identity that speaks for itself. Every successful brand needs a brand identity that creates a positive impact for your business as a whole.
In a sense, your brand’s identity is at the heart of your business.
Importance of Brand Identity
A strong and effective brand can help your business be more successful, and at times can also determine where your business currently stands among its competitors. This is one of the several reasons why creating a strong brand identity is extremely important for your business.
- Personality- An effective brand identity is the visual representation of the values and goals of your business and can be designed to communicate the ultimate goal of your business to your consumers.
- Consistency- Having an effective brand identity helps in sending a cohesive message across all marketing materials and products.
- Differentiating- Having a unique brand identity helps to differentiate your brand from your competition. It shows where you stand in the market, and also helps your business stand out to potential customers.
- Awareness- The more that word spreads about your brand, the better social validation it can receive. Having an effective brand identity can help create awareness about your business and attract potential consumers.
- Loyalty- An effective brand identity can help to build a strong sense of customer loyalty and trust because it allows your consumers to establish a connection with your business.
Tips For An Effective Brand Identity
It is important to create an effective brand identity for your business to succeed and become a household name. Taking a few measures and implementing the following steps into your business strategy can help you to create an effective brand identity for your business, or enhance your existing brand identity.
Do Your Research
Much like any other aspect of business, creating a brand identity requires you to do a thorough research in order to understand your audience as well as the competition you’ll face in the market.
Different people require and expect different things from your business. So it doesn’t make any sense in marketing your product to teens and adults in the same manner. Learning what your audience wants from a business in your industry is very important to ensure that you meet their needs in the right manner. Targeted ads and surveys are a great way to gather information about your audience.
Also, knowing the difference between your business and your competition is important when it comes to creating a brand identity. What can you offer your consumers that your competitors cannot? How is your brand any different from the several others in the market? Researching these areas can help you gauge the competition and allow you to create a unique brand identity.
Logo And Design
Consider brands such as PepsiCo, Coca Cola or Apple—what is the first thing that comes to mind when these brands are mentioned? Most of the times, it is the logo. Although the logo isn’t your whole brand, it happens to be the most easily recognizable feature about your brand.
“Design is the silent ambassador of your brand.” —Paul Rand.
It is what’s going to represent your brand on everything from your website and social media handles, to your products and their packaging, so it makes sense that a lot of thought needs to go into the creative process of designing a logo for your brand. Everything including the colour palette, the typography, and the flexibility of the logo are important factors when it comes to creating an effective brand identity for your business.
Establishing your brand within your company is one thing. It is much more important to integrate your brand into the community, and the easiest, most effective way to do so is by staying connected to your audience on your social media handles.
In every way, your content is your brand online. It’s your story, and every piece of content you publish reflects on, and defines, your brand. So, great content, great brand. Boring content, boring brand. –Patrick Shea, ‘Branding in the Inbound Age’.
Use language that matches the personality of your brand. Coca Cola keeps up its brand theme of happiness in all their social media handles. Others like Netflix and Denny’s choose a tongue-in-cheek approach to humour while addressing their audience. Choose what suits your brand best and connect with your audience.
Know What To Avoid
Two things you should stay away from when you’re in the process of creating a brand identity? Do not copy your competition or lose consistency in the messages you send across to your audience.
Even if your competition has exemplary branding tactics for the same products and services you offer, it is a bad idea. Stay true to your brand and its personality so that your audience gets what they see. Taking what your competition does into account is always smart, but make sure you give it your own twist before you present it to your audience.
Also, while your print ads may look a lot more different than the advertisements you post online, ensure that they send the same message to your audience and maintain the consistency of your brand.
Let’s say your brand has been around for a while. Have you been keeping track of how your business has been performing? Maybe it is time to make a few changes so that your brand keeps up with the latest demands of people and the market. Similar to other aspects of marketing, it is important to find out what you’re doing right (along with what you’re not), and it is difficult to do so without tracking key performance metrics.
Using Google Analytics, social media comments and discussions, social validation, Twitter trends etc to get an idea about how your consumers talk about your brand and how they interact with you. This can help you make changes to your brand identity to keep up with your audience’s expectations.
SWOT Analysis To Create A Brand Identity
A SWOT analysis is great for understanding your brand and building your brand identity better. Considering the current characteristics and personality of your brand can help you to understand where to improve your focus while creating an effective brand identity.
- Strengths- Assess your strengths from an internal standpoint as well as from the perspective of your customers. What are the positive characteristics of your brand that will provide you an advantage over your competition? What do you know that your competition doesn’t? Asking yourself these questions can help you focus on strengthening both the strong and weak parts of your business further.
- Weaknesses- Be brutally honest about what your business is currently lacking so that you can take a more objective approach to improving those aspects. How does your competition have an edge over your business? Assessing the characteristics that can prove a disadvantage to your business will help you fix those areas to improve your brand identity.
- Opportunities- Assessing the current state of the market you are in as well as your target customer can give you an idea of how your business can make its mark. Keeping up with the changes and trends in your industry helps you understand the long-term opportunities that you’ll get in the market.
- Threats- Assess both internal and external factors that can pose as a threat to the growth of your business. External factors include a shift in government regulations, saturation of market, economy, environment etc. Internal factors include the budget, availability of resources and connections, outdated technology etc. identifying and eliminating these risks can help you create an effective brand identity.
Ultimately, your brand identity should be a representation of what your company is all about, and what you hope to achieve through your business. Branding and creating a brand identity are things that take a considerable amount of time, but are extremely crucial first steps in launching your business. When your customers recognize your business for what you are and the core values you represent, it shows that your brand has become more than just a name and a symbol.
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