What is brand identity?
A brand identity is made up of what your brand says, what your values are, how you communicate your product, and what you want people to feel when they interact with it. Essentially, your brand identity is the personality of your business and a promise to your customers.
How to develop a strong brand identity?
Know who you are
Before you know what tangible elements you want to make up your brand identity, you need to know who you are as a brand.
Who you are as a brand is made up of a few key elements:
- Your mission (what’s your “why?”)
- Your values (what beliefs drive your company?)
- Your brand personality (if your brand was a person, what kind of personality would they have?)
- Your unique positioning (how do you differentiate yourself from the competition?)
- Your brand voice (if your brand was a person, how would it communicate?)
Why is brand identity so important?
The “Face” of Your Business
For all intents and purposes, your brand’s logo is the “face” of your business. But that face should do more than just look cool or interesting — a logo’s contribution to brand identity is associative, too. It tells the public that [this image] means [the name of your company].
Credibility and Trust
Having a brand identity doesn’t just make your product more memorable; it makes your brand more authoritative in the marketplace. A brand that establishes a face, and maintains that face consistently over time, develops credibility among its competitors and trust among its customers.
A brand identity is a template for everything you would include on an advertisement for your business — whether that ad is in print, online, or a pre roll commercial on YouTube. A brand with a face and industry credibility is well prepared to promote itself and make impressions on potential buyers.
Designing your brand identity
Once you’ve figured out the building blocks of your design, it’s time to work with a designer to bring your brand identity to life and translate who you are as a brand into tangible design assets you can use in your marketing. Your brand identity can be expressed in any number of elements. Depending on the nature of your business, one asset or another may be more or less important. For example, a restaurant should put a lot of thought into their menu and physical space. A digital marketing agency, however, needs to focus more on their website and social media pages.
Common elements of brand identity include:
Your logo design is the cornerstone in your brand identity. When working with your designer, you want to aim for your logo to tick off the following boxes:
- Clearly communicates who you are and what you value as a brand;
- Is visually appealing: simple, clean and uncluttered goes a long way;
- Is classic, not trendy: the last thing you want is for your logo to go out of style in 6 months;
- Plays along with your industry’s standards—and if you veer off, do so deliberately;
- Makes a lasting impression on your audience.
You also want to make sure that your design partner delivers your logo in multiple formats (like a black and white version or multiple sizes) to ensure you always have the logo you need—and that each is in line with your brand identity.
Your website is one of the most representative aspects of your brand identity. Especially if you’re running an online business or a digital product, your customers will definitely check your website out before deciding to do business with you. Your website is where your brand identity should come through in full force.
If your product is a physical one, then product packaging is key to attracting the right customers. Whether you’re thinking about the bottle of a cold-brew beverage, or the mail you’ll send to your customers who purchased clothes from your ecommerce business, don’t underestimate the value of good design in improving the experience.
If you’re doing any sort of business development (and who isn’t), you’ll want to stock up on business cards. A well-designed card offers the chance to reinforce a positive opinion of yourself in the eyes of potential clients or customers.
Email is a great way to engage your customers and drive business. But most people are at inbox overload, so if you want to grow your business via email, you need the right design strategy to set yourself apart from the clutter.