Creating Your Brand Identity: A Crash Course
Your brand is how you tell your story, and building a recognizable brand identity is critical to winning over customers and keeping them for life. But before you can get there, you have to decide on your brand identity, which will serve as the foundation of everything you do.
Don’t know how to create a brand identity? Don’t worry. We’re here to help!
Brand Identity Basics
Simply put, your brand identity is the face of your brand. It includes, but is not limited to:
- Symbol or other design adopted by your brand to identify it
- Color, or combination of colors, used to identify your brand
- Images with a cohesive mood and style that clarifies your brand
- Style and way of presenting text to create a particular context and personality for your brand
- Images and symbols that will appear on your brand’s website and across its marketing materials
- Images that represent your brand visually, intended to fit with its visual identity
- Interactive elements
- Functionality features for your brand that organizes content and enhances user experience
The most successful businesses have easily recognizable brand identities. Think Apple, Google, Adidas, Starbucks — these businesses have gotten their brand identity so right that they’re now iconic! And while you may not get international recognition like these businesses, you can create a brand identity that will stand out so people will recognize your brand right away.
What Matters Most
Your business is an extension of who you are, and your brand identity should reflect that. It’s more than just pictures and logos — it’s the essence of your business that’s created to captivate your audience and make them fall in love with your brand.
At the heart of your brand is your messaging. Your messaging is what draws your audience in and ultimately causes them to buy from you, converting them into a customer. If you really get it right, they’ll become a repeat customer, and even a promoter — meaning easy business for you. Our team relies on the StoryBrand Framework, which we’ve discovered is the most effective way for businesses to communicate with their customers.
This is where your brand’s visuals come into play, such as your logo and colors. Your look should jive well with your messaging, and even match it. No matter what your message is — whether it’s upbeat and exciting or bold and determined — your look should be indicative of that. We find that mood boards are a great way to incorporate a brand’s messaging with its look.
Once you know what message you want to convey and have decided on the look you want to portray, you can focus on the feel of your brand. How do you want your audience to feel when they interact with your brand? Excited? Determined? Something else? What’s really important about this is that you have total control over how you make your audience feel, and people make purchases based on how they feel about something, so be sure to spend plenty of time getting this right.
Other Brand Identity Tips You Should Know
Because your brand identity is the embodiment of your business, it has a huge role in the success of your business. So before you start building your brand identity, keep these things in mind…
Know Your Audience
You know what you’re selling. Now you have to figure out who you’re selling to! Decide on your target demographic (which is the group of people you want to buy your products or services) and then find out what you need to do to reel them in. Your target demographic includes individuals of a certain age, gender, education level, household income, location, and so forth. These are the people you want to reach. You can even develop buyer personas to really get into it. HubSpot defines a buyer persona as “a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.”
Know Your Competitors
It’s rare to run a business that’s without competition. The truth is, pretty much every industry has competitors, from home improvement stores to fast food joints. Knowing (but not copying!) your competitors is actually a strength. When you know who they are and what they’re about, you can find ways to differentiate yourself. It’s easy to blend in when you’re in the same industry, but with the right brand identity, you can stand out.
Bring Others In
Your business, like most, is probably made up of a team of individuals, all working toward a common goal: success! When you’re working on how to create a brand identity for your business, you don’t have to go it alone. In fact, it’s best to bring others in — even family and friends — so you can receive opinions outside of your own, which can go a long way in the successful development of your brand identity.
Start Building Your Brand Identity
As you begin building your brand identity, remember that clarity is key. We like to say, “When you confuse, you lose.” That’s why every single detail about your business — from your purpose and values to your goals and audience — should be clear from the first interaction someone has with your brand. Once you’ve established your brand identity, you can make a brand style guide, which will display everything about your brand all in one place. If you need some help getting started, get in touch with our team. This is our jam, and we’d love to help you build your brand identity so you can grow your business!