By Tiffany Nieslanik
Businesses that are most successful in marketing tend to have one thing in common, a strong brand identity. From a distinctly shaped Coca-Cola bottle to the simple and clean design of Glossier’s, well, everything, successful brands use their visual identities to connect with consumers. The individual pieces of a brand’s identity work together to help showcase what makes the company unique and helps make the brand instantly identifiable to an audience.
You should know what a brand identity is
Simply put, a brand identity is the face of your brand. It is a combination of design aspects and content choices you put out into the world to represent your business’s personality. Often it is made up of what your values are, how you communicate your product to the world, and what you want people to feel when they interact with your company.
A brand identity is composed of visual elements as well as voice and tone. When you do it well, brand identity will clearly communicate the values and mission of your business. Some things that are often part of a brand’s identity include:
Design elements such as photography and/or illustrations
Voice & tone
Tagline, or slogan
Messaging on social, in email, etc.
Copy in web, ads, etc.
When most people talk about brand identity, they’re referring to a brand’s visual identity, but it’s important also to consider the voice and tone elements to create a strong identity successfully.
You should understand the power of brand identity
A strong brand identity communicates your business story effectively. And the more effectively you can communicate who your brand is, the easier it is for you to build a following. If people can see your values and offerings and feel a connection with those things, they then develop a connection to your brand and a sense of loyalty to what you offer.
Strong branding also makes you memorable, and brand recognition builds trust. In a world with so many potential scams and spammers happening, having the trust of potential customers is key. When you have consistent visuals and messaging, it sends a signal to people that you are trustworthy.
A strong brand identity also helps you filter out the folks you don’t want to connect with and focus on the ones you do. The reality is you don’t want to do business with everyone; you want to do business with the people who are most aligned with your core values. Strong branding tells potential customers how they line up with your offerings and attracts the best customers for your business.
You should consider these elements when creating your brand identity
When creating your brand identity, you have to consider two sides of a coin – who you are and who your audience is. What are your values? Your mission? What are your audience’s needs and wants? What catches their attention and interest? With that in mind, you can start with either side. For your audience, you want to consider their demographics, pain points, challenges, and interests.
On the business side, think about what makes you unique. What do you offer that others don’t or can’t? Include your vision, values, and mission as part of this process. What is your business’s purpose, and how does that connect to your consumer? And finally, contemplate your brand’s personality – are you fun and sassy or more serious and firm? You’ll use this to inform your color palette, typography, imagery, voice, and tone to help represent your brand.
If you have current branding, reassess it and see how it lines up with the above. Check out your competition and see where they stand. And from there, write up a branding brief, or build a mood board, using the information you’ve gathered to inform your brand-building work.
You should get started sooner rather than later
To create a successful brand identity you need to create elements that are distinct, and that catch people’s attention. Your identity should make a visual impact that is memorable. It needs to be scalable so it can grow with your brand, and also flexible so you can use it across various platforms. Finally, it should be cohesive so that every piece of your brand identity complements the rest. And if you haven’t thought much about what your brand’s identity is, you should get started as soon as you can to increase your success.