As business owners know, no business is static. Constantly changing, growing, and digging their own “niche,” businesses seem to take on a spirit of their own. That “spirit” is what is known as a brand identity. Brand identities are important, because they resonate with customers.
Consumers will often become “loyal” to certain brands or becoming followers of a certain brand because they like that brand’s identity; the look, feel, and experience of the company connects with them. If you’re wondering how to create a brand identity and aren’t sure where to start, don’t fret. With a few simple steps, and some dedicated brainstorming, you can find and capitalize on your own company’s brand identity.
What Is Branding and Identity?
Branding and identity consist of many different things. Your company’s overall brand consists of the sum of all the collective visuals and experiences your company provides. In terms of experience, it includes the benefits you’re delivering (more money, popularity, security, pleasure, etc.), the promises you set and keep (these include the features of the products and services you offer and, more importantly, how you deliver them), and your follow-up (how you handle your business relationships over time and deal with customer problems).
Your company’s “voice” also helps form your brand. Creating brand identity through voice means a studied choice of wording you will use with verbal and oral communication as it relates to your business. It’s the tone your copywriting takes, how your menu and website sound, the way you answer the phone, and the way you interact with customers both in person and through email.
Lastly, a huge chunk of how to build your brand revolves around your company’s visual presentation. Your visual presentation should wrap up the rest of your points, and serve as the figurative “cherry on top” that ties everything else together. Your visual presentation includes many aspects, including your colors, typefaces, logo, and your overall graphic style. If you have a brick-and-mortar location, particular if you are a store or restaurant, your visual presentation also includes all the aspects of your interior design, including palette, decoration, and lighting.
The Importance of Creating Brand Identity
You may be asking yourself how important brand identity really is. Is it a necessity, or is it merely superfluous? As it turns out, brand identity is crucial to your business’s success. By having an immediately recognizable brand, or at least building a brand identity that resonates with customers, you help contribute to brand awareness. That helps your business by increasing awareness of both your business and the product you offer. It creates brand recognition for that product, and most importantly, familiarizes potential consumers with the product.
Research shows that people respond better to and place higher value on products that are already familiar to them. For example, brand recognition and trust is one of the most important drivers of brand loyalty for younger customers. It is also an important aspect of encouraging customer referrals. Just consider this: 31% of consumers are willing to recommend a company to others based on brand identity alone. Building brand awareness is a smart, self-perpetuating strategy for success.
How to Create a Brand Identity
Creating a brand identity need not be difficult, though it is a venture which should be undertaken with patience and dedication. Before you begin, you have to set up a foundation for your brand by sitting down and asking yourself some important questions. Carry out the following steps to establish a framework for building a brand identity.
1. Identify your key audiences
Your target audiences will consist of not just your customers, but will be a mix of both your costumers and the vendors and other businesses you deal with. It is important to be very detailed in this step. Get specific about detailing your target audiences. Include things like location, age, interest, gender, and so on, so forth. Remember, you are building a brand identity that not only reflects your company’s philosophy, but that speaks directly to the needs and concerns of your audience.
2. Determine your business’s goals
Establishing your business’s short term and long term goals is vital to all your marketing efforts, and a key part in how to build brand identity. Your brand image will revolve around your long-term goals, while your short-term goals well help tell you how you will get there.
Related: Example Marketing Plans
3. Define your brand’s persona
This is the tricky bit. Discovering your brand’s persona is a process of defining your business’s true nature. It’s a practice in insight. As the company’s owner, you have to ask yourself the tough questions, and ask yourself why you started your business, and what you want it to achieve. Look into your business’s soul and pull out what you find.
Here are some questions to ask yourself: What is it that you do and why? Do you have a story? Draft an elevator pitch. What is that makes you unique? Why should people do business with you as opposed to another company? Consider what your brand believes in and why. What is the unique approach you take to doing business? What are your morals, your brand’s philosophy? Every business has a philosophy. Brand identity is about characterizing that philosophy and making it as tangible as possible.
4. Craft your voice
Once you know what your brand’s persona is, you can begin crafting your company’s voice. If you think of your brand’s persona as a personality and identity, you can deduce how your company’s voice should sound in order to match that brand persona. Is your brand vibrant, energetic, and catered towards millennials? In crafting your voice, consider matching your conversation style to how milennials speak. Your tone may be more casual, and you may choose to incorporate some modern-day slang into your copywriting. Conversely, if your business has a more serious brand identity, one steeped in certain morals and traditions, you would probably want a more sophisticated, resolute tone.
Just keep in mind that, no matter your style, there is no reason to be so austere that you become boring. Keep things fresh, deliberate, and interesting to read no matter what type of voice you are trying to craft.
5. Choose an aesthetic for your business
This is the fun part! Your company’s aesthetic is both the visual and the subtly perceptible. It is the image your brand invokes. For example, if you own a clothing line, you may be marketing towards wealthy and fashionable young professionals. You may opt for a dark and suave palette, and your brand’s “aesthetic” may invoke images of luxury, James Bond, zipping around in an Aston Martin will sipping on a martini, and so forth. Your business’s aesthetic is at once the visual aspects of your business and the lifestyle your brand promotes.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Rebrand
Businesses should evolve with the times. If you think your company could benefit from finding a new brand identity, don’t hesitate to contemplate a company rebrand. A rebranding takes time, effort, and certain considerations but if you have a vision, the pay-off can be great. Remember: your brand identity should accurately reflect your company’s attitude, aspirations, and soul.
Now that you know how to create a brand identity, get to it!