Creating a brand identity for your business
In this article we will look four key parts for developing a brand identity. We look at the basics, developing your brand, being consistent and using feedback.
If planned properly, branding can be a powerful part of your business and its marketing. Consider Google and its name. It has risen to be the primary search engine and the first thought in people’s minds when looking something up on the Web. ‘Google it’ is the phrase that has slowly found its way into the English language. Consider Netflix and distinctive typeface, the shade of red in its logo, and the N shown on any of their streaming programmes.
Branding is more than just your business logo and colours, if this is done correctly and built up over time you can create something people will instantly recognise.
First impressions are vital when it comes to your business, your website and you will not get a second chance. Therefore working on your branding from the beginning is vital.
The basics of branding include:
- knowing your audience
- a distinctive but simple logo,
- a glyph
- a set of colours to represent the brand,
- a font to represent the brand,
- guidelines on how all these will be used
Remember who your target audience is
It is very important that you get the branding right for your audience. Once you have identified who your audience is through market research and know what their interests are, you can then start developing ideas on what colours, fonts etc to use in your branding strategy.
Simple Logo Design
Simple logo designs will have more impact than a cluttered and complicated design.
A glyph is a unique mark or type face that adds some distinctive to the spelling of a word. For example, Netflix had a slightly concave design about their logo design almost like a cinema screen. The typeface is unique as well. Therefore choose a suitable glyph that will add distinctiveness.
A set of colours to represent
Choose a set of colours that will represent your brand and add to its distinctiveness and uniqueness. Again with reference to Netflix, the colour used in their logo is a shade of red. If we look at Amazon Prime, they use white and black colours on the website, along with the distinctive arrow swoosh, and blue or black colours on posted items. Both are distinctive, unique and easily recognised.
Font to represent
As with colours, most fonts used in branding will be distinctive and most likely custom made and therefore unique to the company owning the brand. Consider Netflix and Amazon in the above example. Choose a suitable font that is easy to read and recognise. You can use a readily available font and manipulate its look a bit, or get a custom font made by a design.
Guidelines will set out how all of the above should be used. For example using the logo in different colours for different means but still maintaining the brand name, its distinctive and unique appearance. Take the example for Amazon Prime, the word Amazon is used throughout the website. In some cases the word prime is added to the main logo featuring Amazon. In other cases the words Prime and Video are by themselves because they are brands within the main brand.
Developing your brand
Great branding is a combination of customer perception, engagement and their expectation. Developing a brand take time and is not an overnight thing.
When branding has been done right, you see something such as an advert on TV, a social media post, or an eye catching poster. Without knowing it, you instantly know who the brand is and react to the message. For example a trailer for a film or series now available on Netflix ends with their logo and you know where to watch the film.
Tell you story
Branding is also about telling your story. Stories should be the most compelling part of your brand. They drive emotion and allow your audience to connect with you better. Stories can be how you began, how you developed your business, and where your business is now with a bit of reflection.
Your story will help your audience connect with your brand and help to build an emotional connection which can help encourage loyalty down the line.
Tailor your message
When it comes to creating your brand, you are not trying to please everyone. You can’t. However, as with writing letters you should tailor your message and marketing to your ideal customers and understand who they are.
Once you have decided on your logo, colours, fonts and terms, and the guidelines your will follow, you must ensure everything is used correctly across every single thing that represents your brand; website, printed media and social media. Everything you create must be instantly recognisable as your brand which means consistency is highly important. You must use the exact same colours and style right across your website, printed media, social media and any other branding. Consider the example of Netflix and Amazon mentioned previously.
Terminology is also an important aspect of your brand. For example the use of the words ‘team’ as opposed to ‘staff’ or ‘employees’ can have influence of your company culture and perception. You should also try to avoid the American version of English words which add a ‘z’ were there is an ‘s’. This will help show that your business is English.
As pointed out in other articles, making use of feedback cannot be over emphasized. By taking what you have created and by speaking to others outside your business you can ask them what they think. Take on their advice on board because they may see something you have not. The aim is to find out what they like about your branding and what they don’t like. This approach will help you see if any part of your branding simply does not work with your audience.
Once you have collected your feedback you can make any adjustments and modifications to make your brand that much more effective.