The business landscape has become fiercely competitive, and merely offering good products or services is no longer the key to success. The secret lies in an aspect that is often overlooked but remains one of the most crucial elements in establishing a successful business: building a brand identity.
While brand identity is a complex concept to grasp, you can have an idea of what it is by considering simple examples of your everyday purchase decisions. If asked to choose between two products of the same quality, you’ll always choose the one from a renowned brand, even if it costs you a little extra. The reason behind it is no rocket science. It’s simply because the brand has established itself as an authority in the market, and for that, you prefer their product or service over others.
But what goes into building a strong brand identity? Let’s have a deeper look!
Let’s start off with understanding what the term brand identity actually means. It is the collection of all elements created by a company to present its right image to its consumers. Brand identity should not be mistaken for “brand image” or “branding,” even though these terms are sometimes treated as interchangeable. The term branding is used for the marketing practice of actively forming a distinctive brand. In comparison, brand image is how consumers perceive the company. Let’s dig a little deeper.
For a second, assume you’re a middle school student. Being an awkward pre-adolescent, won’t you want to become the cool kid and get invited to sit at the best table in the cafeteria? We’re sure you would! However, people won’t magically start to perceive you like that. You’ll surely need to do some work.
You’ll do everything under your control, such as watching the right YouTube channels to stay updated on the latest memes, working on your free throw, cultivating an impression of your science teacher, and whatnot. Do you see where this is going? Absolutely right! These efforts you’re putting into achieving your desired image are your branding.
Finally, you’ll have to ensure your looks keep up with the image you’re trying to achieve. You’ll try everything from wearing branded shoes to getting a new haircut and trying to get on the basketball team. Those elements—the shoes, the haircut, the team membership—that’s brand identity.
Establishing strong brands begins with gaining a deep understanding of your brand’s essence. It’s about defining the core elements that make your brand identity unique and memorable. To start with, here are some things you should pay keen attention to:
Start by pinpointing your brand’s mission, which encapsulates your “why.” Determine the driving values that underpin your company. Your brand’s personality should mirror the character traits it would have if it were a person.
Identify your distinctive positioning in the market that sets you apart from the competition. What makes your brand stand out? What do you excel at? Delve into what truly makes your brand exceptional.
Imagine if your brand were a person; how would it communicate? Establishing a brand voice is key to maintaining consistency in your messaging. It’s about determining how your brand speaks to its audience.
To gain clarity about your brand’s identity, engage in some introspection:
- Reflect on the motivations behind starting your business.
- Identify the core beliefs and brand values that your company holds dear.
- Recognize your unique strengths and capabilities.
- Pin down the qualities that make your brand extraordinary.
- Summarize your brand in three descriptive words.
- Envision the three words you’d like your customers to use when describing your brand.
Once you’ve solidified your brand’s identity, it’s time to bring it to life, allowing your customers to connect with the authentic essence of your brand.
Just like how your trusty pair of Adidas sneakers shaped your identity as the star athlete back in middle school, your company’s design is the key to crafting a relatable brand image.
Your corporate design elements include all those tangible aspects that influence how people perceive your brand. This covers things like your logo, the way your products are packaged, the look and feel of your website, the visuals you use on social media, your business cards, and even the uniforms your team wears.
In simpler terms, nailing your design means nailing the very essence of your brand identity. This, in turn, helps you build a thriving business that truly reflects who you are as a brand.
So, you might be wondering: How can you really get your design right and create a brand identity that takes your business to the next level? Well, here is a breakdown:
Before embarking on the creation of your design assets, it’s crucial to lay a solid groundwork and establish the fundamental elements of your brand identity.
These foundational elements that need your attention prior to designing your assets encompass the following:
Typography essentially boils down to the choice of fonts you employ in your branding materials. It’s especially critical when selecting fonts for your logo and overall brand presentation. There are four primary typographic categories to consider:
Serif Fonts: These fonts, such as Times New Roman or Garamond, feature distinctive “feet” or anchors at the ends of letters. Opting for serif fonts can imbue your brand with a sense of trustworthiness, tradition, and a touch of vintage charm.
Sans Serif Fonts: Unlike serif fonts, sans serif fonts like Helvetica or Franklin Gothic have smooth edges and lack those anchor-like “feet.” These fonts lend a more contemporary, sleek vibe to your brand.
Script Typography: Script fonts emulate cursive handwriting and can introduce a touch of luxury or femininity to your brand. Examples include Allura or Pacifico.
Display Fonts: Display fonts are unique and often feature unconventional letter shapes, outlines, shadows, or artistic and hand-drawn elements. They’re perfect for making a bold statement and ensuring your brand identity remains unforgettable.
Your choice of typography speaks volumes about your brand, so make your font selections thoughtfully.
To read more about typography, read our blog “Typography Matters: How Fonts Convey Brand Personality and Values.”
The next crucial aspect is color. People, including your potential customers, have emotional connections to different colors. Leveraging your brand colors and logo hues strategically can significantly influence how your brand is perceived by your audience. Let’s explore the impact of rainbow colors (and a few extra) on your brand identity:
Red: This vibrant hue embodies passion and excitement, making it an ideal choice if you want your brand identity to exude a lively, youthful, and thrilling aura.
Orange: Another high-energy color, orange radiates a friendly and playful vibe. Its less common usage compared to red can set your brand apart, giving it a unique and attention-grabbing edge.
Yellow: Like a ray of sunshine, yellow symbolizes happiness. Its cheerful demeanor makes it a wise choice if you aim to convey a sense of fun, approachability, and affordability in your brand.
Green: Green is an incredibly versatile color that can be adapted for a wide range of brands. However, it often evokes thoughts of either money or nature. So, if your brand is associated with either of these aspects, green becomes an especially fitting choice.
Blue: Universally appealing, blue exudes stability and trustworthiness. If your goal is to appeal to a broad audience and instill trust in your brand, blue is the way to go.
Purple: Regal and elegant; purple is the color of royalty. If you aspire to infuse your branding with a sense of luxury and opulence, purple is a dependable choice.
Pink: Cultural associations link pink to femininity, making it a strong contender if your brand targets women. It’s also an excellent choice for brands with a gentle or lavish identity.
Brown: While less commonly used in branding, brown’s rarity can work to your advantage by helping your brand stand out. It can also shape perceptions of your brand as rugged or masculine.
Black: For those aiming for a modern and sophisticated image, black is a timeless and effective choice that conveys a sense of class and style.
In the realm of design, it’s crucial to give thought to form and shape, as these subtle yet potent elements can be harnessed to elicit specific responses from your clientele. For instance, a logo characterized by circular contours and soft lines will evoke a markedly different reaction compared to one defined by sharp angles and square shapes.
Here’s how various forms can mold your brand identity (pun intended):
- Round Shapes: Think circles, ovals, and ellipses; they exude warmth and an inviting aura. Brands incorporating round shapes tend to foster sentiments of togetherness, unity, and affection. The rounded edges also convey a touch of femininity.
- Straight-Edged Shapes: Squares, rectangles, and triangles project a sense of robustness and efficiency. The straightforward lines evoke feelings of stability and trustworthiness. However, it’s essential to exercise caution. When these shapes lack a balance with lively elements, such as dynamic colors, they can come across as impersonal and struggle to establish a connection with your customers.
- Straight Lines: Even straight lines carry their own connotations. Vertical lines suggest masculinity and power, while horizontal lines impart a sense of calm and tranquility.
Once you’ve established the foundational elements of your design, the next step is to collaborate with a designer to breathe life into your brand identity. This involves translating the essence of your brand into tangible design assets that can amplify your marketing efforts.
Your brand identity can manifest through a variety of elements, with their significance varying based on your business’s nature. For instance, a restaurant should meticulously consider its menu and physical ambiance, while a digital marketing agency should prioritize its website and social media presence.
Key components of your brand identity include:
Your logo is the foundation of your brand identity. When working with your designer, aim for a logo that accomplishes the following:
- Clearly conveys your brand values and essence.
- Boasts visual appeal through simplicity, cleanliness, and uncluttered design.
- Maintains timelessness, avoiding trendy elements that may quickly become outdated.
- Aligns with industry standards, or if you deviate, does so deliberately.
- Leaves a lasting impression on your audience.
- Ensure your design partner delivers your logo in various formats, including black and white versions and multiple sizes, to guarantee versatility while adhering to your brand identity.
To read more about logos, read our blog “Behind the Logo: Decoding the Symbolism and Design Choices.”
Your website stands as one of the most representative facets of your brand identity. Particularly for online businesses or digital products, customers often scrutinize your website before deciding to engage with your brand. Your website should be a robust reflection of your brand identity.
For physical products, packaging plays a pivotal role in attracting the right customers. Whether it’s the label on a cold-brew beverage bottle or the packaging for clothes shipped to e-commerce customers, don’t underestimate the power of good design in enhancing the customer experience, fostering loyalty, and encouraging repeat purchases.
Business cards are essential for networking and business development. A well-designed card provides an opportunity to leave a positive impression on potential clients or customers. Keep the design simple, typically featuring your company logo on one side and your key personal details on the other.
Email serves as a valuable tool for engaging customers and driving business growth. However, amidst the deluge of inbox messages, a well-thought-out design strategy is essential to stand out. Tailor your email design to its purpose:
- For personal connections, keep it concise and straightforward.
- For educational content, format it for easy readability and scanning and incorporate images to enhance engagement.
- For product announcements, focus on stunning product visuals to captivate your audience.
Incorporating these design elements cohesively into your brand identity can help your business make a memorable impact on your audience and set you apart from the competition.
Brand identity is the secret sauce that ensures your customers can spot you in a crowd. It’s like the unique signature of your brand that your audience links to what you offer. This signature is the glue that bonds you to your customers, creating trust and devotion, and it plays a vital role in shaping how your customers view your brand. By considering the aforementioned aspects and incorporating them correctly, you’ll be able to build a brand identity that resonates with your target audience and helps you stand out in the highly competitive business landscape. At the same time, if you need professional assistance, Doers is always here to help you with branding, marketing, and advertising. From Booth production to digital marketing and TV Advertising in Cairo, we have got everything covered! Get in touch with us to learn more.