Just like a person’s character sets them apart from others, your brand identity sets you apart from your competitors. Building a solid brand identity is crucial to gain authority in the marketplace. It also helps in trust-building and making your brand memorable.
Understanding brand identity is essential before building it. What is brand identity? It is a collection of the elements such as logos, slogans, colors, fonts, styles, etc. Each of these elements helps your customers to distinguish you from your competitors, and recognize your themes and values. Brand identity is how you portray your brand to your potential consumers.
Often people confuse brand identity with branding and brand image. These are three different things but are related to each other. Brand image is the customer's impression of your brand after interacting with it.
Once you’ve created a good brand image in the market, it is your responsibility to keep it that way by never compromising on your brand values and the quality of products or services.
Branding is the steps you take to build an image of your company. Read along to learn more about the components of brand identity and what steps to take to build a strong brand identity.
Essential Components of Brand Identity
Six major brand identity elements help users to set them apart from their competitors.
A logo is a symbol that identifies a company. For example, Nike’s logo is a swoosh, Macdonald’s rounded “m,” and Louis Vuitton's “LV.” Every brand’s logo has a story tell. A logo doesn’t convey its purpose if there’s no meaning behind it.
With time, brands have shifted from fancy graphical representations to simple words. A wordmark is a type of logo that only consists of the business’s name written in a unique style. Some wordmark examples are FedEx, Loreal, Google, Calvin Klien, Strikingly, etc.
When brainstorming for your brand’s logo ideas, remember your logo has to have a meaning behind it. Don’t try to blend in with your designs instead, make them stand out. We would recommend bringing back the old styles with a twist.
Consider getting multiple versions of your primary logo to give your brand identity felxibility and appear consistent and unique across various platforms.
2. Font Face
You need to choose a font face that your company will use for all marketing materials, such as your website, emails, presentations, etc. You can use the same font face as your logo, but it may not work well if it’s too decorative. Decorative font faces don’t appear professional and some might even be hard to read.
Ensure that the font face you pick is available on both Windows and Mac OS. If your chosen font face is not available for either one of them, then to the user your content will appear in the system’s default font face. This will cause inconsistency which is not good for building brand identity.
A slogan, also known as a tagline, is a small and catchy phrase that tells more about your products or services. Here are a few tips to come up with a great slogan:
- Make a list of all the words related to your brand, then using those words think of a short and catchy phrase that reflects your brand values.
- Don’t include any complex vocabulary.
- Think of something that would roll right off the tongue.
- You can make the words rhyme or use alliteration.
- Throw the spotlight on a benefit your users will have when using your product or service.
Here are a few of the popular slogan examples.
- KFC: “It’s finger-lickin' good.”
- Disneyland: “The happiest place on Earth.”
See how these slogans tell something about the brands?
4. Consistent Style
The style covers everything from brand colors to the kind of images you use on your business’s website or flyers. Firstly, pick two to three primary colors for your brand. Colors have a meaning behind them. For example, purple means royalty, and green is for life and nature.
Be sure to pick the colors that match the field of your business. Select some supplementary colors. Remember, the style should be consistent throughout, whether it’s your website, social media profile, or banners.
When designing any graphical element for your brand, shapes also matter. Every shape and form has different meanings. Ensure that the theme of your brand matches the meaning of the shape you choose.
- Round shapes are a sign of warmth and unity.
- Shapes with straight edges symbolize stability, trustworthiness, and strength.
- Straight horizontal lines give off mellow vibes and symbolize peace. On the contrary, vertical straight lines hint at masculinity and strength.
Having a unique vocabulary for your brand will help you outshine other brands offering similar products or services. Confused about how can you have a unique vocabulary for your brand? Let’s take Starbucks as an example.
Their brand’s vocabulary is what sets them apart from countless other coffee shops in the US. See how they’ve named their cup sizes. Instead of small, medium, and large, they sell tall, grande, and Venti-sized beverages.
Branded vocabulary is one way of developing a solid brand identity. You can think of other unique and engaging activities for which your brand can be known, like Wendy’s snarky social media comments.
6 Steps to Build Brand Identity
Here are the six steps that can help you build a strong brand identity and maintain your brand image. As long as customer satisfaction is your priority, you will successfully maintain a positive brand image.
1. Come Up With an Idea
You need an original idea that will be the base for all the products or services you introduce. It might sound simple to think of an idea, but it isn’t. You might struggle to think of something worthy to base a company on, but remember, it happens eventually. An idea can come to your mind at any time of the day. Be ready to note it down.
Don’t try to mimic other businesses in your field. Customers need a reason to shop from you rather than the other businesses.
2. Identify Your Brands Aim and Target Audience
Recognize the problem you are providing solutions to. Your product or service must solve a problem. Else, why would people need it? Identify your brand values. Recognize your target audience and their pain points.
When identifying your target audience, here are the things you should consider:
Once you’ve recognized everything about your brand, it’s time to move to the second hack which is to educate people about your business.
3. Work on the Elements
Once you’ve identified your brand’s aims and values, it’s time to apply that to the elements. Ensure your logo, slogan, colors, fonts, and shapes, reflect your brand’s theme and values.
Another thing to remember while working on your brand’s elements is your target audience. Think whether your logo, slogans, and style will attract your target audience or not.
4. Keep an Eye On Your Competitors
Considering your competition can help a lot with research. Analyzing your competitors can help you identify your target audience's problems and pain points. You can also know what it is about their brand that attracts and repels the customers.
Researching your competition will also help you figure out what you can do to make your products unique.
5. Manage Your Logistics
The term “logistics” covers everything from storing the raw material for your products to manufacturing them and fulfilling customer orders. It doesn’t end after you’ve delivered the product to your customers. If the user wants to return or exchange the product, it continues.
Managing logistics is crucial in building and maintaining a positive brand image.
6. Spread the Word
Spreading the word about your product or service is one of the most crucial steps in building a strong brand identity. Even if your product is a hit, people need to know about it to make a purchase.
There are numerous ways through which you can educate people about your brand. You can create a social media page to interact with your potential consumers. Interaction is essential for trust building.
Another way you can convey information about your brand is by creating a website. Your brand is about to launch in a week or two. And within this time, it’s hard to get a fully functioning multi-page website. With Strikingly, it’s not hard at all.
Strikingly is an intuitive website builder that enables users to create a website within a few minutes. You don’t need to have any coding or web designing experience. All you need to do is choose a template and customize it according to your brand’s colors, shapes, and themes.
Image taken from Strikingly Product
Credibility is one of the crucial things to developing a strong brand identity. And for websites, a custom domain builds credibility. If you subscribe to any yearly (or longer) Strikingly plans, you can get a free custom domain for a whole year.
Image taken from Strikingly
Strikingly is trusted by highly reputable brands. Don’t trust our words? Have a look at what our users have to say about us.
Image taken from Strikingly
Moreover, Strikingly offers multiple marketing features, such as email marketing, which will put you a step ahead in your “spreading the word” process.
Brand identity is a group of all the unique elements that helps the customer recognize your company. Such as logos, slogans, brand colors, themes, etc. Nike’s swoosh logo is one of the best brand identity examples.
With monumental efforts, you can build a strong brand identity, but to maintain a positive brand, image you will have to be consistent with your actions. Developing a brand identity takes a lot of hard work and time. Therefore, make sure to be steadfast in your aims, even on demotivating days.