From global corporations to local businesses, branding is essential to any marketing strategy. Building a brand identity is a delicate craft that portrays your values to the world. It includes transmitting your message through how your brand looks, feels, connects, and speaks to people.
With consumers accessing information from all over the world, competition has become fierce. Recognizability is one of a brand’s greatest strengths. Nielsen’s Global New Product Innovation Survey found:
Nearly 60% of prefer to buy new products from brands familiar to them and 21% say they purchased a new product because it was from a brand they like.
We know that when designing a brand, the whole process can feel overwhelming. But don't fret! Let us guide you through the process of building the perfect brand identity strategy for your company.
Start with Brand Strategy
Brand identity and brand strategy go hand in hand in the road to business success. Brand strategy encompasses the goals you want to achieve and how you're going to make it happen. Brand identity and content strategy will help you communicate with your audience to achieve those goals.
A complete brand strategy encompasses a comprehensive knowledge of your brand's core values, voice, positioning, value proposition, tagline, and story. Without a brand strategy, your brand identity will lack definition and will not be clear to consumers.
Defining Brand Identity
A brand identity represents your company to the world. More than a logo or typography, it's a visual language applicable to everything involving your brand: website, packaging, stationery, pamphlets, etc. As Paul Rand said: "Design is the silent ambassador of your brand."
Some of the core elements of brand identity are:
- Logo: A logo is designed to serve as a stand-alone visual delivering your brand's message. The best way to begin is by sketching out several basic ideas.
- Color palette: A color palette establishes feel and even evokes emotions. A clean and flexible color palette consists of 1 main color, 2 primary colors, 3 to five complimentary colors, and 2 accent colors.
- Typography: The chosen font should visually align with the shapes of your logo. For a brand, it is best to include a primary brand typeface (such as the one included in your logo), as well as a secondary typeface that is less stylized but compliments your primary font (to be used as body text, webfonts, etc.).
- Design System: Plan an organic order and layout that makes it easy to navigate visual communication. Consider the proper positioning of content, headers, subheaders, body copy, and images.
- Photography and Illustration: Images communicate messages as well. Consider having a selection of images on hand that are visually consistent either for the type of shots, colors used, or elements on the shoot.
The core elements of brand identity need to work cohesively with your brand strategy, stand out among the competition, make a visual impact, evolve within the brand, and complement each other, all while still being practical.
Do Your Research
Building a brand requires thorough research to avoid a disastrous idea or even worse, resemble a competitor's design. Begin by researching industry trends and the common traits shared by leading competitors.
This is the most arduous stage of creating a brand, but essential to building your brand strategy. To craft strong branding, it is vital to collect as much information as you can about your audience, competition, and the market.
The key elements of research are:
- Create personas
- Identify the competition
- Analyze the current state of your brand identity
Build Your Identity
The time has come to translate all the information you gathered into visual concepts. Keep in mind your company goals, the market, and your audience at each step of the process. Building a brand is a complex task, and each decision must be meticulously thought through and analyzed.