A brand identity is often associated with large corporations earning billions of dollars. Although, large corporations that have managed to survive and thrive are likely to form withstanding “identities”, they are not the only kinds to gain that status. Today, a great many small businesses and individuals are focused on creating a brand identity and have managed to do so successfully.
In simple words, brand identity is how customers “identify” the brand. This could be the image, perceptions, expectations, and visual components attached to the brand. Evidently, this cannot be achieved overnight. It takes years of efforts, maintenance, and adjustment to form.
If you’re wondering how to create a magnetic brand identity for your business, here are some expert tips to help you along the way.
Establish a Brand Strategy
According to Entrepreneur, the Brand Strategy is, “How, what, where, when and to whom you plan on communicating and delivering on your brand messages.” This includes where you advertise, the distributions channels you use, and what you are communicating to your customers visually and verbally. If this is a project you have received for another business, make sure you get in touch with the client to find out what their business and brand strategy is all about.
Further Research and Briefing
The next step is to do thorough research to understand more about the brand. Find out whatever you can about the target audience and their needs, wants, and interests. Also, tap into the brand identities of competitors and see how well they have managed to communicate it to their customers. Try to understand the overall personality of the brand, the way you and the customers would see it. Also find out the history of the brand starting from the day of initiation till the present time.
One of the most important parts of this process is getting in touch with the client and asking these questions from their point of view. With the help of a questionnaire and/or several interviews with the client, you can jot down the requirements of the brand identity. Again, this step is very important, because not having clear expectations could lead a wasted hours of effort, disputes, or even failure to complete the task. This step is also commonly known as the “design brief” stage where you are supposed to draw up summaries from your research phase and share it with the client. For more information on how to write up a design brief check out David Airey.
Designing the Logo
A brand identity is incomplete without a logo. After all, it is usually the logo and other visual components attached to it that allows customers to “identify” the brand. Start by sketching. Now with the research and instructions in mind, you’ll have a sense of direction and vague ideas in mind. Make basic sketches of whatever creativity pops up in your imagination. Work around the “30 sketches” benchmark — or more if you are not satisfied with any. Share your ideas with your client and ask him what he prefers. Pick one that you and your client agree on, or go ahead and make further variations of it. Once you have your logo concept clear, you can start creating digital versions of your work.
Other Visual Components of Brand Identity
As stated earlier, the identity system includes a set of visual components. Apart from the logo, you are also going to need to design visual components that compliment the logo. The brand will always follow a consistent visual style. This visual style will be copied onto all possible platforms.
Examples of platforms that must follow a consistent visual style include stationery items, brochures, packaging, signatures, and other digital projects. The logo is not the only brand identity marker. With the other visual components and consistent visual style for your brand identity, you are looking at the bigger picture.
Make Use of a Tag line
Don’t mistake the brand identity to be specific to “visual components” only. There is also a verbal statement attached to the brand identity that is just as powerful as any other visual component. Take tag line, for example. What does it have to say about the brand? Very often, a tag line utilizes the logo, color psychology, and more importantly, the brand strategy to form. If you are to devise the tagline, make sure you keep it simple and memorable. Some of the best taglines are the shortest, so try to not to complicate it with complex language or long sentences. Bear in mind that the tagline is often incorporated into the logo design so it should be transferable and easy to use.