“When people use your brand name as a verb, that is remarkable.” Meg Whitman
Creating a brand identity with impact involves more than just a compellingly brilliant logo design, or writing a manifesto. Whilst both of these elements do add to a brand identity, they don’t characterise it!
A brand identity is just like a person’s identity. It has idiosyncrasies and little quirks just like you do. It’s what stops you from just being a clone of your competitors, and helps to build lasting relationships with your audience.
Your brand identity therefore includes everything you use to market your brand, including your logo, marketing material, website, and social media platforms.
Great branding will help you to:
- Differentiate yourself from your competitors.
- Help you to win loyal customers.
- Guide your business decisions.
- Keep your team on the same page.
- Help you to stay consistent.
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Why are you selling what you are selling? There must be a reason behind your ingenious business idea! Tell the world about it.
Use this stage as an opportunity to create a mission statement or brand manifesto to define the drive behind your company. This should be clear, concise, and easy to understand for every person involved with your business, including employees and customers!
Ask yourself the following questions:
Why should people buy from us?
What values are we going to use to guide our sales process?
Which problems/needs is our company addressing?
How are we going to inform and inspire our customers?
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This is where you get to pick the core values for your company. What you want to stand for? Communicating clear values will attract customers who share those values! It helps if these are values that you already live by!
“Be your own best customer. Live your customer’s lifestyle.” – Milena Glimbovski
What qualities do you embed into everything that you do?
What are your strengths as a business?
What values do you always bring to your work?
Your company values should be meaningful and actionable. They should also come pretty naturally to you if you’re being true to yourself!
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When deciding on your company values, you can also decide on an “essence”. This is basically the term you would use to describe your company. Essentially, it’s what you want your customers to feel when they interact with your brand.
Is your company down to earth or sophisticated? Traditional or innovative? Quirky or conservative? The clearer the image, the more useful it’ll be.
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By this point, you’ll probably already have started researching when you decided on your mission statement, company values & essence. Here is where you need to go over it with a fine tooth comb to position yourself correctly within the market. Your research may comprise of reading books, googling yourself into a rabbit hole, intense stalking on social media platforms or by talking to ACTUAL human beings! Regardless of how you research though, it’s got to be done.
Audience – Companies who get the best results are the ones who can define their perfect audiences. By tracking down the people who can benefit the most from their business and deciding on how they can appeal to the widest audience.
Personality – A business personality will come from your understanding of your “essence” (which you should have by now). From your colour choices to typography & the language you use, you should exude personality in everything you do!
Competition – Do a SWOT analysis. Not only will a competitive analysis inspire you, it will also stop you from creating a brand identity that’s the same as someone else’s. Nobody wants that!
Not sure you how to do a SWOT analysis? You can use this handy template.
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Surprisingly, this is the last step you should take when creating business branding with impact!
Your objective here is for your customers to be able to recognise your brand in all your communication—even if you cover up the brand name! It will include your brand name, logo, tagline, colour palettes & typography etc.
Colours Your colour palette is essential and can even have an effect on your reputation. This is because we have psychological responses to different shades. For example, pink is known to have a calming effect whereas orange conveys confidence & blue signifies professionalism. Pick colours that suit your mission statement & values.
Fonts Just like colours, different fonts affect people psychologically too. For instance, sans-serif fonts are often perceived to be more informal. You can choose a main font & secondary fonts (max 2) to use across your marketing outlets.