How to Establish Your Brand Identity

Brand identity is a vital part of any business strategy.

By establishing your brand, your business can connect with customers while aligning to your greater goals. A brand is not just a logo, although that is important — it’s everything your business communicates.

Creating a strong brand identity happens over time, and with these tips, you can start right away.

What makes a brand?

When thinking about your brand, start with perception.

“Your brand lives in everyday interactions your company has with its prospects and customers, including the images you share, the messages you post on your website, the content of your marketing materials, your presentations and booths at conferences, and your posts on social networks,” according to a guide by marketing publication SmartBrief.

“Importantly, your brand is not what you say it is,” the guide adds. “Your brand is how your customers and prospects perceive your company.”

Brand identity is the visual compilation of that information. A strong identity creates a distinct visual in your mind when you hear a brand name, and this can be good for business.

5 key components of brand identity

Branding encompasses a few key visual elements that work together.

1. Tone

What’s the voice of your brand like? Is it fun and playful or corporate and serious? Using a consistent tone with visual and text elements establishes the mood of your business.

2. Visual style

Look at your brand materials — do they have a consistent look to them? A visual style makes a brand identifiable even without the name present. This includes using the same types of imagery, such as photos versus illustrations or a distinct palette of fonts, colors, and design elements.

3. Copy and language

When your brand communicates with customers, does it always sound the same? Using common words, phrases, and language throughout your communication creates this sense of identity. Make sure to use powerful words that will resonate with your target audience.

4. Color

It would be difficult to find someone who doesn’t know what “Starbucks green” is. The color is as much a part of the coffee company’s brand as is its name. Create a custom color palette and use it religiously, including for your website theme.

5. Logo

A good logo is something that represents your business, is easy to understand, and creates a lasting impression on people who see it. It’s the thing that you want people to see in their minds when your brand is mentioned. It will appear on everything from business cards to packaging to your website.

How to create a unique brand

Creating a brand identity isn’t something that happens overnight. It’s a strategy that you dictate and organic associations that occur over time.

Craft a unique brand by doing the following things:

  • Research customers or audience and the competition. Use your brand to show how you can solve a problem, have more to offer, or are a better choice.
  • Use visual assets to guide your brand consistently. Include your logo, colors, fonts, and the tone and language styles you have created.
  • Establish a connection with your audience across channels. Use a website and social media, but don’t forget offline channels. Key development of your brand happens through offline marketing, too.
  • Monitor your brand frequently and ask for feedback. Do customers perceive your brand in the way you want it to be known?

Bringing it to life

Establishing a brand takes time and diligence on your part. Decide what you want your brand to be and then use visual assets, tone, and positioning to foster that relationship with customers.

Although you won’t create a brand identity instantly, it might happen faster than you think. Make sure you back it with strategic planning, and you’ll be well on your way.

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