Every business that hopes to thrive in the modern market needs a strong, attractive, and consistent brand identity. It’s no stretch to say that brand identity is the most critical factor in your company’s marketing.
Why? That’s what this guide will break down. Below, you’ll find an explanation of brand identity, why it matters, and how you can build and maintain a compelling brand identity for years to come.
Brand identity is, put simply, the overall or generalized impression your brand imparts to both customers and the general public. Think of your brand as your essential reputation in the marketplace, especially as it relates to your industry.
For a great example, look at Apple. Apple has a very well-known brand identity characterized by a few key elements:
Put another way, your brand identity is the social or reputational identity that your company develops and cultivates over time.
Brand identity can arise organically, but you can also help to determine the direction or shape of your brand identity through specific marketing efforts or partnerships.
Your company’s brand doesn’t just include your logo or your tagline. The brand building comprises many different marketing and “characterizing” elements at once. These include:
It’s often displayed in your official marketing materials, company product descriptions, and more elements that need to stay in consumers’ minds to build brand awareness.
Essentially, your brand identity is made up of many different parts. Understanding and using these parts correctly is key to building a brand identity that meets your goals for years to come.
Many of the most successful brands in the marketplace build and maintain their brand identities for various reasons. You brand identity:
1. Attracts potential customers
2. Retains customers and builds loyalty
3. Sets your company apart
If you want your business to compete in crowded industries – or to attract the right customers or clients – you should fully grasp these reasons and start building a good brand identity as soon as possible.
For starters, brand identity can help you attract new customers.
In many ways, your brand identity is a passive marketing form. This becomes even truer as your company grows and becomes more well-known throughout your niche.
Take Target as an example. Many people visit Target without seeing a single advertisement because they already know Target’s brand identity is partially built on affordability.
If they need cost-effective clothes or household items, they can bet those items are available at Target.
Or, consider McDonald’s. McDonald’s has a well-known brand identity of affordability, tasty food, and kid-friendly toys. Many people eat at McDonald’s without seeing any advertising materials based on the strength of its brand identity.
Or, take Coca-Cola. This soda’s brand image is tied to good times and iconic figures like Santa Claus. It’s recognized around the world. Its secret formula has helped as well, of course. Still, Coca-Cola is a master class in branding that has something to teach everyone.
In this way, brand identity is a long-term investment that can pay dividends for years to come.
In the long term, brand identity is also important for building customer loyalty. It’s almost always less expensive to retain customers than to acquire new ones. This is even more important for industries where you have to compete for a limited customer pool or pay ever-rising advertising costs to do so.
Your brand identity can help your target audience connect emotionally with your company. Once those connections are forged, you’ll find that current customers are less likely to jump ship for a competitor, even if that competitor temporarily has lower prices or some other attractive elements.
Brand identity helps inspire your target audience to stick with your company through thick and thin. In many cases, longtime customers affected by your brand identity will choose your company when they need to buy something in your industry without even researching competitors.
Lastly, brand identity can help you set your brand apart from others. Your unique selling proposition is one thing, but your brand identity helps to emphasize your USP and show your ideal consumers exactly what you offer.
Naturally, this is even more important in crowded industries where many companies are similar to yours. Take fashion, health and wellness, and beauty brands, for example.
The right brand identity can help you stand out from the crowd and entice new customers to try your brand when they have dozens of alternatives. In conjunction with strong marketing, your brand identity can help you build an audience of loyal customers faster than not, so it’s important to stay true to it, even as your business evolves.
Given the critical importance of building an attractive and persuasive brand identity, it’s vital for businesses to know how to create one from the ground up. Luckily, there are several steps you can take to start making a good brand identity right off the bat.
Firstly, always choose distinct fonts or typefaces for your brand’s official marketing materials. Stick with the same font(s) for your messages, whether PPC/pay-per-click ads or social media messages, and they’ll be instantly recognizable as coming from your company. Indeed, the lettering you use contributes to your visual brand identity.
Similarly, marketing materials, your logo, your website, business cards, and all other official company materials should display a cohesive color palette. Pick a few brand colors that complement each other, then use those as your primary colors for brand assets, advertisements, newsletters to customers, and so on.
Distinct yet cohesive typography and color palettes do a lot to unify many of the messages your company will send out over time. This, in turn, helps solidify your brand in your target consumers’ minds.
It’s helpful to send out brand guidelines to marketers to make sure they follow your rules. These should include proper usage of your brand name, brand identity design, and brand strategy.
Of course, every successful company has an instantly recognizable logo. Hiring a graphic designer or professional artist to make a strong logo for your company is well worth it, especially if it’s in a crowded niche.
Ideally, your logo design should:
Your brand identity will suffer if people can’t visit your company’s streamlined website whenever they like. Among other things, your website should be:
A brand is partially the visual impression that customers experience for your company. You should keep that in mind when designing packages for your products. Packages can affect what people think of your company on a gut level.
Again, take Apple as an example. When someone orders a new device from Apple, it arrives in a striking white box with a minimalist aesthetic. That goes perfectly with Apple’s overall brand identity.
You should write your emails with the right tone and vocabulary for your brand. If your brand is more professional and straightforward, the copy should reflect that. In contrast, if your brand is approachable and personable, make sure that that comes across in your email ads and newsletters.
Perhaps more importantly than anything else, make sure you find a brand voice and stick to it as soon as possible. Your brand voice can be the dialect or tone in which your brand “speaks” to people.
It may help to imagine your brand as a persona, similar to how you should develop an audience persona before marketing your products and services. If you imagine your brand as a persona, ask yourself:
Once you answer these questions, odds are you’ll have a greater understanding of your brand’s voice and be able to use that in all your marketing materials.
Building a brand identity is tough; strengthening it for long-term results is even tougher. Fortunately, you can rely on many marketing tools and skilled professionals to help you strengthen your identity, freeing up time for you and your employees to focus on other aspects of your business.
Graphic design should be crucial for your branding strategy. Among other things, graphic designers can be employed to:
Graphic designers separate subpar websites from phenomenal ones when all is said and done. While you can create a website yourself, you’ll need to be careful not to make it too similar to other sites already on the market or too dull for your target consumers.
Copywriters are skilled and invaluable writing professionals who can craft compelling and converting:
Copywriters are important since you can hire them to write anything you need. The right writers will craft copy in your brand voice or tone – when done properly, customers will feel like every bit of writing from your company came from the same “person.”
Marketing professionals — such as digital marketing strategies — can also significantly help you strengthen your brand identity. They’ll help you create and run attractive and persuasive marketing materials.
In general, it’s a good idea to contact knowledgeable marketing professionals if you want to launch a new type of campaign you haven’t run before. Marketing professionals can also be instrumental in reaching audiences who may be outside your targets.
All in all, brand identity is crucially important. If you want to ensure your brand identity is accurately and persuasively represented in all marketing materials, turn to digital advertising agencies like MuteSix.
At MuteSix, you can find the help you need to run a stellar Google Ads or social media marketing campaign. You’ll also find marketing experts on hand to help you with every aspect of your digital advertising needs, including industry-leading creative, paid media and data measurement solutions. Contact us today!
Mobile percentage of website traffic 2021 | Statista
Brand Identity Definition | Investopedia
The Importance Of Branding In Business | Forbes