No matter what your business offers, chances are other companies offer it too. So how can you differentiate yourself from your competitors? By creating a unique brand identity.
What is brand identity and why is it important?
Brand identity is how people perceive your business based on a combination of factors. From your logo and visual identity to your values, and even the way you communicate. Think of brand identity as your company’s reputation and everything you do that contributes to it.
Now you might be wondering, why is brand identity important? Not only does it allow you to stand out from the crowd, but it also helps in building customer trust and loyalty. When there are hundreds, sometimes thousands of the same product or service on the market, it’s no secret that customers tend to gravitate towards the brands they’re familiar with. By establishing a strong brand identity, you’ll be able to build rapport with your customers and earn their loyalty and dollars.
1. Define your business’s values and mission
Before you can begin to develop your brand identity, you must have a comprehensive understanding of your business’s values and mission. We’re not talking about the generic mission statement on your company website. Now is the time to really dig deep and reflect on the following questions:
- What does your company do?
- Why do you do it?
- What makes your company different from your competitors?
Understanding what drives your business and your core values will help you create a brand identity that’s authentic and aligned with your goals. Knowing what you do better than competitors, also known as your value proposition will help you to uniquely position your business.
2. Understand your target audience
You can’t create a brand identity that appeals to customers without understanding who they are first. Research your target audience and create detailed customer personas to recognize their interests and pain points. This should include your customers’ demographics such as age, location, gender, and income.
Once you have an in-depth understanding of your current and potential customers, you’ll be better equipped to create a brand identity that resonates with them.
3. Determine your brand’s tone of voice
With the rise of social media and other digital technologies, it’s easier than ever for consumers to stay connected with their favourite brands. That makes having a memorable, well-refined brand voice more important than ever.
Begin by considering what tone of voice would appeal most to your customers. Tone of voice is the feeling your brand gives off based on the words and phrases you use. Nike has a bold and inspiring tone of voice with their “Just Do It” slogan. Accenture on the other hand comes off as competent and professional with their slogan: “Let There Be Change”.
Remember, brand voice extends beyond your company’s slogan. The same tone of voice should be used across all communications with your customers. To help with this, we suggest creating brand voice guidelines. Come up with 3-5 characteristics that describe your brand, a brief description, along with do’s and dont’s. Here’s an example:
Characteristic = Friendly
Description = We’re good at our jobs, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously
Do’s = Use contractions and emojis
Don’t = Be condescending or dismissive towards customers
4. Create your brand’s visual identity
In order to stand out from your competitors, your business needs a unique visual identity that appeals to your target audience. To get some inspiration, try looking at other brand’s websites and social media. They don’t have to be your competitors or even within the same industry. Try to focus on the overall aesthetic and feeling the brand gives off.
Imagine you’re trying to create a visual identity for a Michelin starred restaurant, you could look to brands like Cartier for inspiration. Even though they’re not in the same industry, they serve similar demographics.
After you’ve got some inspiration, create a mood board with images, fonts, and colours that capture the essence of your brand. This can help you to visualize the image your brand aims to portray and will be valuable when creating your logo and other visual assets. You should also create a brand colour palette so that all your business’s visual elements are consistent.
5. Be consistent with your brand identity
It doesn’t matter how good your brand identity is if it’s not consistent. After you’ve developed your brand identity, your focus should be on making sure it’s implemented across everything your company does. From your website and social media to business cards and blogs.
Everything should follow the brand voice and visual identity guidelines you’ve created. In order to make this easier, try to create templates using your brand identity and logo which can easily be repurposed and reused.
Create Your Brand Identity With Candybox
There you have it, 5 simple steps for creating a strong brand identity. If you want some help, leave it to the pros. Candybox Marketing is Canada’s premier digital marketing agency with over 13 years of experience.
At Candybox, we understand that your brand is more than a logo. Our digital marketing experts will create a memorable brand that resonates with your customers. We’ve got you covered on traditional branding and we’ve even added audio branding to our list of services! To learn more about how Candybox can help grow your business with a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, connect with us!
If you’re looking to put your new brand identity to work, check out our newest blog on how to create a powerful social media strategy.