A brand image is an important part of how your target audience will see you and what they will connect to you.
Coca-Cola is more than a soda company; Toyota is more than a car manufacturer; Walmart is more than a store; FedEx is more than a shipping company. When you think about these brands, you might think about the product form the brand that you like, or you may think of another piece of the brand; for example, the Apple logo is so well known that the company only uses the logo now, without putting its name on its products.
People tend to prefer to buy from brands they know and trust, so your branding needs to be effective so it can become a trusted brand among your consumers. Here are some tips on building your brand identity.
What a Brand Identity Needs
Your brand identity is how people see your company as a whole, and a lot more goes into it than just your logo. The basics of brand identity include a logo, color palette, web design, images, interactive elements, and messages.
To have a strong brand identity, you need to be consistent in all mediums — your website, social media, and in-person presence if you have a physical location.
Your brand identity needs to be distinct, which is where the competitor research comes into play. You need to be memorable and make a visual impact, and ensure everything is cohesive and complements your brand identity.
Find Your Brand’s Purpose
The why is just as important — if not more so — when it comes to your brand. So, it is crucial to ask yourself why you exist, what makes you unique, what problems you solve, and why people should care about your brand.
Think about your target audience. “Learn the needs, habits, and desires of your current and prospective customers. And don’t rely on what you think they think. Know what they think.” This is a key part of finding your brand identity.
These questions can help you decide on the entire identity of your brand. The answers to these questions help give you the foundation of your brand identity.
Before you can sculpt your brand, you need to see what your competitors are doing. Look up your top 10 competitors — Google can help you with this; if you do not already have an idea of who they may be. Doing so can help you get a feel for your industry and you can see what works and does not work for other brands, and it can help you make sure that your company is completely unique.
Look at more than their websites, go through their social media channels too. This can help show you what their audience — and your intended target audience — likes and what they do not.
You need a voice to apply to all forms of writing for your brand. This is the face you will be showing the public, so it is vital to find a voice that works with your brand. What is your brand intended to be? Do you have a friendly, conversational brand or are you more of a formal authority on a subject? Take time to determine that and make sure it is something you can maintain in all forms of writing.
Once you find your brand’s voice, you need to remain consistent in how you present it to the world. You might get bored and decide to change things up occasionally, but if you stray too far from your known brand identity, your audience is never going to get to know you and connect with your brand.
Changing things too often will make your brand seem unauthentic, and authenticity is an important part of a brand. Stay true to who your brand is and why it does what it does. If you keep your brand consistent, you are more likely to have better brand visibility than a group that presents its brand inconsistently.
There are multiple mediums for brands to work within, so you have to design branding that will work well within each. This can prove to be difficult; however, it is crucial when it comes to establishing your brand. It has to be adaptable on your website, mobile site, social media, ads, and apps, if applicable.
Keep it Simple
Coming up with your logo can be the most fun part of your brand building, but it can also be overwhelming. After all, your logo is your visual identity, and one of the most important components of your brand. To get the perfect logo, you need to be ready and willing to put in time and money to help you create something that perfectly represents your brand and your business. If you do not feel a logo represents your brand well enough, be willing to dump it and try again; this is your company’s face, so you want it to look perfect.
When designing your logo, try not to get carried away in the design. Having a huge, elaborate logo is not necessarily going to mean you will get better results. Try to use a simpler logo that is easy to connect to your brand.
Think about it like this, Apple’s logo is just an apple with a bite taken out of it, but you still recognize it instantly. The logo for McDonald’s is just the letter M in their shade of yellow, but it is still recognizable. You do not need something busy, that can confuse people. Take it from some huge corporations; you can get away with something simple and still be catchy.
These are just some of the components that go into building your brand identity. It can be a lengthy process as you work to determine who your brand is and what it stands for. You may have some trial and error, but eventually, it will all fall into place and you will know who your brand is. Connect with your brand on a personal level, it will help you see how your audience will see it, and that is where the heart of your brand is: in your target audience.