There are many marketing terms and phrases that can be confusing, including the term “brand identity.” Vital for any business, your brand identity is important for marketing, communicating with customers, and, ultimately, driving sales. Your visual identity plays a crucial role in the brand identity that you create, making visual marketing a key component of creating a marketing strategy for your business. But what, exactly, is a brand identity, what makes a brand identity “good” or “strong,” and how can you build the right one for your business?
What Is Brand Identity?
Brand identity is the voice of your business and brand that is presented to the public. Visual marketing and identity are a major, vital part of brand identity, but it’s more than that. It’s reflected in every aspect of your business that faces the public: all of the visual elements that work together to represent an organization in a certain way. This includes everything: from your logo, the voice used in your blog writing, your ads, your social media profiles, the font you use on your website. It’s how you visually represent your organization, and it helps determine how customers perceive your business. Even your color choices matter for marketing and will influence how your brand identity is perceived. Along with color choices, the fonts you use are important and will shape your overall brand identity.
Why Do You Need a Brand Identity?
All businesses, regardless of size, need a brand identity. It helps make your business more memorable and trustworthy to customers, and allows you to speak to and identify a more qualified target audience. Your brand identity also makes it easier to expand your business, launch new products, and boost sales, because your customers already know who you are.
What Makes a Strong Brand Identity?
Your brand identity is a visual representation of your business. A strong brand identity will reflect your business’s values, philosophy, and mission. It should be unique to your organization and communicate a clear message about who your business is. Ultimately, a strong brand identity isn’t a single thing; it’s a combination of all the different ways you visually represent your business working together to create a strong statement about your organization.
How to Create a Brand Identity
There’s a lot of thought, work, and time that goes into creating a brand identity that works for your business. You can use a variety of strategies, including visual marketing, to continually refine and develop your brand identity as your business grows. Here are the steps you need to take to create a brand identity.
Understand What Makes a Strong Brand Identity
While you need to know what a brand identity is in order to create one for your business, it’s just as important to know what makes a brand identity “good” or “strong.” You may know all of the components, visual and otherwise, that go into a brand identity, but a strong brand identity is more than that. It is distinct (unique to you, stands out among your competitors), memorable, flexible/scalable/responsive (so it can grow with your brand and be applied in a myriad of different contexts), and cohesive (all the pieces work together to create a larger brand identity).
Create and Complete a Brand Strategy
Your brand identity is one part of your larger brand strategy, which is a plan that details what you want to achieve and how you plan to achieve it. Your brand identity helps you communicate in ways that further those goals. First, though, you need to know what your brand’s values, vision, voice, mission, messaging, and stories are. Once you have nailed down the “what,” you can focus on the “how,” part of which is your brand identity.
Research Competitors’ Brands
Determine who you’re trying to communicate with, who you’re competing with (and what they’re doing well or poorly), and where you currently stand among your competitors. Consider what your customers, competitors, and employees respond to in terms of your brand. How do your competitors present their brands, and is there something you can do to stand out? Is your existing brand unique in this competitive space, and what can you do to better develop it?
Identify and Build Your Own Identity
Using your brand strategy and your competitive research, identify what your brand identity is, what you need to do to build it out, and how you can translate it into visual elements. At this point, you need to consider how you will use visual marketing to build your visual brand identity.
This requires you to carefully consider your logo, the colors you use, your font and typography, photos and illustrations, icons, data and infographic visualization, interactive elements, videos, the design of your website — anything and everything that relates to brand voice and visuals.
Keep Your Brand Identity Consistent
Consistency is key when it comes to brand identity. All of the work you did to create one will go to waste if you don’t have a clear brand identity standards that can be applied across your entire business, both now and in the future. This is a huge part of what makes a brand identity strong, easy to work with, and useful for marketing your business.
Need help creating a brand identity that attracts customers and drives conversions? Contact IGW today. We are a visual marketing company that has helped thousands of clients improve their brand identity.