7 Tips for Creating a Winning Brand Identity
A brand identity should be one of the first things you do for your company. Instead of throwing together a logo with some colors and clip art, you should take the time to research your market, you company and your competition and plan out your branding strategy. Here are seven tips for creating a winning brand identity.
Envision your Ideal Customer
Why do you want a brand identity anyway? The answer is customers. Brand identity helps customers recognize your product or service and develop sentiment toward your company. To register most with your customers, envision your ideal customer, or the target demographic you’d most like to reach. What do they like? Where do they work? How old are they? Developing a profile for your ideal customer can help you focus what you’d like your brand to look like.
Research your Market
Once you have an ideal customer in mind, research your market, Learn the demographics of your region. Find out where your customers live, work, shop and get their entertainment. These factors can determine your brands personality, look and feel.
Decide your Promise
Your brand will reflect your company’s promise, or the product or service you want to provide your customers. Your promise can be part of your brand (i.e.in your tagline) part of your mission statement or even reflected in the colors and logo of your company. A company promise is part of the bigger picture of brand identity, and can help you commit to your brand identity in the long run.
Check Out the Competition
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – or so they say. While you don’t have to imitate your competitors, you can learn from them. Think about what kind of promise they give their customers, and identify a few words that you believe describes them. Your goal is to make your brand stand out in the crowd.
Visualize your Brand
This is the fun part of developing a brand identity. Your logo, colors and look and feel are the outward representation of your brand identity, so spend some time getting them right. Colors have a powerful impact on emotions; research different colors to find the one that best represents what you want your brand to be. Use images and fonts to give some character and personality and meaning to your logo.
Define your Personality
The brand’s personality should show through in marketing, social media and corporate messaging, and should be consistent. Your tone and the words you use can set the stage for what you’d like your customers to feel from your brand. For a jewelry store, you might want a friendly tone; for an insurance company, a formal, trustworthy tone. Use your market, competition and ideal customer to make decisions on your personality and tone.
Embrace your Brand
The last step of developing a brand identity is embracing your brand and living your company’s promise. Experts say it takes some time for consumers to recognize a brand, so keep marketing your new brand identity. Make sure it translates to every aspect of your marketing, including traditional advertising, social media and written materials.