A brand identity is more than just branding. It doesn’t just come together once you have a color palette picked out or a font chosen. Brand identity isn’t even just about what your brand looks like (although that is part of it): It’s about how your brand makes people feel. It takes time and continuous effort to create a truly authentic, compelling brand identity.
In this blog, we’ll go over the key components of a solid brand identity, as well as how you can get started building yours.
So, What Makes a Great Brand Identity?
We’re so glad you asked. Here are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind when starting this important project.
Keeping all of your branding elements consistent—that means your messaging, your voice, your colors, your fonts, your everything—is extremely important. You want people to see content from you and just know it’s you. That can only happen if things work together cohesively.
You don’t want people scratching their heads later, trying to remember your company’s name or logo. Keep things simple but unique.
While you want to be confident in your brand decisions, leave some room for flexibility. Your brand will evolve and grow over time! Don’t put it in a box from the get-go.
Sure—you understand all of your brand elements, but what about your company’s graphic designer? If you hire someone new, will you be able to easily explain how to use each brand element? Make sure things are intuitive.
Let’s Build Your Brand Strategy
Now that we’ve nailed down what’s important, it’s time to get started! It’s a big undertaking, and there will be lots and lots of little decisions to make along the way—but there’s a chance you’ve already completed some of these steps. And, if not, you’ve got a great outline to start with.
#1: First, Build Your Brand Strategy
This will be the compass by which you navigate the brand-identity-building process. If you have a solid foundation after this step, the rest will come much more easily. Your brand strategy should include things like your company’s mission, values, and purpose—as well as its brand messaging and basic design elements.
#2: What Does Your Current Brand Identity Look Like?
Whether you’re starting from scratch or you’re doing an overhaul of your branding, you need to take a good, hard look at where you are. Make sure you’re being objective during this phase—if you want your brand identity to reach its full potential, you’ll have to look at it critically.
Figure out where your brand is succeeding and where it’s lacking. How could it be tweaked or changed to serve your company and its audience better?
#3: Who Are Your Competitors?
In order to stand out, you first have to know how to fit in. What are your competitors doing? What’s working for them and what seems to not be working? What makes you similar to them? What makes you different? Get a good idea of branding across your industry, and make sure you stand out the right amount.
#4: Let’s Get Visual
At this point in the process, you should have a solid foundation on which to start the fun part! It’s time to take the on-paper stuff and turn it into compelling visuals. How do you take what you’ve learned about your brand and express it to the world? Brainstorm some individual words or concepts that describe your brand, and start stringing them together with visuals.
#5: Focus on Individual Elements
Take all that visual brainstorming and make some beautiful branding! Create your logo, choose your colors, land on a font, etc. Make sure you create each element with the other elements in mind so they create one cohesive brand identity. This is also when you’ll create guidelines for future design work, photography, illustration, and iconography.
Need Some Branding Help?
If you follow all of these steps with an open mind and a creative team, you’ll end up with a brand identity that speaks for itself. But it’s not an easy process! If you need some guidance, inspiration, or outsourced work, we’ve got you covered. Start a conversation with us today!