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A brand identity is not just the logo; it is the experience of your product. The way your product is packaged, the way you present it, the way you talk about it, and the way people talk about it. It is how you brand your company and how your company brands itself. Brand identity is what makes your company stand out from your competitors. It is the reason people choose your product over another. It is the reason people will buy your product, not just because it is cheaper or better, but because it is part of an experience.

Let’s look at the 5 steps to build a solid brand identity.

Define Your Brand Strategy

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Brand strategy is the most important part of any business. It can make or break a company. Branding is an investment of your business, so you want to make sure that it’s done right. When defining your brand strategy, it’s important to keep in mind the overall goal of your brand. It can help your customers understand who you are, what you stand for, and what makes you unique. 

A successful brand strategy is all about building trust with your audience. It’s about getting them to see you as an authority on a subject and making them feel confident that you can solve their problems.

Identify Your Target Audience

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The target audience is the most important aspect of your brand identity. This is the person or group that you identify as the most important when creating your product or service. The target audience is the one that will be most likely to buy your product. Identify your target audience and you can make a product or service that will appeal to them. 

It is important to identify your target audience because it will not only help you in choosing the right marketing strategies for your business but will also help you in defining the brand identity of your business.

Know Your Competition

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When defining your brand identity, a good place to start is by breaking down the competition. Instead of creating from scratch, look at how your competitors have done business and how they have defined their brand identity. You can learn a lot by looking at the advantages and disadvantages of your competition.

Knowing your competition and how they do business is a key part of knowing how well you are doing. In fact, it is hard to succeed unless you know the competition – and the best way to do that is to truly know their strengths and weaknesses. Understanding your competition is not just about knowing what they are doing, but how they are doing it. Why do they do it that way? How do you think you could make a brand identity that works better than them?

Perform The Visual Brainstorm

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Start by having your team create five to seven descriptive words that relate specifically to what you do as a brand. For instance, if you are associated with being quick or fast at getting things done, this will probably bring up images of a cheetah, thunderbolt, etc. As the next step, have these documented and finalize on a few which can be further filtered to the one/ two that works best with your Brand. 

You want to be able to create experiences for consumers through these images and emotions so that they will be able to recall them when the time comes to actually purchase your product or service

Compose Your Individual Elements

As you can imagine, this part is a bit of a long haul. You need to think through and design each element in the order dictated by this flow below:

Logo

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It’s hard to find the right logo, isn’t it? Luckily, one only has to sketch logos with a pencil for it to be, well… not so bad. As you progress through different variations of sketches, begin with the logo mark. Then make sure that its evolutions are cohesive with other core shapes. 

Just take one step at a time by crossing off your visual goals in black-and-white first so it looks better while keeping their target demographic in mind. As you proceed through changes in multiple designs while receiving feedback from your core network (friends and family), remember to keep your core message intact!

Take a look at these beginner mistakes that you could possibly avoid to nail your brand logo

Colors

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Once you have a solid logo, you are now ready to begin exploring your brand’s color palette. There are several things to consider when choosing colors for your branding, and the more research you do the better it will be in the long run. Colors elicit different emotional responses in people, so choose them wisely!

Typography

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Just because you are using the same font as another brand doesn’t mean that your designs will resemble the other brands – and it’s important to ensure that all of your elements do not look alike or generic. 

This is particularly true of typography, which should be informed by both the shape and position of logos and other icons within a visual language. Since trends are always changing and trending from one decade to the next, it’s time to stop using some trends (serif vs. non-serif) because their styles were popular for a second but quickly became dated or borrowed from someone else.

Design System

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This is often a weak point in visual languages. Brands think that because they have their logo, color, and typography set, they can combine them however they like. But consistency is key to making info design effective for the viewer. It’s important to make it an enjoyable experience, where viewers can be clear about your brand’s identity and what it offers – even without seeing your logo!

The goal is to design a layout that helps maximize the amount of information available while also encouraging the reader to keep reading. Consider who you are designing for and what they need to read in your writing and how you want them to consume that information along with its location on the visuals.

Photo Treatment

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Creating a brand comes with a lot of expectations, and one of those is the expectation that every time you release an image to your client base, it is clear and can be easily identified as belonging to your brand. Consider doing some kind of original photo treatment to make it stand out from the rest of the crowd. One of the simplest ways to have this done is to create a color overlay standard for all the images you release. 

Additional Elements

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Several variables go into creating a personalized brand identity. It’s important to remember that your brand has its own unique needs! Depending on the industry you’re in as well as the content that you are referring to, you might want to consider the following elements too: 

  1. Illustration Style
  2. Iconography
  3. Data Visualization
  4. Interactive Elements
  5. Motion Graphics
  6. Video
  7. Website Design

Brand Style Guideline

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What’s worse than creating a poor brand identity? Creating an incredibly beautiful and creative brand identity that goes unused. Instead of being the savior of your company, it ends up doing nothing but mock you! We want to make sure you’re avoiding this by using a great tip: Never ignore the usefulness of a well-made style guide! Style guides aren’t just pretty pictures – they’re comprehensive checklists that ensure your identity is being used correctly.

Brand Maintenance

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Creating a powerful brand identity takes a lot of creative collaboration. To keep your team on the same page with the vision and empower them to do an excellent job, make sure they feel motivated, inspired, educated, and properly equipped to carry out these practices. The ultimate goal is that each member of your team has the potential to bring about positive growth in the company by leveraging one’s talents through making use of practical resources such as the brand style guide and instructional tools for finding what works best.

Conclusion

A brand identity is critical for any business that wants to distinguish itself from the competition. Having a strong brand identity will help your business stand out from the crowd. Good brand identity will provide an image of your company to the consumers. The more thought you put into your brand identity, the more successful your brand will be.

Thinking of starting a brand new business? Rock your brand from day one by thinking about the kind of identity you want, and how you want it to portray your brand.

Just remember this: 

  • Your identity is not just a logo.
  • The brand is not the same as your company or product.
  • A brand is made up of multiple elements, including the logo.
  • How you choose to use your brand’s identity is up to you.

If you don’t have a branded identity kit for your business, get on it. A brand identity kit is a great way to get the marketing process going without spending a lot of money. It’s a cost-effective way to get the ball rolling. If you’re looking for guidance or how to effectively brand your company or product, you can always talk to us at Culture Cafe Studio.

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