Your company’s brand identity is the conglomeration of its written voice and visual vocabulary with which it engages with the outside world. Your identity is the foundation of all branding choices you make, and it is established through careful and deliberate design decisions in tandem with clearly articulated mission and vision statements.
Your brand’s identity is what makes your company memorable to consumers and sets you apart from competitors. It can be the deciding factor for both new and returning customers when choosing between competing businesses. Whether or not customers trust, remain loyal to, and otherwise engage with your business is determined by the strength of your brand’s identity. Your identity includes the following;
- Tone of voice
- Brand name
All of these physical aspects work together to form a whole that affects how people think of your brand. Making a logo is just the beginning of building a brand’s identity. A company’s logo may serve as its symbol, but it is only one part of an overall brand. In reality, making a logo is only the beginning of building a solid brand identity.
Given the millions, if not billions, of companies out there vying for attention, it’s more important than ever for a company to establish a distinctive brand identity.
In this article we will discuss what Brand identity is, why it is an important aspect, some real world successful brand identities and how how you can develop your own company’s.
The first step in developing a brand identity, whether for a client or your own company, is to learn what a brand is and what it entails.
What is Brand Identity?
Some examples of Strong Brand Identity
Why is Brand Identity Important
How to Create a Brand Identity
What is Brand Identity?
What you want customers to think and feel about your company, as well as how you want them to perceive your product, are all components of your brand identity. Your brand identity is the essence of who you are as a company and what you stand for in the minds of your customers.
Even though they sound similar, brands and logos are actually quite different. The original usage of a”brand” was the mark that ranchers left on their cattle.
While names and logos were once considered to be “branding,” the concept of a “brand” has expanded to include much more.
A brand can be thought of as a characteristic (or set of characteristics) that sets one company apart from another. Several elements come together to form a brand, including the brand’s name and tagline, logo or symbol, visual identity, and tone of voice.
Consequently, brand identity refers to the facet of branding that emphasizes the character and ethics of your product or service.
“Your brand is a story unfolding across all customer touch points.”,” says Jonah Sachs, American author of Winning the Story Wars. Building a strong brand identity involves giving your company a distinct voice that echoes your brand’s fundamental values across all channels.
The most compelling brand identities of the modern era are adaptable to a variety of contexts, from online to offline to organic conversations with actual consumers.
The impact of your product on your customers extends well beyond the point of sale. A company’s brand identity is the result of this intentional creation of a specific image.
Let’s look at some examples to help us grasp this concept even better.
Some examples of Strong Brand Identity
It’s likely that the above logo immediately comes to mind when you think of Coca-Cola.
The polar bear may come to mind, as well as the color red, the slogan “Share a Coke,” or the iconic ribbon-like design featured on the cans. These two elements are central to the Coca-Cola brand:
The red script “Coca-Cola” logo is the foundation of the Coca-Cola brand. The script typeface emphasizes fun and the bright red color inspires self-assurance in the Coke consumer. One common beverage consumed in the morning is coffee. When the day is done, you can relax with a Coca-Cola. This is the “face” of the company.
Coca-distinctive Cola’s bottle design (there really aren’t any other drinks that come in a bottle that looks quite like a Coke) is where the company’s logo is prominently displayed. Clients can rest assured they are not purchasing a knockoff with this. In this way, the brand’s reputation and trustworthiness are strengthened.
Asana‘s goal is to “enable the world’s teams to work together effortlessly” so that humanity can prosper.
Initially, the founders worked at Facebook, where it was apparent that the company needed a project management and collaboration tool to improve the efficiency with which its teams could work together.
Asana is the Sanskrit word for a particular sitting position adopted by yogis, and the name of the company is an homage to the Buddhist tenets of concentration and ease.
This, along with the company’s values of “doing great things, fast” and teamwork, is reflected prominently in the company’s visual brand:
Asana’s interface is primarily white for concentration and features splashes of color to “inject energy” into the working environment.
The harmony and cooperation represented by the logo’s three dots.
If you want to see a good example of a brand identity, Patagonia is right up there. Their goal is crystal clear: “We’re in business to save our home planet.” It is the quintessential example of a purpose-driven brand, with the company’s values of sustainability, leadership, and inclusion threaded through every aspect of their brand strategy and marketing efforts like a golden thread.
Its logo, which features Monte Fitz Roy in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, is instantly recognizable. Their logo is an excellent representation of the values and roots of their company. Without the brand’s name or even the colors, loyal customers can identify the logo. The public also appreciates the company’s dedication to quality and slow fashion.
The company’s dedication to philanthropy stands out among Patagonia’s branding efforts, as evidenced by their decision to donate all of their $10 million in Black Friday sales in 2021.
Many of our customers have described our Black Friday sales as a “fundraiser for the earth,” and we agree. One hundred percent of our global retail and online Black Friday sales [go] directly to grassroots nonprofits working on the frontlines to protect our air, water, and soil for future generations.
Patagonia is dedicated not only to its customers, but also to its employees; from December 25 through January 2, all of the company’s stores, offices, and warehouses in the United States and Canada were closed. Consider Patagonia, a company whose brand identity exemplifies the importance of being open and consistent.
With the (finally) closing of the door on 2022, many of us were overjoyed to present our loved ones with our Spotify Wrapped. This brilliant advertising campaign rode the tide of social media, making Spotify users feel like they were a part of a larger group while also drawing attention to their individual tastes.
Spotify has a visually muted brand, which is surprising for a company whose main focus is music. The streaming service’s minimal color scheme of green, black, and white is overshadowed by the vibrant artwork featured on the albums featured in the service’s playlists. The logo’s three horizontally curved lines inside a circle are meant to symbolize the movement and flow of sound. If you look closely, you’ll see that it’s skewed, lending the company a more relatable air.
Spotify’s brand consistency is well-maintained across mobile and desktop platforms, which is important given the company’s global user base. Using Spotify’s brand style guide, third-party companies can create branded playlists that are visually distinct from Spotify’s own but still cohesive with its aesthetic. In addition, the playlists themselves become a valuable part of the brand. The Row’s stylish founders, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, use Spotify to curate monthly playlists for their fashion line. The playlists were initially released to keep their fans engaged while they were quarantined, but they were so well received that the Olsen twins have decided to continue releasing new music on a monthly basis for this purpose.
In order to see how other brands have implemented their style guides, you can look at some precedents.
McDonald’s, the American fast food chain best known for its hamburgers, french fries, and trademark golden arches, is an essential example of effective brand identity. McDonald’s is one of the most well-known companies in the world, and its success can be attributed to the company’s focus on keeping things as straightforward as possible. Their straightforward use of red and yellow creates an inviting and approachable atmosphere.
McDonald’s brand strategy stands out because of how well they’ve catered to their core customers. Their logo, packaging, and overarching brand message and tone are all created with the intended audience in mind. When you think of McDonald’s, your mind immediately goes to kids because of things like Happy Meals and the antics of characters like Ronald McDonald and the Hamburglar. Additionally, their menu is priced to accommodate a wide range of customers and can accommodate a number of different dietary restrictions and budgets.
Your first impression of McDonald’s will be consistent no matter how old you are or where in the world you happen to be. They’ve built trust in their customers thanks to their consistent branding and high-quality offerings. A McDonald’s is instantly recognizable the world over. To stay in step with its customers everywhere it does business, the brand has smartly adopted regional specialties and adapted its marketing to suit regional customs.
Airbnb is a fantastic illustration of effective brand identity, thanks to their charming logo, intuitive interface, and straightforward marketing. Airbnb was founded in 2008 with the simple premise that people should be able to rent out spare rooms in their homes to tourists. In the hospitality business, Airbnb has been a game-changer thanks to its revolutionary idea, which has developed alongside the brand over time.
In 2017, the company underwent a rebranding effort after realizing that a sense of community was central to their success, not just hospitality. As they so eloquently explain on their blog, they came up with the iconic Belo logo symbol by doing the following:
“Of course, there’s more to a person’s identity than just symbols. So, we’ve revamped the whole Airbnb experience to be more representative of the kind of people who make up this group. Each and every one of Airbnb’s features is connected by our shared sense of belonging. To better reflect our new brand, we have overhauled the look and feel of our entire digital presence, including our website and mobile app. As a result of your input, we’ve built a foundation that can expand in the future.
The most important lesson to be learned from this case is how attentively Airbnb pays attention to its customers’ feedback. This was the impetus for change that ultimately brought about a more approachable, genuine, and commercially successful brand identity for them.
LEGO is a brand that has endured because it was founded in 1932 on the ideals of play, creativity, and education. The LEGO brand is an embodiment of its values, from the name (a portmanteau of the Danish words for “play well” and “Lego”) to its mission (to “inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow”) to the blocks themselves.
Their success is due to more than just the product’s reliability and the emotional investment that many of us have in this retro-futuristic toy. Trust in the company’s brand has grown, as has loyalty to that brand. Any LEGO user, regardless of age, can feel the company’s commitment to its core values as it is reflected in every aspect of its marketing.
The LEGO brand has succeeded in perpetuating its mission by creating a brand identity that transcends age groups.
Bumble, a dating app aimed solely at women, first appeared in 2014 and has since become the industry standard. Bumble’s goal is to “create empowering connections in love, life, and work,” and the company was founded on principles such as respect and accountability. We advocate for transparency, parity, and compassion in an effort to eradicate sexism and rewrite traditional gender roles. Men never make the first move on Bumble; women always do.
Bumble has a well-defined brand identity across the board, from the app’s upbeat color scheme to its straightforward onboarding and pleasant user experience. They consistently stress the importance of their brand values, which encourage women to take charge in their dating lives and never make excuses.
Bumble brand ambassadors, a collective “hive” and community-based initiative that wholly embodies female change-seekers to spread the brand mission on a global scale, help to further manifest the significance of their brand.
Why is Brand Identity Important?
Having a memorable brand identity that represents your company’s goals and values can motivate customers and boost brand loyalty. Therefore, your company’s brand identity is essential for its success.
Now that we’ve established that your brand is more than just a logo, let’s talk about how you can incorporate other distinctive features into your company’s identity in a manner similar to that of Coca-Cola.
Here are the five pillars of a strong brand identity and why you should put time and effort into creating them.
1. An Organization’s Public Persona
Your company’s logo serves as the “name card” for your operation. However, it’s not enough for the logo’s face to simply be attractive; it must also contribute to the brand’s identity through associative means.
The general public will understand that this symbolises your company name now.
2. Authenticity and Trustworthiness
Having a distinct brand identity does more than just help consumers remember your product; it also lends credibility to your product and company.
A brand’s credibility among its rivals and its customers’ trust in the brand grows when the brand presents a consistent face to the world.
3. Public Perception of Ads
A brand identity is a blueprint for any type of marketing collateral, from traditional print ads to digital billboards and pre-roll commercials on YouTube.
Promoting and making first impressions on potential customers is much easier for a brand that has both a human face and solid standing in its field.
4. The Goals of Your Organization
When you give your brand a name and a symbol, you give it a purpose. Thus, your business will now have a direction.
Everyone is aware that businesses have goals they strive to achieve. Well, you can’t have one unless you establish a name for your product or service.
5. Finding ways to both attract new clients and keep current ones happy
With a well-developed brand identity, you can attract customers who share your values and are interested in your products or services. However, once they become paying customers, they feel a part of something larger because of the brand they identified with.
While a quality product can bring in new buyers, a reputable brand can win over loyal customers and even influence competitors.
There is work to be done if you want your company name to become widely recognized and respected in the marketplace. Here are some methods that can assist you in creating a name for your company.
How to Create a Brand Identity
- Conduct in-depth analysis of your target market, competitive landscape, and unique selling proposition.
- Create both the logo and its accompanying template.
- Put in social-media-friendly language that can be used for making connections, promoting products, and projecting a certain persona.
- Keep in mind the pitfalls.
- Keep an eye on things to make sure your brand stays consistent.
It’s important to take your time when developing a brand. More than just a logo and a few accent colors need to be considered. Developing a recognizable brand name necessitates
1. Conduct in-depth analysis of your target market, competitive landscape, and unique selling proposition.
The first order of business in developing a brand identity is, of course, conducting market research. There are five points that need explaining and clarifying your research.
When developing a company’s image, it’s crucial to think about how the messaging will land with the intended consumers.
You should find out what problems your target market is trying to solve and then explain how your product or service can help them.
You might have a flashy logo and eye-catching marketing copy, but if it doesn’t address your customers’ pain points clearly and effectively, it will be difficult to build a strong and lasting brand identity.
It’s common knowledge that different audiences have different views and priorities. It’s not possible to market to a 40 year old in the same way that you would a college student.
In order to build a successful brand, you must first understand what your target market is looking for in a company operating within your industry.
Competition & Value Proposition
In this field, you should describe what sets your company apart from others. What do you provide for customers that no one else does? Creating a successful brand requires a firm grasp on what sets you apart from the competition.
By observing your competitors’ brand strategies, you can learn which approaches work and which don’t.
You are familiar with the services provided by your company, but it is important to have a concise mission statement that outlines your objectives.
Having no idea what your company is about will make it difficult to give it a distinct identity.
You should stay true to your beliefs and values without fear. Today, more than ever, consumers are looking for products and services from companies that share their core beliefs.
You should therefore incorporate your company’s goals and objectives into daily operations.
If you’re building a brand image, it’s still important to be approachable just like a real person. You should create a visual identity for your brand through the use of typeface, color, and imagery. Then, use your tone of voice to complement that image; creating a brand that stands with your company no matter what.
While studies may be tedious, they are essential to building a solid foundation for your company’s brand.
Finally, a SWOT Analysis can help you better understand your brand’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Thinking about what the brand represents can help you identify the qualities you want to highlight.
So what does SWOT mean? For a company, a strength is something that stands out favorably in comparison to the competition. Weaknesses are those features of your company that end up hurting it. Opportunities are the shifts and developments within your industry that present you with new and fruitful possibilities for growth. Threats are things in your environment or in your industry that could negatively impact your company.
2. Create both the logo and its accompanying template.
Bringing your brand to life is the next step after mastering your business.
Although a company’s logo isn’t everything that makes it a brand, it is a crucial part of the branding process since it is the element that consumers will remember the most. It appears on all of your marketing materials, from business cards to your website.
Your brand identity needs to be consistent across all of these touchpoints, including your logo.
Your logo is a crucial part of your brand’s identity, but it’s not the only thing that matters. Your brand’s identity should involve your product(s), its packaging, and/or how your services are presented.
Maintaining a consistent visual identity for your company across all marketing materials helps establish trust and credibility with your target audience.
Case in point: McDonald’s iconic golden arches. The iconic “M,” now recognized around the world, was created using a novel shape.
Style and Tone
You can express yourself more fully by developing a signature palette. It gives you options so you can make fresh designs for your company that still adhere to the brand’s standards.
Lack of skill in employing type can be as harmful as its misuse. “Mix and match” type design may be all the rage, but that doesn’t mean you should randomly throw together a bunch of fonts for your company’s brand.
The typography used in your company’s logo, website, and all other printed and digital materials should be uniform.
If you look at Nike’s website and advertisements, you’ll notice that the company uses the same typeface and type style everywhere.
Every day, you probably contact potential clients via email, letter, or business card.
Making use of templates (even for something as seemingly inconsequential as email signatures) will help your business appear more credible, professional, and cohesive.
Consistency is the single most important factor in establishing a brand’s reputation, and it has been emphasized in nearly every previous step.
If you want your brand’s identity to be consistent across all aspects of your business, use the aforementioned templates and stick to the design decisions you’ve made.
Consistency is essential, but so is adaptability in a world that is constantly on the lookout for better solutions.
You can keep your audience interested indefinitely by being adaptable and making changes to your advertising campaigns, taglines, and even your brand’s overall identity.
The trick is to maintain uniformity across your entire brand (rather than, say, just updating your business card design).
Creating brand guidelines that detail the dos and don’ts of your brand is one of the best ways to ensure consistency across your company’s marketing efforts.
Skype stands out as a company that has done a fantastic job of creating a unified brand guide that can be followed by anyone. This is one method of giving your audience the tools they need to create brand assets and spread your name around while maintaining brand integrity.
3. Put in social-media-friendly language that can be used for building connections, promoting products, and projecting a certain persona.
Now that you’ve established your brand within your company and have taken all the necessary steps to develop it, you’re ready to integrate your brand within your community.
And one of the most successful ways to accomplish this is for your brand to provide quality content.
Use language that matches the personality of your brand. If your brand identity is high-end, use professional language; if your brand is laid-back, be more conversational.
The language you choose to use as a brand will be integrated throughout the entire business, so it’s important that you carefully craft your tone to match your brand’s personality.
Connection & Emotion
People love stories. More accurately, people love stories that move them (emotionally and to action).
A strong brand identity can establish an emotional connection with consumers, which can be a solid foundation for building a lasting relationship with a brand.
Designing ads, whether traditional or digital, is the most efficient way of introducing your brand to the world. It’s a way to get the message of your brand seen and heard by your target audience.
Another great way to establish a connection with your consumers is through social media. The plethora of platforms on the internet offers up a ton of digital real estate you can use to establish your brand identity.
Coca-Cola, once again, makes great use of its Facebook cover photo real estate by keeping it consistent with the happiness theme.
Social media is also important when it comes to conversing directly with your customers and creating affinity for your brand.
If you’re mentioned in a tweet, status, or post (especially if the customer has a question or concern), be sure to give your brand a good reputation by responding efficiently to your customers.
4. Keep in mind the pitfalls.
Even if you take every precaution to establish a solid brand name, your efforts may be in vain if you commit even one of the following sins.
- Do not send customers conflicting messages.
Know what you want to say, and use the appropriate language and visuals to say it. You can’t assume your customers will see things your way just because you do.
- Try not to imitate the methods of your rivals.
In spite of the fact that your products or services are identical to those of your competitors, and they may have a successful branding strategy, you shouldn’t copy them.
- Consider what they are doing, but add your own spin to stand out even more in your industry.
- Keep your online and offline personas consistent.
Your online and offline materials can have slightly different layouts, but they should share the same colors, fonts, themes, and messages.
- Expand, but don’t follow blindly.
Avoid the temptation to blindly follow trends as your brand expands into new channels if they don’t fit in with your brand’s core values. Identity scaling only works when you keep singing from the same sheet rather than starting from scratch each time. Here is also an article on Epic Tools for Amazing SEO and Marketing Execution, that will help you scale your content.
5. Keep an eye on things to make sure your brand stays consistent.
It’s difficult to know what’s working (and what isn’t) in your marketing without tracking key performance metrics, just as it is with the rest of your business.
Monitor your brand’s mentions and interactions with others through Google Analytics, surveys, comments, social media discussions, etc.
That way, you can make adjustments to your brand whenever you see fit, whether to fix an error or strengthen your brand’s overall image.
Put things to the test, absorb the feedback, and fine-tune as needed. Discover your brand’s unique selling point and master the art of communicating it in a way that inspires confidence in your customers. If the quality of your product matches the expectations you set, you’ll gain traction with the people who have already decided to buy into your brand.
You should create a memorable brand identity that resonates with the customer. The effort put into maintaining a brand’s visual identity across text, color, image, and language is well worth it. When your logo is more than just a name and a symbol, and consumers can immediately identify who you are and what you stand for, you’ve succeeded.