Every business needs a strong brand identity to establish itself as a unique, credible, and trustworthy product or service provider.
A brand identity comprises a set of features that define the personality of your business, give it a likable ‘face’ that’s distinctly recognizable from other companies, and attract customers resonating with your business’s values.
The features include the brand’s name, logo, tagline, tone, design, and scale across traditional and digital communication channels.
Once users become customers, a brand identity provides them a sense of belonging, giving birth to loyal customers who advocate for your business to attract more audience.
With the steps below, you can also craft a strong brand identity to make your business a loved and well-known brand.
1 . Understand Your Audience
Conduct surveys, focus groups, and interviews to understand your target audience’s needs from a business in your industry.
Break the audience into different segments based on age, gender, and economic status to understand each segment’s pain points so you can effectively shape your brand identity that helps alleviate them.
2. Create Your Business Personality
A unique style of presentation is necessary for a business to accurately reflect its enduring characteristics.
Based on your target audience, your industry, and your services, determine if your business’s personality should be formal, professional, classy, solemn, fun, etc.
Starting with the logo, decide on the color palette, imagery, and typography that suit this personality.
Apply these choices across all messages and channels for marketing and advertising to create consistency and build familiarity with the brand with your customers.
When it comes to imagery, use pro stock photos that compliment the personality of your business.
3. Set a language & tone.
With the visual representation or personality of your business defined, the next step is to decide on the language and tone of the content that you will use to connect, advertise, and market your business.
If your business personality is rich and high-end, choose formal or professional language; if it is informal or laid-back, use an everyday conversational tone.
Integrate the same choice across all copy and content for your business.
4. Look into Your Competitors
Understanding how your business differs from others in the market is essential to build a brand identity that stands apart. Research on your competitors will help you determine your business’s uniqueness.
Learn what your competitors offer and what unique offers you can make that they haven’t yet.
5. Define Your Business Values
Well-defined business values help draw in customers and partnerships with aligning values.
Work on defining them by establishing a mission statement, vision, and goals to set a purpose for your business.
Start with your mission statement: What do you do now, for whom, how do you do it, and what does it achieve? Define the vision next: Where is your business planned to go further?
What does it seek to achieve for you, your customers, and society? Set your goals: the tangible actions your business will carry out for your mission to achieve the vision.
Based on these, define your business’s values: What beliefs does it stand for?
6. Document It All
The demand for different types of content continues to grow for businesses to continue to establish their brand presence and relevance.
Consistent brand compliance is challenging as different individuals get tasked with various assignments to generate content.
To stay a step ahead of this potential challenge, document all branding decisions once they are finalized.
Create branding guidelines and instructions detailing all aspects of branding, industry standards, and regulatory rules for advertising and marketing.
The guidelines typically cover logo variations and dimensions, colors and typography or font, messaging and tone, and guidelines for official communication.
This would help you ensure brand compliance with consistent messages and the use of correct elements of design and language to match the business personality, no matter the format or platform.
Defining a set of parameters through the guidelines can also help point your creative team in the right direction and prevent wasting time and effort by eliminating misinterpretation or uncertainty.
7. Use Advertising and Social Media
With your market research, values defined, competition evaluated, and business personality defined and locked, the next step is introducing your brand to the world.
Put up brand advertisements on traditional or digital media with carefully crafted brand-compliant messages.
Or, if you are low on the budget, set up a social media account on suitable platforms for organic promotion of your brand first.
This is a great way to connect one-on-one with potential customers and engage them.
Reach out to influencers relevant to your business industry or target audience for collaborations and shout-outs. Respond to posts, comments, and tweets mentioning your business.
Remember to stick with the brand identity throughout your social media activity: in photos, posts, stories, and even inbox messages.
Over time, your brand identity will be reinforced as your consistently brand-compliant advertisements, posts, and shout-outs continue to appear in feeds and suggestions.
8. Keep Room for Evolution
While consistency is key for establishing a brand identity for your business, recognize the need for evolution with changing market trends. Make adjustments in your branding to stay relevant for the audience preferences shifting over time.
When making any changes, remember to apply them across your brand. If you are changing the brand typography online, do it for traditional branding (shopping bags, stores, tags, etc.) too.
9. Monitor Your Brand
Track the performance of your brand to ascertain the efficacy of its identity. Define Key Performance Indicators and measure them through web monitoring, social media listening, web analytics, and surveys to know what and how people are talking about your brand. Use the data to make revisions, changes, and improvements as needed.
There you have it! A nine-step guide to help your business transform into a brand. But remember, A well-researched, well-planned, and well-designed brand identity can only prosper if the company delivers.
While you figure out what makes your business different from the competition and your name, style, and voice to communicate trust and reliability, you must strive to maintain the hype you create through services that live up to it.