How to Build a Strong and Unique Brand Identity for Your Business
Just like every person has a unique personality, every company has its one-of-a-kind brand identity. It tells others who you are, what you stand for, and what customers can expect when doing business with you.
Building a solid brand identity can help you stand out, boost brand recognition, and form a strong customer bond.
Brand identities are much more than just a logo. They include the entire range of tangible and digital brand elements representing a company to the target audience.
Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Let’s get right to it.
What Is Brand Identity?
Brand, branding, brand image, brand identity. All of these terms might get a bit confusing. Let’s have a closer look at what each of them means.
What Is a Brand?
A brand is an intangible business, marketing, or advertising concept that helps distinguish one company, product, or individual from another.
It can take the form of a name, term, design, symbol, or any other distinctive feature.
What Is Branding?
Branding is the process of forming a strong and positive perception of your business in your target audience’s minds.
The branding process includes using a unique logo and visual design, conveying a compelling brand message, and ensuring a consistent theme and tone of voice in communication with all customers.
What Is a Brand Image?
A brand image is a perception that customers have about a particular brand.
Several factors affect one’s brand perception, including prior experiences, the product and service offering, and personal relatability with the brand.
What Is Brand Identity?
Brand identity is a combination of everything mentioned above. It’s a brand’s personality and appearance – a set of traits that differentiates a business from the competition.
Brand identity includes:
It’s how a business makes customers feel and approaches them. Brand identity forms associations and builds relationships.
Nailing your brand identity isn’t easy, but it’s definitely worth the effort.
Benefits of Having a Recognizable and Strong Brand Identity
Creating a strong brand identity can benefit your company in numerous ways.
1. Increased brand recognition
A business with a strong brand identity is more memorable than a generic one. Make sure to use your brand elements consistently in all your communication channels, and people will start recognizing your brand instantly.
2. Improved customer loyalty
If you manage to connect with your customers on a more personal level, e.g., through your brand values and purpose, you’ll be better able to retain them.
3. Greater support for new products
It’s easier to launch new products when you have an established following. Customers who connect emotionally to your brand will be more open to new products.
4. Lower price sensitivity
After establishing a strong brand identity and forming a close relationship with your customers, you’ll have more wiggle room regarding pricing. Customers who love a brand are willing to pay more for its products as they have higher perceived value.
5. Positive word-of-mouth advertising
Creating a memorable brand identity and using a compelling brand voice will get your customers talking about your business. If you manage to stand out from the crowd with something unique, you’ll get free advertising from your followers.
Building a strong brand identity takes time, but the effort is worth it. Look for strong brand identity examples online to see how other brands position themselves and how they benefit from their brand strategy.
Let’s see what preparatory work needs to be done to build a brand identity.
What Is Required to Build a Successful Brand
To build a successful business with a strong brand identity, it’s important not to rush it.
There are several critical aspects to consider before thinking of names for your business, designing a company logo, and looking for the perfect color palette for your brand.
Identify Your Target Audience
Why be something to everybody when you can be everything to somebody? Your success depends on your audience – the stronger your bond, the better for your business.
Let’s have a look at some approaches to finding your perfect target audience.
- Learn about your customers with Google Analytics
Use Google Analytics to find the age, gender, location, etc., of your typical customer. Figure out what type of content most engages your customers and make more informed and data-driven decisions.
- Inspect your social media accounts
Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook all provide useful metrics. Use them to figure out what content performs the best and create posts that resonate with your audience.
- Create buyer personas
After analyzing the data from previous steps, create personas that are most likely to be interested in your product or service. Focus on their interests, hobbies, and occupation.
- Engage with your followers
Ask your followers to take part in contests, post surveys, and interact with them in various ways. Whatever feedback you get will be useful information for your brand.
- Revise and improve
As you gather more information about your target audience, revise your brand strategy accordingly. Your audience will grow together with your brand.
Once you have a better understanding of your target audience, it’s time to examine the playing field.
Research Your Competition
If you’re not bringing something completely new to the table, you’ll face competition in your niche. But don’t worry, that can be a good thing.
You have the opportunity to examine some of the most successful companies in your field and see what is working well for them. You can also identify what could be improved.
It’s always possible to add a unique spin to an existing product or service – your brand identity will help.
Just remember that whatever you do, don’t copy your competitors. Consumers are savvy, and they won’t appreciate your lack of originality.
Create Your Brand Story
An original story is one of the key pillars of any brand. It lets you highlight your business’s unique traits and provides something customers can connect with.
When you tell a story, your customer should be the hero, not your brand. A brand provides support to improve their customer’s life.
Tell your story by showcasing how your product or service can make someone’s life better or easier. Add a pinch of emotion, include the people you’re selling to, and make sure the message is believable.
Define Your Values and Purpose
Your brand purpose and values should go hand in hand with your story.
When defining your core values, be as specific as possible and make sure you can back them up – don’t falsely advertise.
For example, two of Patagonia’s core values are “use business to protect nature” and “not bound by convention.” They provide an image of a company that creates innovative products and strives to protect the environment. The values are clearly defined and unmistakable.
When it comes to the purpose or mission of your brand, it should come from your values. Use it to motivate and engage your audience.
If we look at Nike’s mission statement, it includes the remark: “if you have a body, you are an athlete.” It means you don’t need to earn millions of dollars and have tons of sponsorship deals to be an athlete (and reach your personal fitness goals). It’s an inspirational and engaging message, placing the customer front and center.
Whatever you come up with, remember to be specific and tailor your values and purpose to your target audience. Propose a strong “why?” for your product and brand, and the rest will follow.
After you’ve identified your target audience, researched the competition, developed your brand story, and defined your values and purpose, we can finally turn to building your brand identity.
How to Design a Strong and Memorable Brand Identity
Now that your brand has a solid foundation, it’s time to work on your brand identity design.
You’ll need to come up with a name, pick your brand color palette, create a logo design, select your brand fonts, and form the overall visual appearance of your business.
Let’s get to it.
Decide on a Brand Name
A name is arguably the most important element of your brand identity. A carefully crafted brand name can help your business, while a poorly chosen name can turn customers away.
When deciding on a name for your business, there are several options: descriptive, evocative, invented, lexical, acronym, geographical, and founder brand names.
Some are more creative than others, offering more room for developing an effective brand identity and highlighting your company’s strengths.
Follow these four tips when deciding on a brand name:
- Make sure the name is easy to pronounce and spell.
- Try to pick a memorable name that will stick in people’s minds.
- Use a meaningful name that ties in with your brand story.
- Pick a name that looks good on screen and paper.
If you’re struggling with the name, you can try using a business name generator.
Remember to gather feedback and see how others feel about your new brand name before going public.
Select a Color Scheme
Before we turn to your logo design and other graphic elements of the business, it’s important to establish your brand colors. A unified look for your logo, website, social media channels, and all marketing materials will make your brand more recognizable.
You can start by evaluating which colors align best with your company’s values according to color psychology. Every color holds different associations, and their meaning can change when paired with other colors.
Pick a Primary Color
Start by picking your brand’s main color. Choose a color that matches the company’s mission and values the most – this will be the color that customers associate with your brand.
You can experiment with different shades, tones, and tints. Consider how the color will appear in different environments and settings.
Pick Secondary Colors
Choose two to four secondary colors that go together with your primary color. You can use them separately from the primary color, but it’s important to select colors that complement your main color.
A color wheel comes in handy when deciding on secondary colors for your brand. If you’d like to automate the process, there are plenty of color palette generators to help out.
Research your competition to see what colors they are using, and test several color schemes to come up with the right fit.
Design a Brand Logo
A brand is unimaginable without a logo. It’s the visual representation of a company that makes it easily recognizable.
Just like with your brand name and colors, try to incorporate your central values, story, and brand essence in your logo design. If you’d like to try it yourself, create some sketches with your brand values in mind.
When sketching, try to keep the design elements as simple as possible, and don’t use more than two to three colors from the colors you’ve picked. Then use online tools like Canva to make your design come to life.
If you don’t feel comfortable working on the design yourself, use platforms like Fiverr or Upwork to hire a freelance graphic designer. Make sure to describe your brand in as much detail as possible, and provide the colors you’d like to be used for the final design.
Once you have your logo, test it to see how it looks in different sizes and settings. Make sure the colors look good, and your brand’s name matches the logo.
Choose Brand Typography
Typography plays a significant role in shaping the feel and look of your brand.
Start by picking a typeface. Typefaces differ in width, height, spacing of the letters, and the presence or lack of a serif.
Then come fonts. A font is a specific way to define the text (typeface) you’re using. Fonts can differ in size and weight. When you pick a typeface for your brand, make sure to define how you want it to appear on your website and marketing materials.
You can use sites like Google Fonts to look for the perfect typography for your brand. Evaluate how the text looks together with your brand colors and logo.
Establish Your Visual Identity
The last thing we need to cover is the visual identity of your brand. It includes images, illustrations, icons, shapes, and other visual brand assets you might use on your website, social media pages, or presentations.
Whatever road you decide to take, remember to be consistent with your visuals. For example, if you decide to go with a set of illustrations, use them everywhere and in the same style. If you apply a specific filter to your images, do it with every picture you use in your brand communication.
Remember to use your brand colors and fonts, and don’t overcomplicate things.
Where to Showcase Your Brand Identity
Use all of the core elements of your brand online and offline to make the most of your new brand identity.
It takes time to build your desired image in the minds of potential customers, so get right at it and use your brand personality in the following places.
Your Store and Website
If you’re running a brick-and-mortar store, use your brand colors in the store’s interior design and try to create a vibe unique to your brand.
In the case of an online store, display all of your products in a consistent way, for example, by shooting all of them in the same style. Use your colors and fonts in the store layout.
Regarding your website, display your values and purpose front and center. Your customers need to instantly know what you’re about and why they should care about your brand. Use your color palette and fonts, and decide on your brand voice.
Social media presence is a must if you’re looking to build your brand recognition. Style your social media profile page with your logo and colors, and use the same messaging and tone of voice as on your website.
Whether you decide to be more playful or go in a more serious direction with your brand personality, be consistent with everything you do.
Custom merch is excellent for brand development and spreading the word about your business.
You can design t-shirts, hoodies, socks, mugs, or water bottles, and offer them for sale or give them to your employees. Many brands sell merchandise, and this can help your business become a proper household name.
Selling custom merchandise is easier than ever. Print-on-demand platforms like Printify offer hundreds of customizable products and take care of the production and shipping of every item.
Check out Printify’s product catalog. Add your design to a product, and start selling right away.
Emails are a great chance to leave an impression on potential and current customers. Your design colors and brand voice can make your emails instantly recognizable. This also goes for subject lines and pre-headers because that’s the first thing your recipients see.
The most important thing is the actual content. If you tastefully combine it with brand images and visual designs, your customers will look forward to the next notification from your business.
Your Content and Promotional Materials
Any other content or promotional materials you create should also have your brand identity designs. Whether digital or printed materials, a good brand uses the same colors, typography, visuals, and tone of voice everywhere.
Be consistent, and your customers will recognize your brand no matter where and how it appears.
How do you make sure your brand’s identity shines through all the communication channels your company uses? How do you make sure there are no slip-ups? This is where a brand strategy and brand guidelines come in handy.
Create Guidelines For Your Brand Identity
Think brand guidelines are unnecessary if you’re just starting? Think again. Can you keep track of every visual aspect and brand nuance of your business without jotting them down?
As your business grows, you’ll most likely hire new people who will also need a clear overview of your brand. So go ahead and create your brand guidelines. They’ll be helpful for everyone – from designers and people in the marketing department to employees working in sales.
Here’s what to cover in your brand guidelines:
You can also come up with a brand style guide for written content. Describe the tone of voice of your brand and provide details on how to properly format every piece of text.
Give specific instructions for using your brand assets to ensure everyone maintains a unified brand experience.
How to Protect Your Brand Identity
After putting in a lot of effort to create a brand identity, it’s a good idea to protect your brand name, logo, and other assets. A trademark or copyright can help you with that.
Trademarks are used to protect the elements that form your brand identity, for example, the name of your company, unique phrases and slogans, and any other words and designs that distinguish your business from others.
When it comes to copyright, you can use it to protect one-of-a-kind elements of your brand that are more artistic, for example, artwork in the form of a logo.
Check our articles on trademarking your name and copyrighting your logo to see how to protect your brand identity.
Brand Identity FAQ
What's the difference between brand and branding?
A brand can be a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that distinguishes one company, product, or service from another. It is unique in nature and often dictates how people view a specific business.
Branding, on the other hand, is the process of forming a strong and positive perception of a business in the minds of the target audience.
What is brand identity?
A brand identity contains all of the unique features of a business that differentiates it from the competition.
This includes the brand logo and wordmarks, various visual assets (color scheme, typography, images, shapes, icons, illustrations), messaging, tone of voice, product packaging, etc.
How do you create brand identity guidelines?
Good brand identity guidelines provide a thorough and concise explanation of how to properly present your brand to the public. You can create the guidelines after you’ve established your brand identity or during the process.
Explain the mission and central values of the company, describe how and when to use the company logo, specify the brand color scheme and typography and how to apply them, and illustrate how to properly use any visual assets in brand communication.
How to protect your brand identity?
You can protect your brand identity with the help of a trademark or copyright.
A trademark can secure your company name, unique phrase or tagline, and other elements that form your brand identity. Copyright will help with protecting the more artistic features of a brand, like your logo.
Learn more about both in our articles on trademarking your name and copyrighting your logo.
Building a solid brand identity is one of the key factors for success in the business world. It helps attain new customers, retain existing ones, and accelerate your business development.
To come up with an effective brand identity design, develop a strong business name and a logo to match it, select the right color scheme, and establish a consistent overall visual identity.
Use your brand identity everywhere, including your store, website, and social media accounts. Create branded merchandise to let more people know about your business – Printify can help you with that.
Remember not to rush the process. The more attention you give to your brand identity, the better the results will be.
Make It Happen Today!
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