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Brand identity sets you apart from other companies.
Just like your own personal identity, brand identity informs your customers about everything that goes on with regard to your business. Without a strong brand identity, your business simply melts into the backdrop with the thousands of others floating around on the web.
If you’re a business owner just starting to build your brand’s identity, look no further. Filled with tips and tricks for a smooth brand building road, this article acts as a guide to help you create your brand identity.
Month 1 – Audience Analysis
As you begin, it’s very important to understand exactly who your audience is. To start, determine what your target customer looks like. This will help you design and market with more accuracy further down the road.
You would not market a product meant for a teen in the way you would market a product meant for a senior citizen right? Understanding exactly who your audience is will seriously help you in keeping your marketing efforts relevant.
In this first month, you should also take time to establish what the mission of your company is. Your mission can also help you zone in on your brand identity. If your brand is supposed to be fun and attractive to party people, you may consider bright, eye-catching packaging. On the other hand, a brand with products meant to relieve stress should evoke a more zen feel.
Month 2 – Branding and Design
The words ‘brand’ and ‘logo’ are often used interchangeably and it is understandable why. Your logo is what customers often see first when learning about your business or products and the overall design of your logo, website, and advertisements will help inform your brand identity. In your second month of brand identity building, consider your design.
The best designs are carefully thought out and balanced. Some brands have pulled this off well, creating designs that stick in the minds. Take for example: Coca-Cola, Nike, Gucci, Ford, McDonalds and so on. These companies feature logos and consistent color schemes that people notice instantly and have trouble forgetting. This second month is the time for you to start creating a steadfast scheme that will help tie all elements of your brand together.
Consistency is key. Though your first efforts will likely be assigned to creating a new logo, the next steps should be redesigning your website, changing business cards and renewing advertising content so that it matches your redesign. Maintaining consistency of typeface, color schemes and shapes/forms will help your customers recognize you more readily as you will command a strong brand identity. Here, you should also examine how products are packaged and see where there may be room to make packaging more in line with your branding efforts.
Month 3 – Avoid Mixed Messages
As you settle into the brand identity routine, it may be tempting to diversify. Though expanding your marketing efforts can be a good thing, be sure to avoid expanding beyond the brand identity you have already established. Your goal with a strong brand identity is to help keep your brand relevant in the minds of consumers, make your brand readily recognizable and build your business. Conflicting messages can cause your customers confusion and eventually lead to you losing customers and brand authority rather than gaining.
Be original. Some companies make the mistake of copying their competitors far too closely. It makes sense because you are both marketing the same products, but copying your competition’s brand identity or marketing tactics will only serve to hurt your brand. Plagiarism and inauthentic branding tend to be big red flags for consumers and other businesses in any industry.
Even though a competitor may have found a tactic that really works, you should never try to copy it. Your unique brand identity and the way in which you establish it will help set you apart far better than any other company’s ideas could.
Stay on top of identity. After you have established your brand identity, it can be very tempting to start letting it slide and making exceptions. One of the things that have helped major corporations like Coca-Cola to remain at the forefront of their industry is the maintenance of brand identity. Rather than deviating from the standard they had set or trying to implement something new, brands like Coke have continuously upheld their unique brand identity and achieved major success.
As you move beyond the first three months of creating your brand identity, be sure to maintain focus and not to stray from your plan.
If you’d like to find out more on how you can strengthen your brand’s identity, I’d love to hear from you!