Sharpen Your Brand Identity
Companies with successful brands stand out from their competitors. In the same way that you have a distinct identity, composed of your personal beliefs, interests, and experiences – your company has a brand that makes it unique.
Before you can craft your brand identity, it is important to know what your customers should expect from your company. Let’s start with your brand. While there are many definitions out there, a brand truly is a promise. Here are a few guiding questions to help you realize what it is your company promises:
- What makes your company different from its competitors?
- What are your company’s values?
- What does your company believe in?
- What is your company’s mission?
- What is your company’s personality?
If you want to delve deeper into brand, the book “Brand You” by John Purkiss provides exercises to facilitate brand discovery.
Brand v. Brand Identity
While your brand is your company’s promise, founded on its core values and mission, its brand identity is the culmination of all brand tools that illustrate that promise and portray a positive image to its customers. These elements include but are not limited to:
- Business cards
- Product packaging
- Social media posts
Designing your Brand Identity and Sticking with It!
The elements of design you choose to use throughout your website, logo, photographs, etc. can make or break your brand identity. It is important to be consistent with your design across platforms so if you choose from the following elements in one place on the web, those design choices should match elsewhere. Elements of design include:
How do you make the right design decisions that will effectively illustrate your brand? Let’s break down the above elements of design, as there are a variety of emotional responses they can evoke from customers. Consider what sort of response you want your customers to have to inform your design choices.
Red is high energy, it evokes excitement, passion and strength.
Orange also evokes excitement, while being little more youthful and playful than red.
Yellow represents happiness and fun, making people think of the sun.
Green works for just about anything and can be used effectively in many contexts. It is an excellent choice in the context of the outdoors or money.
Blue is a trustworthy color that is sure to get your customers on your side.
Purple the color of luxury and royalty, excellent for branding a high-end product.
Pink is feminine and soft, typically used with products/services that appeal to women.
Brown is not a color used too often in branding but could make you stand out from your competitors.
Black is a good design choice for branding a sleek, modern product.
To decide on a consistent color scheme that you can use throughout your marketing tools go to https://coolors.co/app
Deciding on the shape and lines of your promotion tools is another element of design that should be well thought out. Employing soft v. sharp edges, or circles compared to squares may elicit different responses from your customers.
Circles, ovals, etc. are said to communicate a warmer, softer brand that represents unity.
Squares, triangles and shapes with straight edges often represent strength and permanence.
A lot can be said about your brand in the typography you use. For example, script typography can illustrate a free, playful brand while a bold font with serifs might indicate a long-standing institution. Experiment with san-serif fonts if you are trying to illustrate a modern brand.
Photography and graphics are not only a crucial way to express your brand on your website, but also on Instagram. Companies that become certified by Instagram and have hundreds of thousands of followers, tend to keep their Instagram feeds consistent. If we look at the clothing company Free People, they have excellent photography across both their platforms:
Your Brand Will Position You
Sharpening your brand identity is a necessary step in positioning your company in a mass of competitors. With a clear understanding of what your company stands for and what your customers should expect, you can design an effective identity that conveys your brand and lands with your customers every time.