With millions of new businesses getting established each year, setting yours apart is crucial. Unfortunately, many business owners plan first to get their setup running and then later invest in building a brand. But while this approach may help you save up on your initial startup cost, it may come back to haunt you later.
Brand identity refers to a company’s visible and tangible elements that help consumers identify and distinguish it from other brands. The brand identity symbolizes what your business tries to convey to its consumers in many ways. Contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t just mean a logo but also includes the company colors, design, and slogans. It also represents the “values” of your brand and promotes recognition and awareness of the corporation. With a strong brand identity, potential customers perceive your product as higher quality. And this is what separates you from the rest of the competition in the market.
Since brand identity plays a vital role in how investors, clients, and consumers identify your business, you must put some thought into the process. While you can make a few minor upgrades as the company progresses, the main elements of your brand identity must remain the same. And so, to help you build a strong brand identity, here are six tips to best guide you.
1. Expand your knowledge
To know the correct elements of a strong brand identity, you must first understand the industry basics. While any rookie can launch a business, it takes someone with the proper knowledge and skillset to excel in the market. Therefore, to stay ahead, consider enrolling in online education programs to help you achieve this. For instance, an MBA degree can teach you all the business fundamentals like marketing, leadership, innovative thinking, and communication skills. And since these programs are available online, you can take classes at your own pace without putting your business on hold.
Besides helping expand your knowledge, these professional degrees also build on your skills, enabling you to progress as an entrepreneur, marketer, or data analyst.
2. Know what you want to represent
A buyer’s decision to purchase can be influenced simply by aligning their interests with yours. Since brand identity represents the core values and personality you want to showcase, you must first outline and define what these are.
Take time to determine which features and aspects set you apart from other businesses selling the same products. Often customers look for a long-term commitment and tend to stick to the same brand for several years. The best way to receive their loyalty is to give them the values that matter most.
When running a business, a company’s financial and perceived worth is at the forefront. But while financial worth may help decide a working capital, your perceived cost builds the roadmap for how well your brand progresses. Therefore, you must pay extra attention to how stakeholders identify your brand and whether it’s on par with how you want them to distinguish it.
3. Work on your visual identity
Your brand’s visual identity includes the logo, colors, fonts, and symbols. The elements of your visual identity must reflect the brand’s values and should each have significance for a stronger brand identity. It must remain consistent throughout all your marketing materials across whatever platform you display them on.
While picking a color may seem simple enough, you must do it right. For instance, food chains and restaurants often choose warm colors to evoke appetite and attract patrons. In contrast, fitness companies often use blue to signify health and cleanliness.
You can even pick out a combination of multiple colors if that better works with your brand identity. It often helps to pick a primary color most associated with your brand and a secondary color that complements your primary one.
4. Craft your brand voice
Besides the visual imagery, you must also pay close attention to how you craft your brand voice for a strong brand identity.
Brand voice is the personality your brand embodies across all communications, whether through advertisements, emails, social media, or even a salesperson. Like your visual identity, this must remain consistent across all platforms so your consumers can better associate it with your brand. Brand voices quickly gaining popularity include bold, poetic, direct, emotional, inspiring, and casual. Funny and relatable messages often receive the most incredible response from the audience. Even if they don’t buy from you, gaining them as “followers” online may connect you to a paying customer.
5. Identify your target audience
As much as you might get tempted to, you can’t appeal to the entire global population to buy your products. People have varying interests, hobbies, behaviors, and even financial budgets. While one individual may be willing to spend more on gadgets and technology, another might prefer to use it on clothes and apparel. And so, before you start building an identity, you must first identify who you want to market your products to. Conduct market research, do surveys, distribute samples, gather feedback, analyze your data, and see what you come up with.
Once you know your target audience’s demographics, interests, and behaviors, you can build a brand identity better tailored to appeal to them. This data will also help you create better marketing campaigns for a suitable customer base and improve your chances of selling products on a larger scale.
6. Be authentic
It’s vital that your brand identity only represents you. Nothing seems more off-putting to customers than when they come across companies trying to be something they’re not.
While drawing inspiration from well-established enterprises is okay, you must stay true to your values and image. You’ll likely gain more customers when you practice honest and transparent communications and deliver on your promises.
Although brand authenticity can have many facets, it mainly comes down to these four components: continuity, credibility, symbolism, and integrity. If your logo is the face of your company, staying authentic represents your business’s morality. Communicate with your clients as often as possible, and ensure they feel heard when you gather their feedback. At a time when misinformation can spread like wildfire and destroy companies within minutes, you must stay true to your word. Let your clients build trust in you and see how quickly your brand identity takes off.
Building a strong brand identity takes time, effort, and some investment. But if you want your business to reach the success it deserves, putting in the work is well worth it. Use these tips above to guide you and create an impactful brand identity that strongly resonates with your target audience.