Updated: Jul 31, 2019
Nike’s Swoosh, Facebook’s blue, the idea that “America runs on Dunkin’” – when you encounter these visuals you immediately associate them with a specific company and with its products. This direct link that takes place in your mind is living proof of the power of branding. These companies created an identity, and it works just as they intended. You can recognize it just like you would recognize a friend or a relative.
In this article, we’ll teach you how to create a brand identity that will have a real impact on your audience. We’ll show you how to integrate the concept of brand identity into your business routine and how to stay mindful of it when you author texts, use social media or create a website. Here are the steps to defining your brand identity and making it a reality.
What is brand identity
#Brand identity is a fundamental part of a business’ path to success. It encapsulates the brand’s goals, visions and values, as well as its intended audiences and their own perceived identities. Like people who signify their identity through the clothes they wear, the music they listen to and the friends they hang out with, brands express their identity by looking, sounding and behaving in certain ways.
How to define your brand identity
There are practical steps involved in the process of building a brand identity, but before you get to the the nitty-gritty parts, you need to do some conceptual work. The purpose of the following tasks is to help you define your brand inside out. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to build a stronger brand with a clear and consistent identity.
Find your brand’s voice: When we talk about “voice,” we mean the personality that your brand represents. Finding the right voice for your brand is a challenging mission that requires some analysis. Here’s a helpful game that will put you on the right track:
Try to imagine an ideal conversation with a customer, a dialogue in which everything works out just as you planned and the customer is falling in love with your brand. What is it about this conversation that is so successful? What are the emotions that you were able to evoke when engaging with that customer? What is the vocabulary that made it happen? Now take it one step further – imagine the conversation that your customer has with their own friends afterwards and how they endorse your brand to them. How do you want people to talk about you? Working through these questions will help you understand what tone, attitude and mood you want to display in your branding. Find out how we applied these very guidelines to define Wix’s brand voice here.
Define your core values: If you want your branding efforts to succeed, you need to commit your business to goals other than making a profit. Not that there’s anything wrong with money! After all, that’s everyone’s end game. But brands develop a real connection with their audiences when they are able to prove that they believe in something bigger.
Highlight the added value that people get from your brand. Perhaps your business empowers them to dress their best and become more confident? Or are they supporting the environment by choosing your sustainable products? Maybe your services can guide them towards relaxation and mindfulness? Or an evening at your restaurant offers the opportunity to enjoy time with family and friends? Make a list of these core values that your brand can promote and think about how to connect them to your brand’s voice.
How to create your brand identity
With the preparation research completed, the next step is to translate the theoretical conclusions into practical actions. This can be done through a number of ways:
No guide on how to create a brand is complete without an emphasis on design.
The look and feel of your website are a key component of the brand identity, and you should pay special attention to the visual dimension by following these steps:
Understand what design genre fits best: Let’s continue thinking of your brand as a person. Previously, you defined their personality, tone of voice and what they believe in. Now, it’s time to focus on their fashion sense. Is your brand trying to present a professional, sleek look? Maybe a retro style? Would you describe it more as a classy or a sporty dresser? Would it work best with a minimalist look or a vibrant one? The answer, of course, has nothing to do with your own wardrobe preferences. It’s about the visual expression your brand identity.
Pen the perfect tagline: If you had to describe your brand in just a few words, what would you come up with? A tagline is just that – a (very) brief statement about your company and what it offers. In addition to being short, the tagline also needs to be catchy and alluring. It’s meant to attract people to further interact with your brand. The tricky part is coming up with a tagline that is both simple (you don’t want to confuse anyone with it), and intriguing. One of our favorite examples is Disneyland’s “The Happiest Place on Earth.”
Write your brand’s narrative: Remember the part in which you developed your brand’s story and vision? You’re about to take it one step further. The physical act of putting it in writing will help you sharpen and refine your storytelling. Because it’s not enough to have a compelling narrative. You need to be able to share it in a captivating way that engages customers and potential audiences. We recommend that you write a short version (one paragraph long) and an extended one (three to five paragraphs). You’ll need to have both available for different platforms and different marketing purposes
Create a blog: Writing a #blog can really amplify branding and brand identity building. Blogs give you more creative freedom than most marketing tools. You can use a more personal tone of voice and show a lot of the “behind-the-scenes” activity of your business. In other words, it’s a powerful method for communicating your brand identity to followers.