How to Create an Authentic Brand Identity Part 1

Thriving businesses have one thing in common: a strong and consistent brand identity. Just think of iconic brands like Nike, Starbucks, and Google - their long-lasting impression on the marketplace and worldwide recognition are living proof of the power of branding.

Accurately shaping your brand’s identity requires taking a few steps. It’s best to do this in the early stages of product or business development - before creating your own website or generating other assets like your logo and business cards. That being said, it’s never too late to make sure your business becomes an admired brand.

This article will brief you on the process of building brand identity at any stage. First, we'll clarify the term and explain why it's important. Then, we'll outline the steps you can take to pin down a brand identity of your own.

What is brand identity?

The foundation of successful branding depends on having a well-formed brand identity: the distinct voice and visual appearance of a particular brand used to communicate its mission with the rest of the world.

A brand identity encapsulates your business' vision by portraying it in a way that is understood - and most importantly, embraced - by audiences. Once you’ve thought about how you want people to perceive your brand, you’ll need to determine the elements that will turn it into a unique tour-de-force.

These include the things that make your brand look and sound a certain way, such as your choice of color palette or use of language.

Why is brand identity important?

Your brand is more than just a logo - it’s something that lives, breathes and evolves as your business grows. A well-developed brand identity will distinguish your business in the eyes of your audience. It will also establish a sense of understanding and reliability among your customers, forging a connection that leads to loyalty, engagement and long-term success.

Once you understand the persona of your brand, it will make growth easy, too. It's something you can always use as a consistent reference for your branding, marketing and content as your business continues to expand.

How to create your brand identity

Building a brand identity is an investment of time, creativity and effort. As you’ll see, it’s also a brilliant opportunity to secure all facets of your brand and decide how to share them with the world. Use this outline as a guide and starting point - and get ready to meet your brand.

  1. Shape your brand’s personality

  2. Design your brand's assets

  3. Create a brand style guide

  4. Build your brand’s presence

Shape your brand’s personality

Before you think about how you’ll represent your brand to the world, put yourself in your brand’s shoes. Just like you and I express ourselves by the way we dress, speak and act - your brand also expresses itself with unique features. Here's how to give your brand a personality that stands out:

Write your story

What inspired you to start your business? What do you want to achieve? What can you offer your community? Your brand’s story is the linchpin of building an authentic narrative that resonates with your audience. If you can answer these questions and communicate them with your customers, they’ll more likely to feel a connection to your product.

Define your core values

A strong set of values shapes the culture built around your business and proves that you care about more than just sales. Whether it’s a commitment to your customers’ success or a vow to sell high quality products, having an overarching sense of purpose gives integrity to your brand. Adorn your brand's assets with traits that embody these values and make sure all aspects of your branding are in sync.

Making a mission statement is a savvy way to paint a picture of your business for yourself, partners, employees and customers.

Distinguish your brand

Make sure you stand out from your competitors by doing market research. This is the best way to stay in-the-know and discover what works well in your market. Leverage this knowledge to take inspiration from your competitors while ensuring that you create something fresh and original. A good method for doing this strategically is by performing a SWOT analysis.

Know your audience

Getting acquainted with your audience is an important precursor to building your brand identity. Define your target market and decide who's the best audience for your brand. Look at how people respond to different forms of design and communication, and take note of what prompts engagement and user trust.

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