Every business has a brand, but they do not necessarily have a brand identity. Having a strong brand identity is paramount for any business. It ensures that your brand is recognisable to your consumers; a brand identity is the culmination of your business’s customer-facing aspects. When your brand identity resonates with your consumers, they are far more likely to choose your business and, more importantly, become repeat customers. Simply put, every business should be working towards building a solid brand identity, and here’s how you can do it.
Brand Identities Explained
In the past, a business didn’t need to overthink about its brand identity. It could simply survive by fulfilling a niche and selling a quality product or service. This does not cut the mustard today. The market is incredibly segmented, and any given business can have hundreds, if not thousands, of competitors, sometimes more. This is where a brand identity comes into play. A business needs to be able to foster a relationship with its potential consumers and even other business contacts too. It is all about increasing visibility, developing brand awareness and increasing brand recognition.
This is why you, as a business, will need to work to develop and maintain a professional presence. A brand identity is not limited to the logo and slogan used by your business. It encompasses every single element of your business that can be perceived by potential consumers, repeat customers and other business contacts. A brand identity refers to anything that represents your brand; this means the logo, slogan, colour schemes, advertising materials, packaging and even how your office or headquarters looks. Essentially, everything about how your brand looks or communicates contributes to the business’s brand identity.
The first step towards building a brand identity is research. It would be best if you started by considering your business as it stands. Every business has a personality developed through its interactions with the public thus far; this includes its values, moral stance and history. You will then need to consider your target audience and, of course, the market. This provides you with an excellent starting point. In terms of your target audience, everything a business does is geared towards them. Taking your business in from their point of view, what do you think they will want to see from you? How will your brand be most effective in reaching and communicating with them? In addition to reaching your primary audience, it is worth considering your secondary and tertiary audiences.
Preparation is essential. Take the time to research properly. Looking into your business’s analytics can help provide you with better working knowledge. It would be best if you also thought about your competitors. Obviously, your brand identity will need a good enough job of helping you stand out. It needs to work towards differentiating your business and encourage consumers to choose you over your competitors. You can then use these stats to develop your brand identity and even other business approaches like developing your long-term goals and objectives. These analytics can also be used when partnering with consultants like 1ovmany, whose unique objective and key results approach uses measurable stats and analytics. For more information and OKRexamples by 1ovmany, you can check out their site.
Designing a Brand identity
After you have researched and thought about the necessary metrics you need to hit and the demographics you want to appeal to, it is time to start thinking about designing your brand identity. The information gleaned from your research needs to be translated into visual optics that will then begin to build your brand. Depending on the business size and the skill set of your staff, this can be done in-house or outsourced. Start with logos, slogans and colour schemes because these form the base of your brand identity.
Everything after this builds upon those three things, which should feature in any and all customer-facing elements. This, predominantly, will mean advertising materials. After you have a clear vision, it becomes about maintaining the brand across all fronts. The branding needs to remain consistent, or everything has been for nought. This isn’t to say that you are locked in, and a lot of businesses do decide to rebrand in the future to keep up with the times and the evolution of their business and its values, but until you already have a strong brand identity, you risk muddling the message.
A solid brand identity is vital in today’s market because it is saturated, and there are so many competitors that you risk being lost in the shuffle without a way to differentiate your brand. A business’s brand identity permeates all aspects of its interactions with the public and potential consumers. Developing a brand identity is about how well you know your consumers and what will appeal to them. Once you have decided how you want to identify your brand, you need to put effort into maintaining it.
Review Building Your Business’ Brand Identity: A Brief Guide.