How To Create A Brand Identity

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In business, branding is everything. To be seen and build a cult customer base, you have to create a brand identity. Here's how to do it.

Editorial credit: pattarawat / Shutterstock.

There’s just something about sensational branding. Think about it. When you see a logo and instantly think of the company. Or you’ll happily pay over the odds for a particular product. It’s all down to the hold a brand has over you. It’s magical.

And when you’re thinking about starting a side hustle or launching your own business, you want that. That special sauce that hooks your customers and keeps them coming back.

But is there a set recipe?

Sadly not. It’s something that you can only really achieve by being unique. After all, branding is all about you or your business.

But one thing’s for sure, it really helps if you can create a brand identity.  

What Is A Brand Identity?

The idea of branding as a whole can be quite complex. It doesn’t to involve just one set thing. But rather, a range of different (often sense-led) elements that make up the brand.

If you’ve ever worked on building up your own personal brand, you’ll of already had a taster of what that involves.

Essentially, it wraps your company values and mission, brand voice and messaging, and the visuals up in one pretty little package. And it’s the more visual and vocal side of things that are referred to as brand identity.

Think your logo, colour palette, typography, imagery, iconography, and web design, as well as your positioning, brand voice, and even the brand name itself.

When combined, each of these elements pulls together a very clear picture of your brand in the eyes of your consumer.

Designing A Brand Identity

So now you know exactly what it is, it’s time to create one. But where do you start? Is it as simple as picking a few colours, designing a logo and launching your brand?

In reality, it tends to be a little more detailed than that. When you start to create a brand identity, you want to begin by focusing on your brand strategy.

This is essentially your plan of action. It’ll outline what you want to achieve with your branding overall. Here, you’ll think about your brand values and mission, your message, tone of voice and even the brand personality.

Your brand identity also comes into play here, but starting to figure out the former will help you to choose the right visual and vocal elements to bring your brand to life.

Start With Your Audience

But before you do that, you need to focus on your audience. When you know exactly who you’re marketing to, it’s much easier for you to build a brand that would appeal to them.

Here you’re essentially working on your brand positioning. You’ll want to think about where your brand will sit in the mind of your audience and how to distinguish it from your competitors.

When you’ve worked out where you want to be, you can then focus on the elements that will bring the image together.

Pick The Perfect Name

What’s in a name? Well, everything really. Your brand name says so much without saying anything at all.

It can put an image in your customer’s mind as soon as they read or see it. So choose wisely.

Your brand name and even your tag line should represent your brand incredibly well. It doesn’t matter if you go with your name, something relevant to what you do, or even have a little fun.

The perfect name will sum up what you sell and make a statement about who you are.

Choose Your Brand Colours

Next comes the colour. When you think of some of the world’s most well-known brands, what do you picture?

The likes of Harrods, Louis Vuitton, and even Coca-Cola all conjure up a certain brand colour. And that’s the power of a distinct brand identity.

When it comes to choosing your colours, be smart. It’s okay to pick your go-to’s if they tie in with the brand image you’re looking to build. But don’t just opt for anything.

Certain colours will work best for different types of branding. Black can be quite luxurious and high end, whereas green tends to signify health and purity. So do your research here and pull together a palette of colours that complement both each other and your brand identity.

Then Your Typography

Very few things beat beautiful lettering. When you’re browsing through a brochure or scrolling online, striking typography can really catch your eye. And again, it really completes that overall brand identity you’re looking to build.

So what will yours be? It’s nice to be able to select a handful of fonts that sit well together. Design-wise, you’ll want contrast. Think a serif mixed with a sans serif, and maybe something cursive thrown in for fun.

Choosing your typeface can seem like a challenge, but focus on the look you want to put out. Google fonts can be a great place to start, but there are also custom-designed fonts you can browse online too.

Just keep your brand mission in mind and have fun with it.

Design Your Logo

And, of course, you can’t create a brand identity without a stunning logo!

This can be such an exciting part of the process. When you’re working on a logo, your brand starts to come to life. Ideally, it’ll signify exactly who you are and what you do. It ought to be instantly recognizable too.

Here, you have two main options to work with. You could think about designing something yourself with an app like Canva using your newly selected brand fonts and colours. Or, you could hire a designer to do it for you.

Keep Imagery On-Brand

At this stage, most of the key elements in your brand identity development have been ticked off. But that doesn’t mean that you’re all done.

Next, you need to make sure that any iconography or graphics you’re using are also on-brand. Everything you do and say should feel into your brand. So choose wisely.

It can help to predefine anything you’ll be using at this point. Say your brand icon is a bee, gather together a suitable bee SVG will mean you have something picked out and ready to use it.

And it doesn’t matter what it is – as long as it showcases exactly what your brand does. It could be a graduation cap SVG for a tutoring business or a spoon SVG if you’re a caterer.

But this is the beauty of using branded imagery as part of your brand identity. You’ll easily be able to showcase what you do with something as small and simple as an icon.

Stay Consistent

But above all else, as you start to create a brand identity, you have to be consistent.

As much as everything you choose to be part of your branding matters – each element will help to really pull the full look together – if you’re not consistent, it all goes out of the window.

Changing your fonts randomly or mixing in different colours may just confuse your audience. So if you really want to build up a stunning, memorable brand, choose your elements and set them in stone.

Have you built a brand identity for your business? How did you decide on the perfect branding? Share your tips with the SOCIÉTÉ community in the comments below.

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