How to Develop a Unique and Memorable Brand Identity

With millions of businesses trying to make a name for themselves, having a strong brand identity has become crucial for businesses to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

To develop your brand identity, it's important to first understand what a brand is and what it takes to create one. Unfortunately, it's not as easy as giving the business a name and plastering it on everything. Many people think that brand identity is about your company logo, your color palette, your infographic style…They are true but not the entirety of a brand. In fact, creating a logo is just one small step toward developing a strong brand identity.

What Is A Brand Identity?

A brand identity is how a company presents itself to the world. It refers to all the elements that you might use to convey the essence of your business to your customers, including your messaging, logo, website landing pages, signage, and product packaging, and the colors, fonts, shapes, and language that appear on them.

Ultimately, a brand identity is a way to communicate with the world, differentiate yourself from your competition, and create a brand experience that encourages people to engage with you. Your brand identity is what makes you instantly recognizable to your customers.

What Does a Brand Identity Include?

As mentioned above, a logo and a color palette alone do not make a brand identity. When designing your identity, you need to create a comprehensive visual language that can be applied to everything from your website to your packaging. Depending on your business types and purposes, the needs may be more expansive, but a basic brand identity includes:

  • Logo

  • Colors

  • Typography

  • Design System

  • Photography

  • Illustration

  • Iconography

  • Data visualization

  • Interactive elements

  • Video and motion

  • Web design

Why You Need To Create A Brand Identity To Grow

A clearly defined brand identity will guide you in making a variety of important decisions that create a consistent company experience for customers, employees and key stakeholders. Good visual brand design provides you with these 5 competitive advantages.

Without AGood Brand Identity, You’ll Never Be Recognized

Your business’ logos and colors will help to make your brand highly recognizable. As soon as someone sees your color palette together with your logo, they’ll instantly realize that they’re looking at you and your company.

Brand Recognition Builds Trust. So, the more people see you and recognize you, the sooner you can build trust in your brand. 

Brand Identity Builds Loyalty and Trust

In order to differentiate yourself from the competition, your brand needs to have something unique. A strong brand identity can really help you build up a good relationship with your customers. If they feel that they share the same values as you, they will be attracted to your business and will feel comfortable purchasing from you over your competitors.

Once you keep this connection alive, a long-term relationship will develop and ultimately lead to customer loyalty and higher lifetime value. 

Strong Branding Filters Out Bad Leads

A strong brand identity will help to filter leads on your behalf. The reality is you don't want to do business with everyone; you want to do business with the people who are most aligned with your core values. The reason being? Those individuals will be your best customers.

A thoughtfully curated brand identity will simultaneously attract Susan and detract Mike, thus making it easier for you to close sales and develop long-term customer relationships.

Brand Identity Supports Product Launches

No matter your vertical, opportunities to introduce new products and services to the marketplace will always exist. Listening to customers, anticipating their wants and creating innovative solutions is good business. Businesses with established strong brands, and loyal customer followings will have advantage in this case. It's easier and less expensive to introduce beta products to customers who already trust you, than to convince strangers to try something different. Consistent inbound marketing coupled with strong brand identity work together to create enthusiastic followings who want to hear from you.

Shows commitment and personal pride

Investing in a unique brand identity shows that you take pride in your business and are committed to success. Customers will believe you are more likely to deliver on your promises to them because a business that invests in its success will under promise and over deliver, creating more brand loyalty and trust with every customer interaction.

Makes your company look bigger

When prospects see a professional brand consistently used on your business cards, website or social media profiles, they get the image of a company that deserves their business. Prospects look for a company that has the resources to help them succeed. They will also expect to pay more for a more established company. If you don’t project a strong brand identity in any way, they will think you are small and not worthy of their business or the fees that you feel you deserve.

Creates an identity that is bigger than you

Many independent professionals that offer consulting or coaching services end up building a brand around themselves rather than the business. If your goal is to become a public figure, that may be fine. But if you want to separate the business from you for future growth or sale, develop a brand for the company. A unique brand will be one of the assets that come into play during the sale or acquisition.

The Keys to a Strong Brand Identity 

Every company has a story to tell. To tell a story and make themselves known, a company first needs to develop its own identity. Cultural identity, also called ‘corporate culture’ is the first step. It governs the positioning, operation and strategies of the organisation and influences decisions. The second step is the visual identity. It adds more depth and gives people something to remember the company by. 

Cultural identity

What is it that your company has that no other competitor does? Your company culture. Cultural identity is telling people who your business is and what it stands for. It encompasses your business core values and goals.

Every company and organization is made up of vastly different people who interact and work together differently; and just like individual people, there are no two cultures or company identities that are alike.

The employees, products, branding, customer expectations, and the experiences customers have had with a company or their product(s) all make up who they are and how they are perceived. After all, customer perception can be the key to everything.

There is no general formula for building the perfect company culture. It depends on your brand’s identity, business strategy, and the ideal behaviors that you want to see your employees demonstrate. However, the following are the basic five key elements we suggest to cultivate a successful company culture:

Define Your Values: Values are the guiding principles of your company. Every company should have a unique set of core values that support its purpose, mission, and vision. Values should be honest, authentic, and able to stand the test of time. Employees should be able to live out the company values every day and consider them in every business decision. When employees can easily follow through on the company values with action, they become much more meaningful.

Hire and Retain the Right People: A great company culture starts with your workforce. Remember, your employees are the face of your company, representing your company’s values. So, remember to invest time and effort to ensure each person aligns with your culture will be key to the success of your organization and will pay off in the long run. Always hire for culture-fit first and skill-set second. While relevant experience is important, skills can always be developed, culture cannot.

Empower Employees: In order to build a great culture, employees need to feel empowered and trusted. Give employees clear guidelines, but then give them the freedom to execute and make smart decisions on their own. When employees feel empowered, they stop seeing their job as just a series of tasks, but as an essential function within the organization that has a deeper purpose towards achieving an end goal. Inspire them to go above and beyond what is expected by giving them ownership of what they’re doing.

Commit to Open Communication: Building a sustainable company culture requires transparent and honest communication. If employees don’t understand the reasoning behind the company’s decisions or are being blindsided with unexpected news, they will begin to lose trust in leadership. Employees want to see and understand the big picture of their company. Transparency builds trusting relationships where employees are more comfortable speaking up and expressing new ideas. 

Allow Your Culture to Evolve: Culture should not be implemented with an expectation that it will stay exactly the same forever. It will need your attention and nourishment as it evolves over time. While it is important to maintain your core values, understand that your company is going to grow and change over time, and the culture will have to adapt accordingly.

Most companies start with a business plan and a few physical assets, but the culture is what will continue to drive the success of your business forward. Lay a solid foundation for success by investing in happy, hardworking employees who define the company culture by truly caring about its future.

Visual identity

To function properly, a company must develop its own identity, based on a unique design and well-defined graphics including the company name, logo, font, color and signature style...All of these components make up the ‘visual identity' which is essentially the story of a company and the values ​​that it wishes to convey.

A key element of the visual identity is the logo. It allows an organization to not only be recognized, but remembered. The creation of a logo is not something to be taken lightly, and it is always a good idea to meet with professional designers. Specialists in communication and design identify your needs, tastes and personality and bring them together to build a powerful logo. An integral part of visual identity, it gives you the opportunity to differentiate yourself from competitors.

Today, a company no longer builds its reputation solely on products or services. The image that it conveys is also seen to be a measure of its success. In order to have an unique and memorable image, your visual identity must fulfill three essential functions:

  • Recognizable: the tip is to keep it simple and clear

  • It gives your business personality

  • It stands out from competitors

If your visual identity is handled well, it could bring many benefits to your organization, including:

  • Awareness: the more people recognize your brand, the more your business will grow.

  • Positioning: A brand identity helps you to differentiate your business from the competition and appropriately position your brand. Developing a professional, creative identity design can help you to stand out to potential customers in your market.

  • A bond: from the customer’s point of view, a strong identity creates a sense of belonging and reliability.

  • Staying power: Control over your identity will allow you to respond quickly and effectively to changes, thus ensuring the immortality of your organization.

  • Savings: a well-designed early identity will save you lots of money. No need to constantly reinvent graphics, your identity is well-established and solid.

How do you create a successful brand?

The face of who you are as a company takes into consideration numerous factors. Your logo for one is a huge part of it. The logos are distinctive and as such, you immediately connect that image with the business. Beyond the logo, there are also other components of organizations’ brand identities. From reputation to the culture you promote, these are part of what makes up the “face” of the business.

So, let’s find out the main steps towards building a unique and memorable brand identity.

Establish Your Brand Personality

This is one of the most important steps when it comes to brand identity development. Before you know what tangible elements you want to make up your brand identity, you need to know who you are as a brand. If you don’t know what your own company stands for, how will potential customers know?Who you are as a brand is made up of a few key elements:

Your mission: It is a statement defining what line of business a company is in, and why it exists or what purpose it serves. Every company should have a precise statement of purpose that gets people excited about what the company does and motivates them to become part of the organization.

Your values: Company values are the core values or standards that guide the way you do business. They sum up what your business stands for, influences the organisational culture and drives how and why you do things. While business plans and strategies may change, the core values of your business will usually remain the same

Your brand personality: Brand personality is a framework that helps a company or organization shape the way people feel about its product, service, or mission. A company's brand personality elicits an emotional response in a specific consumer segment, with the intention of inciting positive actions that benefit the firm.

Your unique positioning: A unique positioning statement is a declaration of a brand's unique place in the market. It defines a brand's unique selling propositions of their products and services.

Your brand voice:  The brand voice is the tone in which you speak to your audience. More than just the words and phrases you use, your voice is how you "speak" to your customers. It's part of your corporate personality. Knowing your company's character or personality is key to defining your corporate voice.

These elements are what define your brand, and before you start building your brand identity, it’s important you have a clear understanding of each.

If you’re having trouble figuring out who exactly you are, ask yourself those questions:

  • Why did you start this business?

  • What are beliefs and values that are important to your company?

  • What do you do better than anyone else?

  • What makes you special?

  • If you could describe your brand in three words, what would they be?

  • What are the three words you would want your customers to use to describe your company?

After you define your brand personality, nail it down and then ensure all relevant materials align with this personality type. Your brand can’t be everything to everyone. It’s important to find your focus and let that inform all the other parts of your brand as you build it.

Doing some research can help in this case. 

Define Your Audience 

Before you start making any decisions about your brand, you need to understand the current market, for example: who your potential customers and current competitors are? Why should people care about your product? Doing some research can help in this case. From surveys to phone calls…One of the best ways to get to know your audience is to reach out to them. 

  • Google your product or service category and analyze the direct and indirect competitors that come up.

  • Check subreddits that relate to your customers and eavesdrop on their conversations and product recommendations.

  • Talk to people who are part of your target market and ask them what brands they buy from in your space.

  • Look at the relevant social media accounts or pages your target audience follows and are receptive to.

  • Go shopping online or offline and get a feel for how your customers would browse and buy products.

While you are doing your researches, make a note of:

  • Who are the ones that you could most easily sell your products or services to?

  • Who are your direct and indirect competitors that come to mind which are established and known in the market? 

  • How your customers speak and what they have talked about recently?

It’s important to have a handle on this before moving forward, as it will inform what your brand should focus on and how it can position itself apart from competitors. That means everything part of your brand identity - from the colors you choose, to logo design, to messaging -  needs to be relevant to your central audience. 

Design a Great Logo

The importance of a good logo can’t be understated. Your logo is a huge part of your brand identity. All your branding materials will have your logo on them. It will also give your customers information about your brand. Because your logo is such an essential part of your brand, you have to make sure it’s done well.

Avoid overly complex logos that only serve to confuse consumers. In developing a logo, keep in mind that it should walk the line between being memorable and evoking emotion. Again, think of some of the more familiar logos you know—how do they evoke emotion? What types of emotions do they trigger? Think about such things as you work on designing your logo. If it becomes too complicated it is harder for consumers to relate to. 

Also think about display options. In other words, how will that logo be used? How will it look on your website, in an app, on any marketing materials, business cards, etc? This is also why simpler tends to be a good route to go.

Choose Your Color Palette Wisely

Hand in hand with logo design is the color palette you choose to go with. Color is another element that evokes emotion, it is why you need to choose carefully. 

Colors don’t just define the look of your brand, they also convey the feeling you want to communicate and help you make it consistent across everything you do. You'll want to choose colors that differentiate you from direct competitors to avoid confusing consumers.

Color psychology isn’t an exact science, but it does help to inform the choices you make, especially when it comes to the color you pick for your logo. Many studies have been done linking certain colors to the emotions they elicit. Red tends to inspire a more emphatic passionate response. Blue shades are often very calming. Green may be associated with dependability and reliability. This is why knowing your brand personality is helpful. The colors should logically connect.  

Choose a Typography That Speaks to Your Audience

Same logo and color concept, the typography you use in all marketing materials is very important. The style of writing you choose says a lot about the company and what it stands for. The tip here is to keep it simple. Pick two fonts at most to avoid confusing visitors: one for headings and one for body text (this doesn’t include the font you might use in your logo).

But there’s nothing that says you have to stick with a single font or font style throughout. Contrasting various styles could lend an interesting vibe to your brand. Just make sure that whatever you bring together in terms of typography makes sense. Whether they are fonts for your logos or your website.

Use Templates that Promote Your Brand

To promote your business, you obviously need to send out emails. Think about having brochures that on occasion are distributed. You might want to have a set series of templates and this way maintain that consistency in terms of your brand across all relevant collateral. If you think about it, when people open an email and see a uniform design, such that they’ve received before, they instantly connect this to you. Use a template to make life easier on you and to promote a more cohesive brand identity. 

You need to account for every little detail of that template. Overlooking on components can signal to audiences that something is slightly off. Even the email signatures, for instance, should be consistent across the board. Using email signature marketing as a part of your email strategy not only makes your emails look more unique and branded but also increases your CTR.

Focus on The Language Behind Your Brand

Messaging is what helps to build brands. Knowing what your brand’s personality is can help you to determine the tone and style of language that you should be using.

A catchy slogan is a nice-to-have asset—something brief and descriptive you can use as a tagline in your social media bios, website header, custom business cards, and anywhere else where you’ve got very few words to make a big impact.

Keep in mind that you can always change your slogan as you find new angles for marketing.  Remember that a good slogan is short, catchy, and makes a strong impression. 

Evolve your brand as you grow

Building a brand doesn’t stop with creating a logo or slogan, or even with your brand launch. Your brand needs to exist and remain consistent wherever your customers interact with you, from the theme you choose for your website, the marketing materials you produce, all the way to how you package and ship your products.

You need to shape and evolve your brand as you expose more customers to it and learn more about who your customers are and how to speak to them.

Although slight changes are likely down the road in order to stay prevalent in ever changing industries, you’re on the right path to a successful brand if you’re staying consistent, not only with design but with who your company is as a brand.

Conclusion

Do you think your business has a strong brand identity? 

Designing a successful brand identity takes a lot of work and collaboration. Simply understanding the difference between a brand, brand identity, and branding, will help your company succeed in a world of visuals.

Brand: How people and consumers perceive your business.

Brand Identity: Tangible elements that aim to be recognizable, differentiated, and accessible. All these items come together to form a brand image.

Branding: A process used to build awareness, attract new customers, and extend customer loyalty.

When your company has a strong brand identity, it will usually be the first thing that comes to mind when a customer is making a decision to make a purchase. Designing a brand identity seems like a daunting process, but breaking up each part into easily attainable sections will make it that much more efficient. 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or don’t have the resources to take on the project yourself, consider bringing in some expert help. 

We know that every business is unique. So our mission is to find the right words and your true colours to make up the company story. Do not hesitate to contact us for advice.

 

Ms. Flora Nguyen

Email: flora@cmsmart.net 
Skype: live:hoa.nt_18
WhatsApp: +84 354 816 268