Let’s start with Seth Godin’s definition of a brand:
A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer.
Read that again. Set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships.
The brand identity used to be a logo, a memorandum, and a poster.
Today, it’s a holistic approach to communication with your audience, and affecting the way they perceive you.
Are you ready to make a memorable impression on your target audience? It’s time you made informed decisions when it comes to your identity design.
Consistent Visual Style
The elements of your visuals are the logo, the colors, and the fonts, but the entire style goes beyond that.
These elements themselves need to be part of a bigger picture told through your visual style.
A good example would be if the marketing team decided on a brand identity that is supposed to portray a romantic image with your target audience. This romantic style needs to be applied to all your visual elements. The overall brand identity needs to be uniform at all times.
Avoiding branding mistakes calls for visual style guides that help a brand stick to their original thought. A unison approach to handling your voice and style is a vital deliverable and helps maintain consistency.
Narrow Down Your Target Audience
You know it already – you can’t win ‘em all. And you don’t have to.
More importantly, pin down the demographics you think will bring you the best conversion rates and hone in on the approach to get them converting.
Your identity design can only revolve around a limited number of different buyer personas, so make sure to create them carefully. Don’t be scared to spend most of your time when dealing with your identity design on this step.
Any essential creative phase requires time, and a good customer avatar will help you have a good ROI and not disperse your (mostly) limited marketing budget.
Brand Identity As A Person
Still, this person should not only be some random person, but rather an acquaintance or – even better – a friend of your target audience.
You should be someone they go to for advice, where they seek for more knowledge and, ultimately, explore how to improve their business or well-being with your product or service.
An example could be the Hubspot’s case. Their blog is one of the most favorite resources for sales agents, marketers, and digital agencies across the globe.
Many professionals are accustomed to reaching out to their blog post for regular advice on all things sales and marketing. To their target audience, Hubspot is a reliable partner, who offers them certifications (that prove their expertise to their clients!) and a problem-solver – with their content and their top-notch CRM.
Stuck At Logo Design?
The logo is important, but it’s not the determining factor of your overall identity design.
The way we see it is – it’s a great nice-to-have; that’s all. It does not carry any intrinsic meaning by itself.
The logo is more a part of an integrative brand design strategy, and as such will become something your audience associates with you as your brand grows. This association will help them also transfer all the emotions and perceptions about you onto your logo.
All that said make sure to keep your logo simple, that it voices your brand well and follows the color palette you chose for your brand.
Does Your Team Understand Your Identity Design?
This part is not about the actual size of your team. You can be a solopreneur, for all that matter, who only employs freelancers to outsource some of the tasks, every person who works on your project should understand the very basics of your identity.
If you are outsourcing your blog writing, for example, make sure to cover your identity design with your content writers. They need to read your brand guidelines, so they can fully understand how you want to approach the dialog with your audience.
However, in case you have a whole team under you, it’s important that everybody understands the voice and visual that will convey every message. Be it your social media manager, who needs to craft posts in a particular voice and design pattern or your customer support reps who need to talk to your existing clients; you need to have the talk with them.
Designing a brand identity is a process that will require time and investment. It may not be your first project upon starting a business. But as time goes by, your identity will move up the priority ladder.
In case you have found your ripe business plan in need of a brand identity design, make sure to check out our services page. We bring new brands to life & breathe new life into existing ones.