Creating a brand identity – where to start

28 June 2020

When first considering your brand identity you may have quite a few strong ideas of examples you’ve seen from other businesses that you really like. It’s important to remember that your brand identity is going to be with you for a while. Many companies avoid rebranding as a well developed brand will have gained customer loyalty and trust and a rebrand can be risky.

If you are developing your brand for the first time, or you are looking to rebrand, follow our top tips for creating your brand identity.

What is your brand’s personality?

It seems a strange question, but the personality of your brand will very much drive the direction that your brand identity takes.

Questions that you may wish to ask yourself include:

  • What’s your brand’s mission?
  • What problems does your brand solve for your customers?
  • What does your product or service look like? How is it packaged up? Think about key customer touch points such as shopping online, shopping in store, staff uniforms.

Who are your customers

Your customers are the people that you have to gain brand loyalty from so it is important to think from their perspective when designing your brand identity.

Questions that you may wish to use:

  • Who are your target customers? What do they like?
  • Where and how do your current customers access your brand, or where will they access it in the future?
  • What feeling does your product give to the customer?
  • It’s important to also consider that you may have more than one key demographic. If you have a target demographic you may also want to consider them at this point.

What ideas can you take from your competitors?

Your branding should always be well aligned with your mission and company’s identity however it is always good to do a little market research on your competitors and find out what they are doing well and where you could do it better or differently.

Questions to consider:

  • How do my biggest competitors brand their product or service?
  • Why does it work for them?

Gather your ideas together

After examining your branding direction, your customers, and your competitors, it is an ideal time to start thinking about your ideas and those of other relevant staff. Getting together and throwing every possible suggestion into the mix is a great way to try and cover every possible branding solution.

After you’ve got all your ideas together it’s a great time to start putting a first draft of your brand identity together. When considering brand identity, and in particular your logo, start thinking about everywhere that the logo will have to be placed. From business stationery printing to promotional printing your logo will have to work in several settings.

If you are struggling with your graphic design it is worth speaking to an experienced graphic designer who will be able to advise you on best practice.

How to make your ideas into something concrete?

When you have your first draft of your brand identity you may want to start developing a style guide that can be used internally or by anyone else representing your brand, for example, printers or advertising agencies.

To produce a thorough style guide you will need to consider the colours, typography, and voice that your brand will use. Again a graphic design company will be able to advise on colours and typography and format should you find the process overwhelming. Your style guide should also include what versions of your logo should be used on what document. For example you may use a square logo for your promotional purposes, but a rectangular version of your logo for your business stationery.

Finalising your brand identity

When you are happy with your brand identity, logos, and style guide you can start putting your branding into action. Think about all the ways in which you will use new branding from uniforms, to in store, to vehicle wraps, there are many places where branding may have to be added or replaced.

It is important to ensure that you make as cleaner change as possible if you are rebranding to make sure that you do not confuse the customer. If suitable you may want to hard launch your rebrand with a press release or announcement on your website.

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