Today’s consumer market is fast paced and already saturated with well-known, beloved brands. In order to compete in this ever-changing, ever updating environment, having a unique and memorable brand identity is a must.
What Is Brand Identity & Why You Need It
Brand Identity covers all the components that visually represent you. From the color schemes you choose, to logos, typography, packaging and signage, in order to have a cohesive brand identity you need to have a cohesive visual message to your consumers.
You use brand identity to connect with your consumers on a human level, allowing them to associate with your company the qualities and emotions that you choose to put forth. Ask yourself what type of company you want to be in order to begin structuring your identity around that characteristic. Do you want a playful, lighthearted business personality? Do you want to focus on strict professionalism? Knowing how you want your brand to be perceived is the first step, and the identity allows you to carry that message to your customers when done well.
What Elements Make It Up
Now we gather up the individual elements of a brand identity and explore how they contribute to your overall image, and how they work together to create the emotional connection that you want your customers to associate with you.
First, you should have Vision and Mission Statements. These statements should be simple and straightforward, starting with what your vision is for your company, in a single sentence. The vision statement communicates what your aspirations for your company are and the Mission statement should cover how you intend to accomplish your vision.
Next, you need a Logo and to decide on your colors. The logo is important, not in and of itself, but because it gives the customers something simple and memorable to associate your products with. Think of famous brands such as Nike, Target or WordPress. Did the Nike “Swoosh”, the Target bull’s-eye or the WordPress ‘W’ come to mind? Did you remember that the Target bull’s-eye is red or that the WordPress ‘W’ is blue? Colors are powerful visual advertisements, helping to invoke specific psychological associations. Choosing the right colors for your logo and your brand identity will help people subconsciously associate your products with different emotional profiles.
After you’ve decided on the logo and your brand colors you need to think about accessories. While your brand identity needs to be cohesive and dependable to keep from confusing your customers, it also needs to have enough flexible elements to make it accessible for publications without disrupting surrounding media. You can work in elements that you like for your brand, that aren’t directly utilized for your logo, and complementary colors to those of your brand can be added in to create an overall language that you want to use to communicate with the business world.
Mistakes To Avoid
Now that you understand the basic elements that contribute to your brand identity, let’s look at some of the mistakes businesses make when addressing this topic.
The foremost mistake you can make when looking at developing your brand identity is not understanding just how powerful it can be. Successful branding doesn’t just give your customers something to associate with your products, but gives society as a whole a measure of how serious you should be taken, whether in the fashion industry or electronics.
The second mistake is being too vague. Brand identity is all about focus and the message you wish to convey. If you aren’t confident in your brand or the look you choose, your image may be vague and indistinct when presented to the public. Remember that flashy, claim to fame titles don’t actually tell your customers anything about the products you are trying to sell.
Hand in hand with falling into the trap of being vague in your branding is being too flexible in the guidelines for how your brand will be displayed. Creating a set of guidelines for your brand identity is essential to making sure other people, such as marketing agencies, display your brand in the way you want it to be shown. Guidelines for the use, size and spacing of your logos, taglines and colors should be specific and only flexible enough to allow them to work with different venues.
The Complete Package
Putting together the complete brand identity package isn’t easy. Utilizing services like Graphic Design by Designhill will give you tools to take your ideas from logo creation to color selection and watermarks and accessorizing colors from concept to actualization. It’s imperative to have a designer like one of those at Designhill behind you – someone who is willing to work with the visions you have, and it’s important to trust your designer to have your brand’s best interest and presentation at heart. Don’t be afraid to communicate what you feel your brand needs to convey to your designers so they can put their focus into creating the right identity for your company.