Creating a professional brand identity can seem like a daunting task, but once you get into it, you’ll find out just how important it is for your company. Sure, your product is important, and you might even think that it’s the most crucial part of your business, but you’d be wrong. The most important part of your business, is, believe it or not, your brand identity.
So, how do you go on designing your brand identity like a pro? Keep on reading to find out!
1: Research, research, and again, research
Just like any part of starting a business, your branding strategy starts with thorough market research. Here is what your research should help you understand:
You need to understand who you’re marketing to. Is your product targeted towards college students or young professionals? Are you selling to the 1% or to the middle-class? These questions and more will help you understand your targeted audience, and once you do, you’ll know what kind of brand strategy you’ll need to come up with to bond with them.
Your value proposition
Basically, the answer to one simple question; “what value are you adding to your customers’ lives?”. Why should they choose you, and not your competitor? What makes you unique, as a business, as a company, and as a brand? Understanding the difference between you and your competition is key to developing a great brand strategy.
Who are they? What do they offer that you don’t? And most importantly, what’s their branding strategy? Understanding your competition will help you see what you should be doing better, what you should change, and can even inspire you (although you should understand the difference between getting inspired and copying).
Your vision and your goals should be clear as day, not just to you, but to your audience as well. Market research will help you dive into what your company stands for, which will give you the opportunity to give a unique character and personality for your company.
2: Create your logo
After you’re done with research, it’s time for work, and branding work starts with your logo. Your logo is a crucial part of your brand identity, which is why it should focus on relying your message and character to your audience. After all, your logo will be your brand’s most recognizable part, which is why you’ll have to work on it and use professionals who know a thing or two about logo design.
If you want to dabble with some ideas, then you can take inspirations from the web. There is no harm in exploring a few marketing company logo concepts before you speak to your graphic designer for the real thing. By then you would be able to tell them exactly what you want. Things they’ll need to know include the type of font, color or symbols that you’re looking for.
3: Choose your tone of voice
A tone of voice is extremely important for your brand identity, especially if you’re going to be directly communicating with your audience, through social media, for example. How do you want to establish yourself? Do you want to be a fun, trendy company or something classier and more elegant? It all depends on your audience and who you’re targeting, since different audiences communicate in different ways.
Make sure to use language that matches your brand. For example, the brand ColourPop Cosmetics targets millennials who are usually middle-class, cool, fashionable and love makeup. This means that all of ColourPop Cosmetics’ social media posts, emails, and marketing material that’s targeted towards their audience will be written in a young, hip, and sometimes even funny voice.
4: Avoid classic mistakes
Some mistakes are to be avoided if you want to keep a consistent brand that customers can trust. So, make sure not to give your audience mixed messages, to avoid lying to them, and not to lose your consistency.
But most of all, don’t ever copy your competitors. This will cheapen your brand and make your audience lose their trust in you.
5: Keep monitoring your brand
Finally, monitor your branding efforts to make sure everything is consistent. And if it isn’t, you can always correct mistakes and implement changes, or even go through a rebranding if the former strategy is not working for you or your audience.
Creating a memorable brand is all about hard work, creativity, and sometimes, a bit of luck. So, make sure to have all your cards in hand and understand every single little thing about your company, your audience, your product, and your market before working on a branding strategy.