Comprehensive Guide for Creating an Impactful, and Unique Brand Identity

 11 May, 2021

Introduction On Brand Identity

Miracles do not happen overnight! So doesn’t your Brand Identity Design!

Well, good things in life do come with efforts, and consistency. We might be someone who often mistakenly uses brand and logo interchangeably; or we might be someone who has given a thought on how to create a brand identity. No matter what, it is never too late; your brand might be needing just the right step. 

And here we can understand that with certain comprehensive steps, the importance and lot more when it comes to Brand Identity; which is much more than a term with a literal definition. Let us have a look at the literal definition and before we jump on to knowing the steps to design a brand identity.  

If we talk about the technical definition of Brand identity design according to the HubSpot, “A brand identity is made up of what your brand says, what your values are, how you communicate your product, and what you want people to feel when they interact it. Essentially, your brand identity is the personality of your business and a promise to your customers”.

Well that could only make sense when we can understand the importance of designing brand identity. Let us quickly understand that for “YOUR BRAND”:

Your Business needs a face!

Brand Identity is undeniably much more than your brands’ logo. And it adds meaning to your so-called face which is there in the people’s mind. The image which is related to your company’s name, logo and much more is all associative in nature when it comes to the importance of brand identity design. 

Builds credibility as well as Trust

Your Brand identity design might not only help your brand and products be more memorable but also adds to the authenticity along with the authority of your brand. Hence a brand should design brand identity to establish a face, maintain it over a period of time, and develop credibility as well as trust among the customers. 

Creates Advertising Impressions which last longer

Brand Identity design acts as a template for all the advertising you create for the brand be it print, online or commercial on YouTube. The credibility your brand has and the face you choose for your brand are showcased with this brand identity design to help promote customers and make enduring impressions. 

Portrays your company’s mission statement

With a robust answer to how to create a brand identity, you give your brand firm ground to stand on. This gives a purpose to your business or the organization. And having a mission statement is quite impossible without working on designing a brand identity. 

Helps you create a new customer base

Designing brand identity helps you with credibility, giving a face to your brand, and with a mission statement, this all in turn helps you attract a new customer base, thereby adding to your already existing customer base. With a robust & consistent  brand identity throughout, they feel a sense of belongingness with your business and helps in further retention of the customers.

Helps in retention of your customer base

As discussed above as well, when the customers come across the same kind of brand identity every time they read or see about your brand, they get a sense of belongingness and start connecting with you. This not just helps them know you but also stay in close association with your brand for a longer time.

Let us talk about certain renowned brands and understand how an out-of-the-box brand identity design has worked wonders for them:

Business name and logo are the first steps when it comes to Apple’s Brand Identity and it goes much beyond that! The simple yet iconic logo speaks for itself. It has helped Apple to build its brand and brand image. Along with adding to the compelling designing brand identity.   

The brand identity focuses on emotions and makes sure to maintain an aura of secrecy. It also focuses on premium and exclusive features when it comes to its products. As a result, Apple can even ask for the top notch prices and confer a symbol of status on its customers.

 

Coca-Cola believed in giving its customers time and opportunity to know about their brand with consistent efforts to deliver recognizable brand identity design. Consistent efforts make your brand identity become familiar, trust seeking and credible for the customers over a period of time. Simply said, they planned for the long game. As they knew: Widespread brand recognition doesn’t usually happen overnight. Hence, you can easily understand how to make a branding choice and stick to it for the longest time. You have to trust the process you took time to design a brand identity.

 

The renowned Swoosh logo of Nike was designed by famous designer Carolyn Davidson in 1971. It has become the core of Nike’s brand identity since then and it is imprinted as such in Nike's Customer base.  This abstract logo managed to communicate brand identity perfectly. Brands across the world try to be that perfect till date with the abstract logo to reach unmatched success just like the Swoosh. However, it is not just the logo for Nike which makes it what it is today. There are many other things as well!

Nike created a brand identity we see today through deliberate brand management by redefining itself from a simple shoe company to an athletic and fitness lifestyle brand.

Just like Nike, there are some other renowned brands the world over which have done wonders by designing a brand identity which are one-of-their-kinds. They are Adidas, Amazon, Google, Twitter, and Facebook

Do not hurry!

Do not Worry! 

Just stay motivated with these examples; as we can help you reach there with some simple yet step-by-step processes which you need to follow consistently when it comes to designing a brand identity.   

Before we directly jump on the steps for designing brand identity, let us understand the importance of concepts, key features and a lot more:

The Purpose Of Brand Identity

The purpose of Brand Identity starts with Setting guidelines and consistency. The consistency for a brand, person related to it could be in various forms such as leadership, marketing, support, and operation. Along with that, consistency is dependent on factors such as corporate culture, market or domain wherein your brand operates and many more. 

The Key To Design A Brand Identity

Make sure to have clarity when it comes to designing a brand identity. Be it product, service, or person; clarity is important. Here we will talk about some other aspects which come under the key to a strong Brand Identity:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Only designing the elements of the Brand Identity might not work for you, you need something much more effective. One needs to work as a team with website designers, content creators as well as brand ambassadors when you need to be remembered by your customers. In order to be staging excellence, you need to be familiar with these terms as well and make sure you infuse these in your brand identity design:

  • Distinct: Embark your impression on your customers by standing out from competitors. 
  • Memorable: Make a visual impact which is so impactful that you become memorable by your audiences. 
  • Scalable and Flexible: Make sure you can grow and evolve the brand later as well.
  • Cohesive: Make sure you represent your brand identity in every element of yours. 
  • Easy to apply: Your brand identity design should be intuitive enough such that it is clear for designers to use.

There are other important branding terms you should understand.

  • Brand assets: It indicates visual design assets (fonts, colors and color palette, resources, etc., form the outward-facing brand).
  • Brand associations: It indicates the people who are associated with a brand.
  • Brand awareness: It indicates the ability of customers to identify a brand in a market full of competitors.
  • Brand personality: It speaks about the traits of the Brand such as it can be innovative, socially conscious, trustworthy, friendly and much more.
  • Brand positioning: It talks about how a brand is perceived in comparison with its competitors.
  • Brand promise: It is about a brand’s unique selling proposition such as safety, luxury and much more. 
  • Brand values: It speaks about a brand’s decision and behavior.
  • Brand voice: It indicates how and what does your brand want to convey or speak to its customer base? 

Now we are ready to talk about the step-by-step guide on design brand identity:

1. Research your audience comprehensively

Comprehensive market research is mandatory to start with designing brand identity.

Audience

Different sets of people have different needs and you as a brand need to meet their needs in the best manner possible. Try understanding them based on factors such as age, sex, geographical location etc. This will help in undertaking what they want and hence you can provide them exactly the same, to win them over others. 

Value Proposition & Competition

Try to find out the differentiation factors for your brand. Know what is exceptional that you can offer your customers and your competitors can not. Keeping an eye on your competitors and understanding the proposition of the same is one of the robust techniques to help you in the long run.

Mission

Your audience needs to know your business efforts and the right way to tell them is your mission statement. Make sure you choose the right one after proper research. This would involve internal as well as external research. Tell them about your business purpose and personality with the apt mission statement. 

Personality

Brand might not be an individual however it still has a personality which is a must when it comes to developing brand identity design. The colors, fonts and imagery which you are going to plan to use, should be in sync with the personality. It helps you be consistent and give a tone to the brand as well. You need to do comprehensive research and understand various types of personality that top brands showcase for their business. This will in turn help you define yours in a suitable manner. 

SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis is a type of checklist that will again help you in understanding your brand in a better way. Understanding the characteristics you want to showcase is what makes your brand identity relevant. Here is a understanding of SWOT: 

 

Strengths:  Note down all the Positive characteristics your brand has in comparison with the competitors as these are the advantages you have over others. 

Weaknesses: Noting the characteristics which are negative to the brand might be worked upon only after we have researched about it. 

Opportunities: Make sure you take a note on the opportunities around you and in your target market. It could be changes, trends etc. 

Threats: Check for the elements which might be causing problems to the brand.

 

2. Decide the LOGO, color, font, and much more... 

Your research is completed only when you know your brand inside and out. Once done, you are good to go to the actual designing part. 

According to the renowned graphic designer Paul Rand "Design is the silent ambassador of your brand." The step on when it comes to the designing part is designing the LOGO.

Logo

As we all have repeatedly heard that logo is not solely the brand identity, however it is a pivotal element in designing a brand identity. The logo is the most recognisable part of your brand, every element is going to be connected with it later at some point. Make sure you are cohesive when it comes to your logo designing.

Interesting Fonts

Just like your logo, your products, packaging etc. also play an important role in Brand Identity design. These visually showcase your brand and help in creating consistency in the minds of the users. They become familiar with your products and elements after seeing the same font everytime and everywhere. 

Color, Shapes and Sizes Associated

A color palette is a must to be devised when it comes to designing & enhancing your brand Identity. With unique designs, your brand not just becomes memorable but also gains faith of the customer base. The shapes and size also matter for every element be it font, designs or logos. You can also go with the set patterns or even try your hand at mix & match. However, most of the popular brands go with a mix and match of styles,  which is risky but in case it works, it simply spells excellence and nothing lesser than that.

Make sure you have consistency in topography in all your business creates be it print or digital. For every renowned brand, you might notice this pattern is being followed and it is true that it works wonders for them. 

Templates

Business creates which are sent or created on a daily basis need a template such that you can have consistency and you do not end up wasting additional time & efforts for the similar kind of needs everyday. Moreover, the overall process of creating templates helps your business to be more professional, unified and credible in terms of look & feel.

Consistency is the KEY!!!

Well, this has been repeatedly mentioned that consistency is highly important throughout the process. Brand Identity can only and only be created when you work on all the elements consistently. So make sure you do not skip on this part, be it templates, fonts, images or anything for that matter... 

Harmonious brand identity is exactly what your brand should aim to work towards and consistency is your weapon for sure. 

Be Flexible

Consistency and flexibility might not sound synergic; however when it comes to brand identity, you need to learn the balance between these two. Flexibility is also important as you need to give your customers what they want or what they are looking for currently. You might have to work out a new way when the need changes over a period, however again you need to be consistent with the same. This is how they go hand and hand & still both are important. You might have to make changes in ad campaigns, taglines, or even alter your brand identity design at times. All that matters in the end is your audience's choice and what they are expecting from your brand.

Go for Documentation

Not Without Documentation!!! Yes, this is true, make it a rule that all your guidelines, dos and don’ts or any other learning everything needs to be there on paper. You can be clear, cohesive with meeting, but always remember to still pend everything down. In order to remain brand compliant and build brand assets you need to better understand the documentation process. 

3. Adopt the new language and communicate with your community

Integration with the customer base or the community forms the next important step of designing a brand identity. 

Work on your CONTENT!

In order to communicate you need to work on the content you are delivering. Well, according to Patrick Shea "In every way, your content is your brand online. It's your salesperson, your store, your marketing department; it's your story, and every piece of content you publish reflects on, and defines, your brand. So, great content, great brand. Boring content, boring brand."

You can surely believe these words as they are quotes in HubSpot's ebook Branding in the Inbound Age

Matching Language

The language you use for your brand communication in every element should be in sync with the brand’s personality which you decided in the very first step of designing brand identity. For high-end personality, use a professional language, for a laid back kind of personality conversational type of communication or language could be the best fit. This needs to be planned well such that you are able to have that sync and match the tone throughout.  

Connection & Emotion

Stories work wonders always! So try to build stories which are

retable and real, to connect emotionally with your audience. Emotional connection is important to achieve a strong brand identity. It lays the founding stone to the sturdy long lasting relationships with your brand. 

Advertise Impactfully

Be it traditional or digital Ads designing, always try to infuse your brand within it. This way it becomes efficient to send a message right from the brand and it is well accepted by your audiences as well. 

Focus on Social Media

Social Media is the best way to establish relationships with your customers. The internet has a lot of options in this digital era when it comes to social media and you need to be communicating in almost all of the top ones. Be it Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, choose your platform based on the factors which matter to your brand. 

 This helps in direct communication and then conversion is also increased. Communication like this creates affinity for your brand, you could be mentioned in post, tweets, stories or post be it for positive or negative sides of your brand. Make sure you address them all to create a good reputation online. 

4. Are you doing any of the following? STOP!

Well, you might be going all right, however these small mistakes or steps might need you to cut a sorry figure later. To avoid such a situation, let us understand them before time:

Mixture of messages is a big NO NO!!!

Be straightforward and know what you want to say, make sure you choose the right words, right tone and right platform for the same.  Make sure your messages are conveyed rightly to the potential as well as the existing customers and makes proper sense to them. 

Do not Copy Others

Rise above your competitors, do watch them but do not ever copy them! Your customers are way too smart! Be it a service, or product which is helping them stay ahead of you in the race, but still innovate or work or your existing products or services & do not copy them.

Maintain Online and offline consistency

Be it your print media or digital media, make sure colors, type, theme, and message are all the same. This might sound repetitive but this is the most neglected point most of the time and it hampers the brand image when not followed properly. 

5. Monitoring the brand post designing Brand Identity

Key Performance Metrics are required to be monitored in order to help you know the effectiveness of the plans, which you have made and worked upon for marketing. You can use Google analytics, social media discussions, surveys, comments and many more options to monitor the results for your brands. This could help in understanding the image your customers have created about your brand, you can also get to know whether or not the right personality, image, message is conveyed to the customer base or not. If what you wanted to deliver matches with what they talk about you; then you can be sure of the fact that you are doing your branding and all related processes in the best manner. 

This will in turn help you improve on the areas which needs to be worked upon and create brand identity which is robust enough. 

When it comes to creating a brand which is recognised and remains fresh in the head of customers, you need to understand the importance of color, language, tone and images; and every effort thus becomes worthwhile. Your customers will know you and understand that you are much more than just a name or a logo/ symbol. This is the stage you have been waiting for while designing brand identity.      

While you are all set to start with your journey towards designing a brand identity, take a deep breath and stop to look here. Yes! We mean it as we care for you.

Do not forget to stroll through these commonly done mistakes, and try avoiding them at any cost when it comes to designing brand identity.

Let us have a look:

Common Mistakes to Avoid When It Comes to Designing a Brand Identity

In order to design brand identity you need not be an expert in Rocket Science, nonetheless it is important to learn from others mistakes and explore more & more options available to you. Here is a list of some of the common mistakes to avoid when you design brand identity for your Brand:

1. Do not Be Inconsistent!

When it comes to the next step to designing brand identity; which is working on consistency is the key. Along with that, it is important to be diversified with every approach you take. Be it digital marketing or advertising via email or messaging or any other tool; you have to be consistently diversified with your approach to reach the maximum number of people and retain them for longer as well. 

2. Do not forget about internal training

Retaining your employees or hiring the best ones for your brand is also equally important when it comes to designing brand identity. And in order to do so, you need to show them the learning curve your brand has to offer, along with that you can impart the best knowledge to them by training them well. This reflects your efforts your brand puts in along with that, displays a strong message about your brand.

3. Keep your marketing tools updated

Your marketing tools are the weapons to win the competition. And they are there with everyone, you need to refresh them every now and then so that you have the best options to make sure you rock! Keep updating your material and in case you find it difficult, consider hiring a consultant to help your brand. There are many options out there, you need to do some research to choose the most suitable one. 

4. Know more about the Web Design Services you need

Web Design Services could be playing an important role in the effectiveness of your brand identity. When you are deciding to go for such services, make sure you choose the best one. The best one would be the one understands the process of how to design a brand identity and how it goes with your brand. This will help you come with more customized and doable solutions.

Concluding Thoughts on how to Design a Brand Identity and Some key Takeaways

It is your brand identity design that sets you apart from the endless list of the competitors and shows your customers who you are and what they can expect from you. When you as a brand wish to be perceived as the best, and the most suitable brand for your niche, it is extremely important that you nail your process to design brand identity. This would help in accurately portray who you are to your customers. Be it website designing solutions, digital marketing services or any other relative solutions which are important elements of your brand identity design; make sure you choose the best. 

Do not forget these points when you start with your final step of designing a brand identity:

  • Design brand identity in such a way that it becomes a visible element of a brand be it color, design, and logo everything needs to be bespoke, unique, and out-of-the-box. This will create an enduring impression on your customer base. 
  • Always focus on building a positive brand identity design to add in the much needed consistent sales  and profitability to your brand.
  • Analyze your own organization and then compare it with the market competition in order to know the goals or your customers and be able to convey the right message to them. 

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Clayton Adams
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Clayton Adams

How can I contact you to design an effective brand identity? Please revert!

John Pills
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John Pills

Nice article! I have followed all your steps and trust me I can see the positive results. Thank You, team!

Paul Wilson
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Paul Wilson

I have gone through your blog and then I realized that I was following the wrong methods. Thanks for this information, it really helped me!

Ava Sparx
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Ava Sparx

My website was not performing well and I was depressed about what to do! But then I found your article and improvised my mistakes and now I am getting positive results. Thank you!

Aidan Johnson
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Aidan Johnson

Can your team help me in designing a brand identity for my business? Please revert!

Zane Brown
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Zane Brown

My company has been active in the market for the last 5 years but still not recognized as a well-known brand, even if customers are happy with our product and services. I think we lack branding.

Bryan Garcia
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Bryan Garcia

Well written post, agreed with the fact that for establishing your brand, you need the right branding strategy.

Simon Martinez
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Simon Martinez

Highlighted some good points for implementing brand identity. Informative one!

Phoenix Robinson
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Phoenix Robinson

I have a higher team for marketing and branding but still not getting where they lack over competitors.