What is a Brand Identity ?
Brand identity or brand experience can be summed up as the values that your product or company embodies and how this is communicated to the world. It represents how an organization wants to be perceived in the market. Your brand is more than just the logo or the website, it shapes customer’s expectations about the product.
What is a Brand Identity Design?
Brand identity design is the set of tangible elements that help to identify your brand. It can be your logo, packaging, the typeface you use, colour palette, and even the tone in which your copy speaks. The brand identity design has to be an accurate representation of your ideas, which you want to convey to the customers.
Basics of Brand-Building
It’s important to have a clear picture of what you want your company to represent before you finalize your branding elements. Here are a few brand-building queries that need to be clarified before you consult a brand identity agency or brand design firm.
- What is your why?
- What are the beliefs that drive your company? (What gets you promoted here?)
- What is your Unique Selling Proposition? (How are you different?)
- What is your voice? (Friendly, formal, fun, flirtatious)
- If your brand had to be a famous personality, who would it be?
- What are the first three words that define your brand?
You might not have answers to all these queries at one go. But you must sit down with the main stakeholders of the company and come to a consensus on the answers. Brainstorming these ideas will help get clarity on what your brand is, and what it means to the people who work there.
Elements of Brand-Identity Design
Typography is one of the important factors that can have an impact on your brand identity. It is an artform that refers to the font type which you might choose for brand communications. You should always remember that a typeface comes with pre-defined characteristics that should match with the identity you want to set for the brand. The four major types of typography to choose from are Serif, Sans Serif, Script, and Display font.
|Serif Fonts||Sans Serif Fonts|
|Serif fonts have a decorative or curved stroke towards the edges.||Sans Serif fonts are fonts without these strokes at the edges (Sans means without).|
|Serif fonts are used when you want to convey that you are trustworthy, established, and traditional.||Sans Serif fonts are used when you want to convey that you are modern, approachable, and minimalist.|
|Popular Serif fonts include Georgia, Garamond, Times New Roman, and Baskerville.||Popular Sans Serif fonts include Helvetica, Open Sans, Proxima Nova, and Arial.|
|Brands that use Serif are New York Times, Time Magazine, Vogue, Prada, Burberry||Brands that use Sans Serif are Facebook, Hulu, LinkedIn, Airbnb|
Here are the common colours and how they are perceived by audiences.
- Red: Passion and excitement, love
- Orange: Friendly, playful, intense
- Yellow: Happy
- Green: Prosperity, nature
- Blue: Trust, stability
- Purple: Luxury
- Black: Sophistication, luxury
- Pink: Feminine
A logo is considered to be the first impression of your brand. Present on all your brand assets, packaging, website, and ads, logos help in building trust and look timeless and professional.
Here’s what to look for while choosing a logo.
- Should communicate your values.
- Is clean and easily understood (legible).
- Is not similar to the other brands from the industry.
- It is classic and not just based on a design trend.
- Available and easily understood in different formats, eg: Black & White, Greyscale, and Colourful.
The language you use as a brand should resonate with the brand identity and the target audience. If your brand is speaking to an audience of HNIs, your language must have sophistication and formality as its hallmark. If your target audience is teens, then a flirtatious and playful tone works the best. Craft your brand tone and language appropriately to ensure that it is not inconsistent with the brand values.
Packaging or Form factor:
When it comes to brand identity creation, if you sell a physical product rather than a service, then the form factor of your product is ‘make or break’ to its success. Similar to colours, certain shapes in your packaging or product will evoke certain emotions.
Here’s a guide to understand how form factor makes us feel.
- Round shapes: Soft, approachable, feminine, community
- Straight edges: Strength, efficiency, stability, masculinity
If you are an online business, the first thing that customers notice about the brand is your website. The website plays a crucial role in building consumer trust. It must clearly convey to the audience the product or services offered and the value you create for the customers. Aspects such as site speed, mobile-friendliness, and SEO optimization are necessary but the core reason why people visit a website is to gauge if they can trust you.
Whether you send an email to a prospect or a letter of recommendation about an employee, you need to ensure that the brand identity is maintained. It is necessary to have clarity about how the brand should be represented through small elements such as an emailer, newsletter, form, application, and even your email signature. This ensures that there is consistency in your brand at every brand touchpoint and builds trust for your brand. Ensure that everyone in your company has access to these brand templates so that they can use them. If you set up a template for everything from a sales pitch, follow up email, investor deck, and more, your brand identity is safe.
Brand Identity Prism: Developing a Brand’s Background
According to Jean-Noel Kapferer, Emeritus Professor of Marketing at HEC, Paris, a brand’s identity is made up of 6 elements – Physique, Personality, Culture, Relationship, Self-image, and Reflection. He believes that these elements, when woven together, build a strong and clear brand identity.
It’s a wide topic that deserves its own blog post. In short, it suffices to say that identifying the key elements of a brand helps create a strong brand identity.
How to Create Brand Identity?
- Before you get started with the brand identity creation, it is important to have clarity about your audience, competition, value proposition, personality, and your why. This phase might be very time consuming as you will have to do detailed research and note down the learnings. However, the clearer you are about these 5 aspects, the stronger your brand identity will be.
- Brand voice is crucial for developing a proper brand identity. To find your brand voice, just imagine it as a person (celebrity, sportsman, business tycoon). How would somebody describe this personality? Is it prim and proper, flirtatious, all about business, motivating, positive, motherly? Get your key stakeholders and define the personality of your brand from the audience’s point of view. Once that is done, note down the brand tone by using it in a sentence and outlining the dos and don’ts. For example, if your brand is fun and flirtatious, never opt for the passive voice and avoid jargon at all costs.
- Once you know the brand inside out, get started with the process of visualization. The first step is to finalize your brand logo and the colour palette. Once this is done, you incorporate these aspects in everything including your website, stationery, online ads, and more.
- Once you have a clear idea of what you want the brand to be, it is important to put this down on paper with some basic branding rules or guidelines. These rules are documented in your brand style guide. A brand style guide ensures that all the employees and stakeholders are aware of the dos and don’ts related to your brand. It governs the look and feel, the composition, the voice of the brand and gives your team of graphic designers, writers, marketers, and salespeople a clear picture on how to position and represent your brand in public.
- One of the major reasons you invest so much in building a brand identity is to ensure that the positive associations of the brand are felt across the industry. Ensure that your brand logo, design, voice, and tone are consistent across all platforms – online, on a sales pitch, flyer, or on a newspaper ad. Also, monitor your brand’s impact by using tools to tune into brand conversations, surveys, analytics, and more.
Hope we answered all your Brand Identity related queries.
Feel free to contact us for more insights. Our Brand Identity Expert will be happy to help you.