How is your brand identity? Is it helping you to connect with your target market? I can find out with a quick brand identity audit. First, pull up your website on your computer. Then open another tab for one of your social media pages. Finally, gather some of your marketing materials including brochures, postcards, promotional items, etc. Lay them all out in front of you. Now, take a good look at all of these items. Is the overall tone, imagery, and feel of the items consistent? Or does it all look a little piecemeal? Do you feel it truly reflects your business? If your brand looks patched together, then read on because this post is for you.
What is your brand identity?
You can think of brand identity as the face of your brand. It’s all of the visual elements (your logo, fonts, and colors for example) that represent your company. A strong brand identity will stir up emotions in your clients. There is a certain set of qualities and traits that come to mind when they interact with your brand and that is what makes your brand unique and memorable. You have the ability to influence how people perceive your brand through the decisions you make while building your brand’s unique identity. This post will help create the brand identity that will connect with your ideal audience.
1 Define your audience
Before you begin to build your brand identity, you first have to determine who actually buys your product or service. Most small business owners have a general idea of who their target market is, but to create a strong brand that truly connects with your audience, you will have to dig deeper. Not only should you know where they live and how much they make, but you should try to find out what they like to do in their free time and what daily problems they encounter. The more you can refine your audience, the easier it will be to create a message that connects with them.
One of the best ways to find this information is to talk with people who already purchase your product through phone interviews. An alternative method would be to use online surveys (such as Survey Monkey) to gather and sort information. Pulling all of this information together, you can create a buyer persona, a fictional representation of your ideal customer, to help guide your marketing strategies.
2 What is your purpose?
Now that you know who your customer is, its time to turn your attention to what you offer to your customers. Why should that customer choose your brand over your competitors? Ideally, you are solving a problem that they have. But, you may have an even broader perspective. Maybe you’d like to make the world a better place. Maybe your brand is environmentally conscious, or brings people together, or even makes them safer. Include that as part of your mission statement. Your mission can contain both your broad view as well as the more actionable ways you intend on making it happen. This is what makes your brand, uniquely you.
3 Develop your brand personality
Here’s where you get to have some fun. To help figure out your brand’s personality, think of who would make the perfect spokesperson for your brand. Consider celebrities, musicians, historical figures, etc. Who would best represent your brand? Are you a fun, quirky Jim Carey type of brand? Or maybe you’re more of a serious, elegant George Clooney type of brand. Once you have your spokesperson in mind, write down a few of their attributes.
Now, you can use those attributes to create a single sentence that incorporates your brand’s personality. This will help establish the tone and messaging you’ll use across your marketing channels.
4 Create a logo with emotional appeal
Studies show that there are two key elements to designing a logo with an emotional appeal: simplicity and color.
A logo with a simple design is not only easier to remember, but it creates a strong emotional response from your audience. It is far easier for your audience to build associations with a simple logo and it helps to convey what your brand stands for. It also allows the company to use the logo across various media. For example, a simple logo would look just as good on a billboard as it would as a tiny social media icon.
Choosing a color for your logo is one of the most important marketing decisions you will make. In one study (“The Impact of color on Marketing”), researchers found that up to 90% of the snap judgments people make about a product are based solely on color. You can see why picking a color requires some thought and planning.
Color is one of the best ways to show your brand personality. Colors are associated with various emotions (see my previous post on color for a more detailed look at color in branding).
5 Use typography to enhance your brand identity
Fonts are a powerful way to connect with your audience. In fact, some are so strong that the type actually serves as the logo without any adornments. Disney’s iconic, playful script, for example, is one of the most easily recognized. The Disney logo likely triggers a lot of positive (and sometimes nostalgic) emotions in people.
The font you choose to represent your brand should reflect your personality. Traits such as elegant, cheerful, modern, and quirky can all be conveyed with a carefully chosen font. (For more information on choosing the right font for your brand, check out my post on typography).
6 Keep your brand identity consistent across all channels
Your brand identity is the face of your brand. It should come through in every interaction that a person has with your company from the colors used on the packaging, to the imagery on the website, to social media posts. The customer should easily be able to tell it’s your brand at every touch point.
7 Review your brand identity
Many companies stay with their old logo for far too long. Much like humans, companies evolve over time, so the logo that seemed perfect ten years ago, may not truly reflect the core values anymore. Don’t be afraid to upgrade and redesign your logo to more closely align with your brand identity. It does make a difference.
Maybe you feel that you’ve done all of these steps, but still don’t feel that you’ve developed a strong brand identity. This is where I can help you. Contact me and let’s create a brand identity that truly reflects your small business.