Branding Main

By Noah Britton on 20 October 2020

A brand identity is not a logo.

A brand identity is not a slogan.

A brand identity encapsulates who you are as a company. It is the entire method that you use to convey your business and your story to the world. A great brand identity allows your customers to recognize you instantly.

Building your brand identity doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process. In fact, it only takes five steps to build the necessary groundwork for a unique, powerful brand identity.

Step 1: Take time to strategize.

Branding Strategy

Don’t jump straight into creating a logo. As tempting as that can be, it will end with a brand identity that is hollow and doesn’t resonate with your consumer.

You need to understand the ins and outs of your brand. A good plan will bring consistency to your brand so your audience can recognize your brand wherever they encounter it.

When you’re thinking about your branding strategy, here are six areas you need to consider:

  1. Business name. Will your audience be able to remember and find your company online after hearing about you in conversation?
  2. Purpose. What problem are you trying to solve for your audience?
  3. Story. Why did you start your business? What drives you to provide this service?
  4. Audience. Who are you serving? What do you know about them?
  5. Message. What is your Unique Value Proposition? What makes you different?
  6. Positioning. Who are your competitors? What is your position in the market?

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Step 2: Tell your story.

Branding Story

People that connect with your story, as well as your products, will become powerful brand advocates for your company. These are the people that will send referrals your way and be a repeat purchaser.

An authentic story that customers can connect to is a great way to differentiate yourself from your competitors. But, how do you tell your story on places other than the obvious “About Us” page?

This is where your other key elements from your brand’s story can come into play. Your logo, graphics, copywriting, website, color palette, and more can all serve to underscore your business’s story.

Step 3: Get to know your audience.

Branding Audience

Here’s some blunt advice: don’t make your brand about you. Make your brand about your audience.

Your audience doesn’t care about YOUR favorite colors. They care about THEIR favorite colors. They don’t care about how your branding makes YOU feel. They care about how your branding makes THEM feel.

When you’re developing your brand identity, you need to know these things about your audience:

  • What are some key demographics? (Age, Gender, Location)
  • What are their interests/hobbies?
  • What are their values?
  • How do they feel when they interact with your brand?
  • What problems/needs do they have that your business is solving?

This information will help you craft a brand that resonates strongly with your target audience.

Step 4: Figure out what your brand looks like.

Branding Visual ID

This is where most people want to start building their brand identity. Those people have it backward. This should be one of the last things you do.

But this is the fun part. We will admit that. Now is when you get to think about your logo, color scheme, fonts, and graphics.

Whatever you choose, continuity is key with your visual branding. Good branding can capture your customer’s eye immediately. Bad branding can turn them away in a split second and send them straight to your competitors.


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Step 5: Write your style guide.

Branding Style Guide

If you haven’t heard of a style guide before, think of it as the user manual for your brand identity. Your style guide lays out all of the decisions you made in steps 1-4 so anyone else can effectively create on-brand pieces for your company.

A well-written style guide ensures that there is a consistent message and tone to everything created for your business. This can include website updates, blog posts, social media content, print adverts, and even retail store design.

Your style guide should include:

  • Logo
  • Brand colors
  • Fonts
  • Brand imagery
  • Mission statement
  • Tone

Conclusion

Brand identity covers a lot more than imagery. Telling the story of your business goes beyond an attractive logo and color palette.

Following these five steps will help ensure that your brand is strong, memorable, and connects with your target audience. It ensures that your brand will be clear, consistent, and easy for others to implement when they do work for you. It ensures that you will stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Thrive Design is a customer-centric web design agency and marketing agency from Seattle. Contact us to find out how we can elevate your business online! Find us on Clutch, UpCityLinkedInFacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.

Are you looking for help with your web design, branding, or marketing?

Noah Britton

Noah Britton is the founder of Thrive with 18 years of experience in the web industry and 10 years with WordPress.