The last decade or so has radically changed the way that businesses function. The explosion of the popularity of social media websites has changed the way companies attempt to reach their audiences. It has also impacted the way in which audiences choose which businesses to support.
It’s a battle of branding out there in the marketplace. Only the strongest brands will come out on top.
Given this current environment, you need to prioritize identity branding for your business. Effective identity branding doesn’t come easily to many business owners, who are stronger when it comes to crunching numbers than they are getting creative.
Need tips and suggestions on how to best develop an identity that will win over consumers? Read on and we’ll walk you through what to do.
1. Know Thyself
It may sound silly but you need to bit of self-reflection before you’ll be ready to start taking steps to actually create your new brand.
You need to know exactly what it is you are creating.
Take some time, pull out a piece of paper, and create a detailed list that you can easily follow along with. On it, you’ll want to put a few different ideas.
First, think of the heart of your company. What is the purpose of your business? What would you say are the values that you uphold, and how do they contribute to the overall mission?
This will be the north star in creating the rest of your brand.
If you get a mission down, it can help you to elaborate on how you plan to get this message across. Does your brand have a personality, a certain voice? How does it support and contribute to your mission?
It sounds funny but this is an opportunity to think of your company as a cartoon character. If your business could talk, what would it sound like? Write down as many keywords here as you can in support of this ‘voice.’
Last but not least, think of the other tangible things that can go to support this identity. What does your business ‘look’ like? Is it sleek and clean, or messy and wild? What kind of colors and fonts bring to mind the right personality?
With these steps, you’ll be in the starting phase of creating a more tangible identity for your brand. With all this information you’ll have a much better idea of your brand’s intended identity.
That means you’ll be better equipped to take the actions you need to turn this identity into a reality.
2. Know the Market
One of the most important steps you can take prior to landing on your brand identity is to know the audience you’re intending to appeal to. It’s important to know what you want to stand for, but it’s naive to think that it’s only your own concerns that should contribute to your eventual identity.
You’re creating a brand to appeal to your customers and it’s essential to keep what they might prefer in mind.
Try and create a model customer. Give them a name if you need to. Identify key characteristics and desires. What kind of brand is this person most likely to respond to? Is there an opportunity in the marketplace to present a different ‘kind’ of brand than your competitors?
If all the other businesses in the same brand as you are stiff and stuffy, could you capture the hearts of many customers by presenting yourself as fun and hip? These are the kind of thought exercises you should be participating in.
You might find that what your audience desires and your own conception of your business don’t quite overlap. It’s in this instance that some brand redesign work might be necessary.
3. Have a Brainstorming Session
Once you have all this information gathered in one place, it’s time to determine how best to make your new brand identity a reality.
The best way to do this is to get yourself and your creative team in a room together. Carve off a day or even two to work on things together, in the same space. This will make the flow of ideas between each of you much easier and more organic.
Try to establish a creative and relaxed atmosphere. Encourage everyone to contribute whatever comes to mind. There are no bad ideas! Even ideas that don’t fit the bill can start a line of thinking that can lead to a great one.
The right atmosphere is key to a successful brainstorming session.
If you have space, put all the information that you’ve gathered to this point upon a corkboard or on the wall. It’s time to translate these ideas from numbers and thoughts into visuals and vibes.
Kick-off from the list you’ve made and start talking about colors, images, or aesthetics that what you’ve written brings to mind. Start printing off visual inspirations that help convey the ideas you’re beginning to land on.
Trust your gut. If you have a strong emotional attachment to a certain idea, follow that thread to its conclusion. By the end of your brainstorming session, you should have a vast web of visual references that can help you design your own elements.
You’ll have these examples and key descriptors to pass off to any designers you hire to design your brand. From these influences and ideas, you can create a logo, land on your brand colors, figure out your typography, and much more.
Tips for Efficient Identity Branding
It can be difficult to figure out proper identity branding if you’ve never worked through a similar process before. A strong brand, however, is key if you want your business to stand out from the crowd. The above tips can help.
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