You probably start your own business and wondering how to take care of your image. Creating your own brand is challenging and requires some knowledge, so it’s easy to get confused. That’s why I decided to give you an idea of what brand identity elements you should take care of to be recognizable and what you should know before you even start to talk with a designer.
Let’s start from the basics – what is brand and brand identity?
A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. ~Seth Godin
Shortly speaking it’s your promise to people who decide to interact with your product. It’s a reason why people will choose your service over others. Without having a brand, it’s impossible to win the loyalty of your customers. You also should know that a brand is not only visuals that represent your business, but they’re mostly experience, feelings.
It’s what people say about your brand not what you tell them about it.
And brand identity is an image that your audience get from you. No matter if you create a personal brand, or you’re launching your new product, the message you sent to the world should be clear and create recognition. The main objective of having a brand identity is to distinguish you from your competitors and give them a reason to choose your service.
Few basic brand identity elements every company should have
Many people, while thinking about brand identity, think about a logo. It’s an important component of branding but it’s just one element. Although, it can help you to be recognizable but it won’t do the work by standing alone.
Depending on industry and specific of your company the elements will vary. But there are a few basic items that you should have before launching your brand.
Below I introduce you to the elements that I include in my basic branding package. Thanks to my experience with different clients I was able to create a frame that helps new business owners to take off.
Before starting a design process
While most designers focus mostly on a visual part of branding, I like to dive deeper and start from establishing a strong foundation first. I always offer a basic discovery process to my clients. Together we try to answer crucial questions about the brand and its mission. That helps to agree on directions and avoid mistakes in the later phases.
- Mission, positioning, values and goals – there are always reasons behind creating a new brand – usually, it’s a personal or market need. Putting them on the paper helps to see clearly what problem we solve with our product and what values and components to show to the people;
- Market and target group – before you even think about any style, colour and form you should know who you’re talking to and what are their needs. Knowing your audience will help to create an image around your brand that resonates with their preferences, dreams and values;
- Customer avatar – to address the right crowd you need to be even more specific. Narrowing your target group to 1-5 avatars of your perfect customers will help you to be laser focused and connect with the right audience.
Visuals brand identity elements
- Logo – Role of a great logo is to identify your brand and help people to recognize you faster. While a logo itself can’t do much, combined with other elements will create a strong image among your audience. Professionally designed logo, one that follows a few basics principals of design, will represent your company and makes you look more professional;
- Typography, colours – every branding should include the use of typefaces and colours. These are elements that definitely help to distinguish your brand from the others. Well designed brand identity will establish a proper usage of these brand identity elements. It shows what size, colours, weight and proportions typography should have;
- Picture and illustration use – while designing print and digital materials of all kinds you will probably need to use photography or illustrations to make your products looks even more attractive. Before creating ready materials you should agree on how you gonna use them and on their general style;
- Tone of voice – brand identity elements support your communication. While establishing brand guidelines you should consider putting rules about a language you communicate with your audience;
- Others: packaging, digital materials, marketing materials – your brand identity elements probably should include other crucial items that will carry your message. No matter what materials you need to produce, you should always make sure they follow the same rules as all other elements;
- Brand book, guidelines for your branding materials – it’s a manual that shows all the rules. That helps you to be consistent in your communication and stay in your customers’ minds for longer.
What to remember
- Be distinctive – choosing the right items will help you to stand out from the crowd. Remember to aim for uniqueness, but not necessarily for being different;
- Be consistent – that’s one of the most important principals of effective branding. Create the rules for your brand identity elements and follow them. Being consistent will help to be memorable;
- Know your target preferences – without knowing what they like you may mislead them or simply get to the wrong group of people. That can cost you time and money;
- Know the trends – I always say – don’t follow the trends blindly especially when it comes to brand identity but knowing what people looking for, what are the trending topics will help you to be visually flexible and up to date;
- Keep things flexible – while branding is all about consistency it’s natural that your brand will change throughout the years. Your brand identity elements should be flexible enough to stand the test of time;
- Remember about rules – follow a brandbook! If your brand needs a change and you’re not sure how to implement new elements to your brand strategy, contact a professional who will help you to find the best solutions.
Before you even contact a designer think about how you gonna build your communication and what you need to fulfil your mission. Think about how you want to be perceived by your customers, what are their needs and desired and choose your brand identity elements according to this knowledge. While some items vary from brand to brand, few are crucial to create a strong image. You must remember that creating a consistent identity will help your company to stand.
Need a professional designer to help you with brand identity? I have 12 years of experience working with companies around the world, helping them achieve their goals with well-designed materials Contact me.
Hi, my name is Magdalena. Brand designer and strategist with a passion for creative thinking, travels, and coffee. I'm inspired by new challenges and everyday life. I observe, read and listen. That's how I learn and gain experience to use it in my works.