Having a strong brand identity can give you a considerable competitive advantage, no matter whether you run a small startup, nonprofit organization, or well-established business. Brand identity makes a business unique, just like your personal identity sets you apart from others.
Having a strong brand identity becomes even more important when you build an online presence. There are more than 3.17 billion internet users, and more than 2.3 billion of them use social media. About 91% of retail brands know it and use an average of 5 social media channels to connect with their potential customers.
As a result, social media is filled with ads from different brands, and social media users see hundreds of ads every day. People also receive tons of marketing emails. There is too much branded content so many users simply ignore most of it. However, content marketing remains one of the main profit drivers for modern businesses.
The most challenging thing for businesses is to create a brand that will stand out from the competitors, that will be memorable and authentic. Given that building a strong brand identity can be difficult for businesses, we decided to help you with this guide and share some effective practices that will help you make your brand stronger and more appealing to the target audience.
What Brand Identity Is
Brand identity includes your brand’s logo, colors, and design. It’s what your existing and potential customers see, and it’s also what they think of your brand, so brand identity goes beyond design. It includes your social media visual identity, the style of your textual content and images, and other distinctive features of a brand.
Successful companies always pay particular attention to their visual identity and corporate image. Usually, big companies have corporate communications departments that build their brand identity, maintain it, and make sure to improve it and to adjust it to the latest trends.
Although small businesses don’t have enough costs to create communication departments, they still need to build a strong brand identity. The main goal of building a competitive brand identity is to boost brand awareness and to foster loyalty, which is important for both big and small brands from any niche.
Every company needs to stand out and to be different from competitors. If you manage to build a successful brand identity, it may become one of your most valuable assets. For instance, people immediately recognize Apple, Coca Cola, or BMW logos and slogans, which is one of the key factors that determine these companies’ success.
The main reason why brand identity influences profit is that it makes your company memorable and helps your target audience single out your business among thousands of other companies from the same niche. Another reason why having a well-developed brand identity can help you get more profit is that 71% of people are more likely to purchase products from brands they are familiar with.
This is the so-called “halo effect.” It helps companies continuously increase the popularity of their products by raising brand awareness. Besides, the halo effect boosts your brand’s mindshare, which is a parameter that indicates how much customer awareness your products, services, and brand, in general, get.
It’s important to keep in mind that, no matter whether you put a lot of effort into creating a strong brand identity or simply ignore it, it will still be visible for your potential customers and have an impact on your profit. For instance, there is also an effect opposite to the halo effect, which is called the horn effect. If people have had a negative experience with your brand, they will associate all its products or services with that negative experience.
This is also a reason why you should work on your brand identity continuously. One unsuccessful social media campaign can seriously damage your brand image so you should be ready to quickly address any issues and to adjust your brand identity to the preferences of your target audience. In other words, you need to develop an effective brand strategy.
What Is a Brand Strategy and Why You Need One?
A weak brand identity, inconsistent brand messaging, and poor design can make your brand quickly disappear. You shouldn’t expect your target audience to perceive your brand in a certain way. Instead, you need to use every opportunity to shape their perception, presenting a well-constructed brand identity that corresponds to your audience’s needs and values.
Tips to improve social media and digital marketing strategies
Your brand identity is the face of your company and its products or services. Besides, your brand identity should serve as the basis for your marketing strategies because otherwise, you won’t be able to maintain consistent messaging throughout different channels. A properly designed brand strategy can help you build the right brand identity and support it with effective marketing. It can help you reinforce your brand’s values and mission, establish credibility, and trust.
Successful companies always communicate not only the advantages of their products but also their mission and their values. The reason is that a company’s brand identity is really important for consumers. According to statistics, 87% of consumers want to buy a product if the brand shares their values or cares about issues that are important to them.
To present your brand in the right way, you should have a clear strategy. You should plan your content on different platforms and tailor your marketing efforts to the message of your brand. Having a good brand strategy is beneficial for both businesses that want to increase their sales and established companies. It can help your brand outperform competitors or simply expand.
There is always some room for improvement, so the company branding ideas described in this article will be appreciated by any business from any niche. Now let’s consider the seven most effective ideas that can help you improve your brand identity and turn it into an effective tool that drives profits.
Top 7 Branding Ideas
1. Understand who you are
The first thing you should do to build brand identity is to determine what makes your brand different from competitors. First of all, you should have a brand mission that explains why you’re in this business and what the main goals of your brand are. You should also determine your brand values. These are your company’s beliefs that can help you find common ground with your audience. Another important detail is your brand personality. Imagine if your company was a person and think of its personality. This personality should also have a distinctive brand voice.
All these elements are important for your brand, and you won’t be able to build a proper brand identity without figuring out these aspects. Another important aspect of your brand identity is your unique selling point. You should study your competitors and think of how they define their brands, and, even more importantly, how they don’t do it. This way, you’ll quickly determine a set of traits that you can call your own. You can use these features to make your brand stand out.
2. Know your audience
You should also make sure to research your audience and understand its needs and preferences. Not only should your brand look attractive to potential customers, but it should also attract the right people. There’s no point in having many leads if they don’t actually turn into customers at some point. First, you should define your target audience before creating a brand. Secondly, you should listen to their feedback to understand what you can change in your brand.
For instance, if you have a well-established brand, you should listen to your target audience during your rebrand. In some cases, you may adjust your brand to the preferences of your target audience. However, sometimes, your audience may not want to see any changes in their favorite brand so it’s important to demonstrate that you still stick to your brand identity. In this case, you may just simplify the design or even get rid of something unnecessary. For instance, when Mastercard decided to refresh its brand, it researched its audience and realized that the brand logo is so recognizable that the company could simply get rid of the brand name without losing authenticity.
3. Be consistent
How to Increase Brand Visibility Using Email Marketing
You should use every chance to engage with your potential customers and to show what your brand is all about. No matter what channels you use to connect with your customers, they should have the same experience of interacting with your brand. Consistent messaging is crucial for brand awareness, and you need to ensure consistent messaging throughout all your marketing channels, including email and social media.
For instance, if your products are fun to use, you should choose a fun and engaging tone for your marketing content. No matter where your target audience finds your content, they’ll be able to immediately get a general idea of what your brand stands for and what makes it unique. Moreover, if people see your marketing content on different channels, consistent brand messaging will help you make a much stronger impression. When people see the same message over and over again, they not only remember your brand but also immediately associate your products with your brand values and brand identity.
4. Pay your attention to the design
Everything about your brand design is important. Your font, colors, and shapes of your logo have a tremendous impact on your brand identity. Therefore, you must make sure to analyze each of the basic blocks of your brand design and make sure that they convey the right information about your brand
There are four common types of fonts: sans serif, serif, script, and display fonts. Serif fonts are classic fonts that have tiny strokes at the end of large lines. For example, Times New Roman is a serif font. Serif fonts are a great choice if you want your brand to look traditional and trustworthy.
Sans serif fonts don’t have anchors at the end of large strokes. For instance, such fonts as Arial and Helvetica are sans serif. These fonts are more modern and smooth than serif fonts.
Script fonts look similar to handwriting. These fonts will be a good choice for luxury brands and brands aimed towards a predominantly female audience. Script fonts can also help you convey the feel of intimacy and sophistication.
Display fonts can be completely different, and each font of this type is unique. Quite often, display fonts have some unique elements (shapes, shadows, outlines, etc.). For instance, Disney and Lego have their own distinctive fonts. You may choose a display font if you want to make a bold statement and create a unique brand identity that is different from all your competitors.
Colors of your brand can have a great psychological impact on your audience so they to a large extent determine your brand identity. For instance, red is a color of excitement and passion. It’s a good choice if you want your brand to be exciting and loud.
Blue is associated with trust, peace, and reliability. If you want your brand to look trustworthy and stable, blue is a great choice. This color can also help your brand appeal to a wider audience because it’s one of the most appealing colors in the spectrum.
Yellow is the color of the sun, and it is associated with happiness and joy. This is a good choice for fun and affordable brands. This color is also associated with accessibility.
Orange is a great color if your brand identity is energetic, playful, and fun. This color is not as loud as red, and it’s also less common so it can help you stand out.
Green is very versatile, and it can be successfully used by different brands from various areas. Most often, green is associated with nature or money so it will be a perfect choice for companies which businesses are related to finances or the environment.
Black is a color that can have various interpretations. For instance, it is a good choice for brands that position themselves as traditional and reliable. You may also choose black if your brand is sophisticated or modern.
Pink is traditionally associated with femininity so it can be a good choice for brands that have a predominantly female audience. This is also a good color for luxury brands and brands that want to emphasize softness.
Purple is a color that has been historically associated with royalty so it will be a good choice for luxury brands.
Brown is the least common color in brand design, but you can use it to stand out. For example, brown can be a nice choice for brands that want to emphasize masculinity or to appear old-fashioned.
Shapes can also tell a lot about your brand. For example, round shapes, like ellipses or circles, communicate a feeling of unity and warmness. Rectangles, triangles, and squares reflect stability and trust. However, they may also feel too impersonal. Vertical straight lines suggest strength and masculinity, while horizontal lines are calm and mellow.
5. Provide valuable content
Your audience won’t be able to understand your brand identity if you only provide generic content about your products or services. We recommend that you also write posts on social media or even start your own blog where you can write about various topics related to your industry. However, don’t forget that you should maintain a consistent tone and style throughout different channels. Therefore, you need good writers who will understand your brand identity and make sure that it’s present in your content.
Finding good writers is often a challenge. There are many online writing services that help businesses with content creation, but not all of them are able to provide high-quality content. Fortunately, you can visit writing services review websites like Best Writers Online or Online Writers Rating to quickly understand whether a certain service is trustworthy or not.
Have an “About Us” page
Although you are somewhat limited when completing your profiles on social media, there are no limits on your own website. We recommend that you create an “About Us” page where you can not only tell your audience the history of your brand but also elaborate on your brand values so that they can better understand your brand identity.
Use branded links
Shorten, customize, target and measure your branded links
You can add a touch of your brand identity to virtually anything. For instance, you can customize your links and create short branded links for social media, emails, etc. Not only do branded links look better than long generic links that are difficult to read, but they also enable you to collect a lot of useful information and to personalize your content for different types of audiences.
It’s hard to make your business stand out by simply offering good products or services. Consumers always have many options to choose from so they are likely to purchase from brands that resonate with their values, needs, and character. This is a reason why you need to develop a strong brand identity. A properly designed brand identity will set your business apart from other companies and help you communicate who you are, as well as what customers should expect from working with you. We hope that our tips will help you create a memorable brand identity, increase brand awareness, and ultimately boost your sales.