How To Design A Brand Identity Like A Professional
Guest post by Brianna Jensen
Branding, branding, branding! Regardless of the business you’re in, branding is a vital part of the success and growth of your company. But not just any branding — effective branding.
To create effective branding means it isn’t enough to just put a logo together and call it a day. It means the construction of a brand identity.
Your brand identity goes beyond the visual aspects of your brand, to delineate and define the who, what, where, why, and how of your brand. It’s an important factor in how your brand speaks to its audience, and how well that communication is received.
Your brand identity does include all of the visual aspects, but more widely, it refers to the actual message that those individual factors send.
So how do you design a brand identity that will make sure your message is heard loud and clear?
Let’s take a look at 5 Solid Steps to take towards creating a brand identity that works for you.
1. Conduct Market Research
This is often cited as the beginning of any business endeavor, and with a good reason. Whether from a financial and investment point of view, or from a purely aesthetic design point of view, you don’t want to end up with a business that is a cookie-cutter, mirror image of something else that already exists out there.
At the same time, you don’t want to create a business that will immediately fail due to lack of need or poor representation.
Your brand identity is just as vital as the creation of your business itself. Conduct market research into your competition, and make sure that your brand won’t be mistaken for another. Market research can give you helpful information, such as what design trends are hot for your market or niche, and what’s been overdone already.
2. Outline Your Brand Personality
Now that you’ve firmly crossed off what not to do when it comes to designing your brand identity, it’s time to open your mind to the possibilities.
For the creation of a brand, it’s important to analyze the purpose, goals, and mission statement of a company.
And it’s equally important to know what the actual personality of the brand is going to be. How do you want your brand to be represented? What reaction do you want your intended audience to have?
Are you youthful and on-trend? Unique and edgy? Respectable and trustworthy?
Your brand personality will greatly influence your design decisions as you go along. So make sure that you have a clear idea of what that personality actually is, and that it corresponds as well with the deeper mission and goals of the company.
3. Jumpstart Your Visuals
Using the information that you have put together up till now, it’s time to start getting creative with your brand design.
As we mentioned earlier, brand identity does go beyond the creation of visuals — but those visuals are an important base to the identity, and need to be there in order for the identity to work. Without visuals, you have no effective way of communicating your message to your audience.
The visual aspects of your brand identity include the following:
- Logo design
- Website design
- Social media specific posts
- Product packaging design
Note that these aspects are included in your brand identity, but by no means are they the only possible ingredients in your visuals! Depending on your brand, there may be plenty of other visuals that need attention.
The important part here is to begin to create. Use what you’ve put together about your personality, and the information from your market research, to put at least one visual piece together. You can use this as a springboard for your style manual.
Speaking of which…
4. Create Your Style Manual
A style manual is important for any branded company, whether large or small. The style manual outlines things like font choices, color choices, and graphic styles.
Why is this important when it comes to designing your brand identity?
Remember that your brand identity is about sending a message to your audience, using your visuals. That message has to be consistent, not confusing.
The style manual helps you to keep track of what you are using in your branding, as well as giving you different corresponding options that also fit in well with your brand. This all contributes toward a consistent, effective message.
5. Put Your Identity Into Action
Through these visuals that you’ve created, you can begin to communicate the message behind your brand to your intended audience.
There are many channels that can be used to do this.
Social media is an important way to grow your brand-new brand identity. Again, your branded social media should consistently reflect the style manual and your brand personality.
The same goes for your website, and for designing marketing campaigns.
The overall key to a great brand identity design is pinpointing what is true to your brand, and then sticking with it.
With consistency, you allow your customers to learn who you are and begin to build trust in your brand identity.
Brianna Jensen is a content specialist who curates, writes and promotes content for online businesses. Connect with her to discover a world of content types, fit for your organizational needs.