Who and what am I? We ask this question over and over until we are satisfied with the answer. Self-formation. That is like the most fundamental goal of life. That is why Elsa and Moana went on an adventure; to find out about themselves. People live to find who they are. Every day of our lives builds up to define ourselves. We build our own brand identity as an individual.
But in the world of business, it works the opposite. You don’t just create an empty brand, you fill it up with a good, firm identity, and then hang up the open sign.
What is Brand Identity?
Many of us believe having a logo takes more than half the credit for a brand identity. Well, I think we all know life hasn’t been that easy or friendly. Quoting from Marty Neumeier, the author of The Brand Gap, a brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or company. Logos are just helpers to build that particular feeling. You want to have a brand identity to differentiate yourself from other competitors. Stand out and shine, take all the spotlights, that’s what branding is.
Ambiguity is charming in some cases. However, in branding, not so much. A clear position reflects a fundamental reason for the brand’s existence. It differentiates your brand from other companies of the same industry. With a good message, it will have a lingering effect and become a somehow friendly product. It will also work as a guideline to making your brand identity whole, making the rest of the process much easier.
To take McDonald’s as an example, the brand wasn’t as big as it is right now when it first showed up. Hamburger was nothing new in America. So, what they did was make a clear positioning of themselves. They marked an unoccupied territory of fast food and made it their own. They made sure that their customers were given their burgers faster than any other burger joints in town. With this strategy, big yellow Ms are everywhere.
Now you know yourself, it’s time to know who you are dealing with. Make a thorough market research and decide your target audience. Market research will provide a nice smooth path, telling you where to go and land. It will increase your insights on how to develop your brand or business and decrease the risks of failing. With a clearer understanding of your main customer personas, you will be able to offer the right service they want and meet their needs.
To add to the previous McDonald’s example, how did they think to be the fastest fast food there is? Market research. They conducted research by observing their customers and found out that they expected a ‘fast service’. This is how they got their lightbulb.
Resource: How McDonald’s Became The King of Fast Food by Alux.com
As for the methods of market research, you can start with a direct survey, like talking to people through phones or emails. Such surveys allow you to gather more detailed information and sources. This is more of a qualitative survey. A small amount, but rich information. To play a game in the bigger pool, you need more people. This, you can use survey tools available online, such as qualtrics, or use a government service like SBA. Get a load of statistics, find your potential customers, and draw a detailed map of how your kingdom should look like.
Appropriate Design/Color Palette
Stimulating visual perception is one of the most effective ways to sink in. In order to do so, every company has its own logo and color palette. Color psychology plays with your mind. Colors unconsciously build a sense of closeness, evoke people’s emotions. Having a color palette stabilizes the company’s image. You don’t just choose from a rainbow to color your business. You consider each message that colors hold, try not to overstep on other brands, and definitely not share what’s yours.
Having an appropriate logo is just as much important as a color palette. It also makes a strong impression, triggers people’s memories, and works as a foundation of the brand. Logos are like flags of your brand, embracing significant meanings and representing what you do. It indirectly delivers the brand’s overall message and engraves it to whoever has heard or seen it.
It is okay if you are not an art major and don’t have the hands of Bob Ross. There are plenty of ways you can use to make your logo. You can just make a logo on your own using logo-making websites such as logomaker or DesignEvo. You don’t even need a tutorial to use these, they are super simple. If you are looking for a professional’s work, you can always use Fiverr, where freelancers are waiting to help you out. You look for the right logo designer and tell the details that you want for your logo, and there you have it!
Now you have a message, show them that you have one. Once they notice your existence, stick to your messages and don’t get off track. Be consistent. Make your brand dependable and trustworthy.
Here is where brand consistency comes up. Brand consistency develops a bond between the brand and the customers. Customers will get familiar with the brand, they get attached to it. Making a bond beyond service and money is stronger than any other link. It also builds brand recognition. Consistent branding will eventually guide your potential customers to your product as people feel an unconscious affection. You need people to notice your brand among all the other good brands on the shelf. Use your logos and products nonstop, expose your brand to the people out there.
One of the brands with the best consistency strategy would be Apple. They not only have an appropriate logo that they constantly flash on media, but they also put consistency in the designs of their products as well. iPhones and Macbook series all come out with similar designs. There were inevitably some changes, but when you see Apple products, you know it’s Apple products. Boring it might seem, but it works as merit. It pumps up brand recognition.
Source: History of the iPhone by Apple Explained
A brand represents your company. It holds every message that you want to send. Thus, creating a brand is more than slapping a logo on the front door. You need to see what people are looking for and come up with ways to provide satisfying services. You have to establish strategies to place images in customers’ minds. Branding is not what you say it is, it’s what they say it is.
Check more articles out below!
- Throne of 2021: The Rise of Short-Form Video
- Normalizing the Norm: How to Better Represent Diversity In Our Media