19 Mar Creating a Brand Identity That Helps You Stand Out in 2020
Creating a Brand Identity That Helps You Stand Out in 2020.
You will often see people use the word “logo” as an alternative to the word “brand”. However, even though the logo is a part of the brand, it is barely a small part of the overall picture that a brand represents. A brand requires a lot more than just a nice-looking logo. It is a process that leads to your company being recognised in the market by all your present and potential customers.
With the global markets shrinking into a single mega-cluster, the competition to stand out has become extremely tough. In this huge race, having a unique identity, one that people can recognise is extremely important.
Before you go about strategizing on how you will develop your company brand, you need to understand what it is. While looking at the basic concept may make you think that brand identity is simply creating a name and pasting it on everything your company owns, it is a lot more than that. So, let us begin by understanding what brand identity is.
What is brand identity?
Let us start by adding a bit of context. The word “brand” comes from a cattle-herding practice that has been in existence for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Ranchers would “brand” the skins of their cattle with a unique sign that was a clear mark of their identity. This would allow animals to be differentiated when cattle belonging to different ranchers would mix between each other in the fields.
Of course, this practice also involved sub-categorisation among the same herd. While the practice has since evolved, it has provided a figurative name for the concept. And this concept has also evolved beyond being just an insignia.
Let us take the example of a well-known brand like Coca-Cola. As soon as you hear that name, the signature red logo with white text comes to your mind. The bright coloured background with that signature text style immediately gives a sense of positivity. The casual yet unique font also lets you imagine it as a drink that you would enjoy in multiple settings. As you can see, their logo itself goes beyond being just a logo and shares an ideology that Coca-Cola has about its products.
A cool fact that might interest you is that they have a unique bottle design. Coca-Cola produces their bottle in a shape that no other brand does, and that uniqueness shows effort on the company’s part. This also creates a sense of trust among consumers. Of course, there is a lot more to their brand than just their logo, but we wanted you to understand what an effective branding strategy can yield for your company.
Importance of brand identity.
Your brand’s identity is effectively the essence of everything that your business does and what it stands for. A brand is an image that lives in the minds of your consumers, and that is something you can steer by focusing your efforts on creating a solid identity. Having an identity that makes your consumers feel trust and comfort is something that your business ends up relying on for its future.
Giving your business a face.
Coming back to the logo example as a visual representation of your overall business vision. It is not just a visual representation of what your name is or what you produce. A logo is practically the “face” of your business, and you want to make that face look perfect. It shows the consumers that your face represents your business and is its primary recognition source. The ideology that you want to inspire in people’s minds should resonate through your logo.
Assuming an authoritative stance.
Another reason for working on creating a brand identity is the authority it provides you. Lookup any product you can imagine and then search on a site like AliExpress for it. You will probably find a hundred different variants for it in circulation. But here’s the thing; none of those businesses will be able to create an image of their own in your mind. Even when buying a knock-off product, what you associate it with is the original creator of that design.
If you are buying a smartphone, you will easily be able to tell what company they are copying just by looking at it. This is because the original manufacturers have created authority of their own for designing phones that look a certain way. But your trust in the product will only be present when you buy the original product from the company that makes it.
Creating an impression and attracting customers.
An important component of your brand’s identity is the ability to make people feel a certain way. Whether it is through advertising or your products, they feel an emotion when they have an identity to associate it with. This helps create a much more effective impact from a marketing standpoint as well and can lead to better consumer base buildup.
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Additionally, you are also using your identity as the point of connection with your customers. Whenever a person buys something from a brand, they feel a sense of intimacy, as if they “belong” with that brand. Such emotion can only occur when there is an established image of the brand in the customer’s mind. Buy a random product like a t-shirt or jeans from an unbranded store and you will never feel that connection. The urge to go back and buy from the same place will never come.
Conducting market research.
You cannot create a brand identity without conducting market research, period. The fact of the matter is that every human being is different, and everyone has different needs and preferences. You cannot create a product that can have the same level of attraction to consumers of every group. You will never see a brand like Coca-Cola trying to win over people who are diagnosed with diabetes or perhaps gastritis.
You need to conduct market research and find out what type of consumers would want your product and what category they fall in. If you are selling something like skateboards, you will never find the older segment of the population showing interest in your products.
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Once you have figured out the right segment of the market for your product, you use that to create your brand. It must be in sync with the preferences of your target audience and appeal to them accordingly. Only by doing this will you be able to create a sense of loyalty and love among your customers. This is because they will feel that sense of belonging and feel that someone out there is looking after their interests. Having a name to associate that feeling too will be everything for your brand.
Defining your business.
This part of identity creation covers several different aspects. The most important part, the point where you start, is to figure out “why you?” You need to be able to tell why your business is better than your competitors. What value are you offering that no one else is? You will only know that if you are aware of what your competitors are offering. Not only will that tell you about how your competitors are branding themselves, but also let you know what strategies to use or avoid.
Vision & mission.
A key aspect of defining your business is to know what your ultimate goals are. You should be able to define in clear words what inspired your business to provide its services and what your long-term objectives are. This will help you a lot in developing a personality for your business, something that is extremely crucial to brand identity.
Some people may argue that businesses don’t have a personality, and it is a trait exclusive to individuals. However, in the minds of your consumers, your business is just like an individual. Every aspect of your brand defines who you are and creates an image in their mind, just like an actual face. So, every single detail from the way your logo is made to the way you advertise your products will affect that image. And ultimately, that image will define your business’ “personality”.
At this stage, you might want to consider conducting a SWOT Analysis to figure out where your business stands. The strengths will tell you how your business is better than the competition. The weaknesses will tell you where you fall behind. The opportunities will show you where you may have a chance to leap forward. And the threats will tell you what elements to be wary of to avoid potential damage to the business.
Using the right language.
Sure, you could say that “pictures speak louder than words”, but that is far from the truth when it comes to brand identity. In fact, the power of words goes hand in hand with the imagery your business conveys. Every single word that you communicate with your audience has an impact. The tone you use, the wording you use, the emotions you portray, will all have an impact. So, it is very important to invest just as much into your language as you would into your imagery.
For example, if you are selling professional services, you would want to use a professional tone and wording. A software development company cannot use slang in front of their clients as they won’t be taken seriously. On the flip side, if you are making a product that is meant for a teenage audience, you might want to use an informal conversation style with some colloquial words.
Connect with your audience.
Building a brand identity takes years, and as your business evolves, its identity evolves with it. To make sure you are on the right track, it is important to keep in constant touch with your audience/customers. They will provide feedback on everything that you are doing, and this can be very helpful in defining your future strategy. Social media has made this communication extremely easy, so it is very important to listen to everything your consumers tell you.
Keep your eyes open.
The best way of staying up to date and on track is by making sure that you are aware of all the changes occurring around your business. There are so many tools nowadays that provide you with an endless stream of data and analytics regarding your company’s performance and presence. Using that to your advantage is very important, so you do not miss anything out.
Of course, all of this is no easy task, and having someone to help can often make a big difference. With a highly experienced firm responsible for creating brand images, you can benefit a lot from strategies devised by our experts. Having the input of someone who has played a role in the brand creation of countless businesses can go a long way in creating the right identity.
Now that you know what matters and what you need to do, it is time to come out of the shadows and finally create the brand identity your business deserves.