Brand identity is a term used often in business. But what exactly is a brand identity? A business’ brand is its identity. It reflects the business from its promise to its customers to the company’s work culture. A brand is far more than just a logo. It is the values, mission, promise and vision of the company. A brand is what sets your business apart and makes it memorable. So how can small businesses develop a brand identity?
Questions You Need to Answer First
- Who is your company’s audience? How do they see you?
- This is key because your audience is who you want to remember your brand. Therefore, your brand should match their values and resonate with your audience. By determining how they see you, you can see what might need to be adjusted or what you are doing correct.
- What is your company’s values?
- These are the values your company reflects and it is a promise of what your customers should expect from your business. These values could be clarity, timeliness, dependability, etc.
- What is your mission and vision statements?
- Do not confuse your mission and your vision statements. Your vision is where you would like your business to be one day. This is the hopeful long-term goal. You mission statement is a more attainable short-term objective and how your business plans on getting there
Knowing the answers to these questions will help you identify or define your brand. The next part of a brand identity is the part the customers with see regularly, the logo, tone, design style and copy.
The Visual Elements
Your logo, font and brand colors should reflect your business and its values. A dark, hard and edgy logo design does not match a whimsical, floral clothing business. Having a mismatched design or elements is like walking into a house that has some rooms completely modern and other rooms country. It can throw people off and/or give them the wrong impression of what your business sells or represents. Remember your first impression is important and these visual elements will often be that first impression.
The Written Elements
If you know who your audience is and how you want your company to come across, you can start to develop the tone for your company. Tones can be professional, conversational, humorous, playful, etc. A business targeting millennials, for instance, might use a humorous conversational tone, since that often appeals to millennials. Your tone should match both you and your audience. Everything should be written in the tone you decide to use, that includes all copy, content and your tagline.
All these elements make up a brand identity. However, just having a brand identity is not enough. Consistency is key to a strong brand identity. This means that everything should be consistent and reflect this identity. If your business values and promotes timeliness you need to be timely. Your customers to see your brand identity at EVERY point of contact.
Your brand is what sets your company apart and a strong brand identity will help your business stand out. It does not matter if you are a big business or a one-person operated eCommerce business, having a brand identity is important to success and growth.
By Ashleigh Cue