We all understand that having a brand identity is important, as it ensures our customers recognise us and interact.

But many businesses mistakenly believe that a logo is all that is needed to create a strong brand identity. While it helps, there are many other factors to consider — which we’ll go through here.

What Is Brand Identity?

Brand identity refers to everything about your brand. That includes your brand values, how your product is positioned on the market, what you want customers to feel when they see your product and how you want them to interact with it.

It is the personality of your business, and you use your brand identity to connect and interact with your audience. In order to truly understand what brand identity is, it is worthwhile looking at an example.

Love them or hate them, McDonald’s is an internationally recognised brand. Gold and red are the primary colours of their logo. The big gold M, is highly recognisable, but it’s not just the logo that people are connecting with – it’s the brand itself.

People see the logo and can already smell the iconic Big Mac and taste the salty fries on their lips. If you are driving home from work, you might be tempted to stop in and save yourself the hassle of cooking dinner for the night.

You know exactly what you are getting with the brand, and you are choosing it over the other option, which in this instance is cooking for yourself.

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Why Is Brand Identity So Important?

According to Purely Branded, a brand “lives and evolves in the minds and hearts” of consumers. Just like we saw with the above example of McDonald’s, a brand is much more than just a logo.

Here are just some of the benefits that come with having a strong brand identity…

1. Stand Out From the Crowd

With more and more competition, both online and instore, it is harder to stand out from other businesses. Your brand identity will help you get noticed. If customers know you, they will buy from you.

2. Makes You Look Bigger

Professional branding also gives off the impression that you are a well-established professional business. This can give customers the idea that you deserve their business.

People expect more from an established business and are more likely to pay the fees to reflect this as well.

3. Builds Trust

With your brand identity, you can set up who you are as a business. You can give the impression of being a big global company or a small local business.

The way you choose to connect with your customers through your brand identity is how you build trust with them. It makes consumers feel like you care, and therefore they happily hand over the money.

4. Creates Unity

A strong visual brand creates a sense of unity. If you can maintain your identity across all your marketing channels, customers can easily recognise you.

A brand identity connects all your marketing efforts together and makes it much easier for you to find your customers, and for them to find you.

5. Memorable

Of course, one of the most important benefits of your brand identity is that it helps your customers remember who you are.

Every time you interact with customers through marketing and sales, you have a chance to make a connection with them and create a memorable experience.

If they remember you, they are more likely to refer you to others as well.

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5 Important Elements That Make Up Your Brand Identity

Now that you have an understanding of why brand identity is important to your business, it’s time to look at the components that make up your brand.

1. Logo

As we mentioned earlier, the logo is important. Consider this the face of your business. It is the first thing people see, and it is how they recognise you.

If you have a product that sits on a shelf along with other like products, it is your logo that will help you stand out and get recognised.

2. Colours

Choosing your colour palette and sticking to it will help create a unified look for your business and all your marketing efforts. Think about your business and what you are selling and what feelings certain colours elicit.

For example, red evokes passion, purple is a sophisticated colour, green is associated with nature… it is important to think your colours through and pick ones that speak for your business.

3. Type

Once again, choosing the right font for your business is a big decision. You can choose different fonts for your logo, website, marketing materials, and so on, based on what reflects your business well and is easy to read, depending on the document.

When it comes to your logo, customers should be able to make a connection with the typeface used, just like we do with Coke, Disney and eBay.

4. Graphics

This is the visual language of your brand. Google has an entire post dedicated to the visual assets of your brand and how to achieve coherence. They talk about icon design and go through everything you should be taking into consideration.

5. Messaging

Your brand identity should reflect your values and who you are, and this should come across in your messaging.

Whether it comes in the form of a tagline for your business (think of Nike’s ‘Just Do It’), or it is written down as a mission statement that you refer back to each step of the way, it is something that needs to be considered carefully.

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Setting Up Your Brand Identity

While in an ideal world you set up a clear brand identity from the start, this doesn’t always happen. Plus, businesses evolve along the way and your brand identity should also evolve with it.

For example, if you started off as a local company appealing to mums but have grown to a global business appealing to all parents, then your brand identity should change to reflect this.

Here is how to go about it…

1. Research

If you are an established business, then do some research into how you are perceived by your customers. If you are a new brand, then do some research into your competitors and look at how they are being seen by their customers.

Is this something you want to replicate? How can you do it better?

2. Understand Your Brand

In order to create a brand identity, you have to understand your brand. If you are a budget clothing line, then make sure you position yourself in the right market.

If you don’t know who you are, how are you going to convey this to your customers?

3. Avoid Trends

Trends come and go, and unless you start them, they aren’t going to do you much good. You want your brand identity to last, so think about what is important to your business and not what is popular right now.

4. Keep It Simple

In the pursuit to stand out, many businesses can get a little carried away with their designs. The key is simplicity.

The more complicated you get, the harder it will be to get recognised and the more customers will struggle to understand your messaging.

What’s Your Brand Identity?

The important thing to remember is that if you have a business, you have a brand. It is up to you what you choose to do with your brand.

In a digital era, where more and more people are heading online, the fight to stand out is even harder. Whether you like them or not, strive to be McDonald’s.

You want customers to see your logo and know exactly who you are and what they can expect from your business… and to choose you.

Are you looking to build your dream brand? Email us on [email protected] and speak to one of our experts.