Every day we draw strong associations with the brands around us, often without even realising it. Some of the most successful brands in the world have spent years developing their identities and their brands into what they are today, seamlessly fitting into our lives and instantly recognisable. Developing a strong brand identity is vital to survive within your industry and to position your brand in customers minds.
The key to a strong brand identity is to develop and build on a unique brand mission statement, have a recogniseable appearance, clear values, and foster global customer loyalty. If you are looking to launch a new brand, or develop yours further there are multiple things to consider and apply to your brand strategy.
Before we look at the steps needed in developing a strong brand identity and corresponding strategy, let’s look at what a brand identity is in more detail.
What Is Brand Identity?
Brand Development is “the process of improving a brand or improving customers’ knowledge and opinions of a brand.” – Cambridge English Dictionary.
Building a brand identity is essentially building a perception of who you are in the customers’ mind, that they think of whenever your brand is mentioned. It encompasses everything from a logo, brand colours, and the name, to how it sounds, its reputation, how it makes people feel and what values it holds.
Therefore, brand identity is about upholding a reputation of a unique and identifiable level of quality, value, and trust that the customer finds in your company, and that leaves a lasting impression long after they have purchased from you.
In this sense, your brand is potentially one of the most valuable assets to your business and is what builds the foundations of your brand’s visibility, reputation, and popularity. Developing a strong brand identity is therefore vital, and involves the careful and considered process of creating and strengthening your business brand authority within your industry through all channels.
Developing A Strong Identity For Your Brand
There are many aspects of your brand that come together to form your brand identity, and each one must be considered when developing that identity to ensure consistency and the correct messaging to reflect who you are. Developing a brand identity goes hand in hand with creating a focused brand development strategy, with long term goals for success.’
Your brand is not just all about the visual elements of your company like your website, logo or name – it’s about far more than that, it’s the thoughts and feelings that people associate with your brand through your conveyance of attributes, values, purposes, strengths, and passions. Therefore, a well thought out brand strategy will consider the following:
Brand Values – Who Do You Want To Be And What Do You Want To Achieve?
Your brand values are at the core of any brand identity, and are needed to ensure the credibility and trust you need from your customers to be successful. The mission statement for your brand should reference your core values when it comes to your business principles, culture and ethos.
As well as encompassing you you are, they should position your customers as the central focus point for everything you do. It should differentiate your brand from your competitors to ensure you stand out, be clear on who you are and what the benefits are to people using your company and its products or services. This is the foundation from which you build your brand and make business decisions.
Target Audience – Who Do You Want to Attract To Your Brand?
For a brand to be successful you need to know exactly who your target audience is, in order to attract them to you over your competitors. Conducting a thorough brand audit will help you establish this, as well as building knowledge from Google analytics and any social media analytics tools you currently have.
Analysing your competitors’ audiences will also help you, as well as establishing who you don’t want your audience to be. Creating personas can greatly help with this process, as you can picture your audience as real people. Frequently reviewing your customers and online audiences will allow you to reevaluate as your brand grows and develops.
Your Brands Creative Elements
As well as considering who your brand is in terms of a mission statement, personas and values, how your brand looks visually is a vital element of your brand identity. This covers aspects such as your logo, your brand colours, fonts used, your slogan and any other creative elements that build up how your brand will look online, on social media and across any marketing materials and advertising channels.
It’s important to keep this simple, stand out, and consistent, so that your brand becomes instantly recognisable wherever it is placed. It is worth spending a lot of time and research to create visual brand elements that give the right impression for your business, and make sure that they will stand the test of time. Simple and impactful usually works best – just look at the Nike tick!
Brand Message – What Tone Of Voice (TOV) Is Your Brand Going To Use?
The tone of voice for your brand must be developed as part of your brand identity, and you can use your customer research and personas to create this. Different brands naturally have different ways of talking and communicating with their customers, so the key is to find the right one for you. Picturing your brand as a person will greatly help with this, and you will need to keep in mind the context of where your brand is communicating too.
For example, as individual people we behave differently on different social media platforms, and again on a bigger scale the content of email or your website is different again. While your tone of voice overall must be consistent, this doesn’t mean it can’t be adaptable depending on where you are communicating.
Brand Strategy – How To Achieve Your Brand’s Values and Goals?
According to Carly Stec, a brand strategy essentially, ‘encompasses specific, long-term goals that can be achieved with the evolution of a successful brand — the combined components of your company’s character that make it identifiable’.
A brand strategy will allow you to position your brand favourably within the marketplace, at all customer touch points. Not only will it include the marketing materials and any advertising, but it could involve bigger campaigns that span multiple channels to deliver and reinforce your brand message. This can be across PR activity, social media, your website, sponsorship events and so on.
The ultimate goal of a brand strategy is to have a clear and good reputation with your customers for who you are and the service you deliver, that must consistently be upheld with any activity the brand is associated with.
Need Help with Developing A Strong Brand Identity For Your Business?
If you require further advice on your brand creation and identity, Wriggle’s in-house design and branding experts would be more than happy to help you. Contact us today on 0191 285 6128 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about our digital marketing services!