A strong brand identity is important in the competitive business landscape. You must have thought about how to build a strong brand image, and this blog is just for you.
As a brand, you only have 7 seconds to make a first impression. With the availability of a plethora of online content, the attention span of human beings has been reduced. This brand statistic highlights the need for investing in a strong brand image, particularly visual branding to make the most of those 7 seconds.
Your brand identity consists of a lot more elements than just a logo. In addition to your logo, you need to focus on a number of other elements to develop a strong and unique brand image. A strong brand image is pivotal for businesses of all sizes in order to expand and grow their audience. Let’s dig deeper and understand how to build a strong brand image in 2023.
What is a Brand Identity?
Brand identity refers to the collection of elements that a company creates to display the right image to its audience. It is a unique way for a brand to present itself in the eyes of its audience and distinguish itself from its competitors. It includes elements like your logo, color palette, imagery, typography, and messaging that communicate a brand’s value, personality, and promise. In simple terms, a brand’s identity is its personality. It is a key emotional link between you and your consumers, and this relationship is important for purchasing decisions.
A characteristic, or combination of characteristics, that sets one company apart from another is called a brand. A brand usually consists of a name, slogan, design, brand voice, logo, or symbol, and more.
Let’s explore the importance of brand identity.
The Importance of Brand Identity
Brands and businesses are looking for creative ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors globally. You will require an easily recognisable brand to execute this successfully. Your brand identity is a representation of your business’s personality and its products. As a result, having a strong brand image will make you popular with your target demographic.
Logo=Face of the Company
The logo represents the face of your company. This means that the logo should be more than just visually appealing or intriguing. It should serve emotionally to a company’s brand identity. The audience should be informed that the particular logo represents the company. To quote an example, we instantly recognise Coca-Cola from looking at its logo. That’s how connected we are with the brand.
A brand identity serves as a blueprint for every element of an advertisement for your business, be it print, online, or even a YouTube commercial. A brand that has a name and reputation in its niche is well-equipped to advertise itself and leave a lasting impression on potential customers. For example, McDonald’s has many times creatively advertised their food menu items. As consumers, we resonate with the golden arches emblem, and whenever we find it, our mind just clicks on McDonald’s.
Your Brand Mission
Your brand develops a sense of identity when it has some value, a mission statement, and a vision. In turn, that provides your business with a goal. Everyone is aware that businesses need a mission statement. So, without first giving your brand an identity, you can’t have one. A few world-renowned mission statements of famous brands:
- Tesla: “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy”
- LinkedIn: “To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful”
- PayPal: “To build the web’s most convenient, secure, cost-effective payment solution”
- Amazon: “To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavours to offer its customers the lowest possible prices”
- Nike: “Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. If you have a body, you are an athlete”
Trust and Loyalty
Having a unique brand identity gives your products a higher recall value and increases your brand’s trust in the marketplace. A brand builds trust and customer loyalty by establishing a unique image and keeping it consistent over time. For instance, McDonald’s consistently features the golden arches emblem across all platforms (online and traditional), maintains brand consistency, strengthens its identity, and builds trust among its customers worldwide.
Attract New Customers and Satisfy Existing Ones
People who support what your business has to offer are attracted by your strong brand identity. It has a face, a mission, and values that can be trusted. Once people become customers and start buying your products, the same brand identity makes them feel like they belong. It makes them feel that your values and goals are also shared with them. A good brand creates fans and advocates as opposed to just customers with a good product. It will require a lot of hard work to establish your business as a reputed and respected brand.
How to Build a Strong Brand Image?
It is important to take your time and put effort into building your brand. Beyond picking colours and logos, there are many other factors required to create a strong brand identity. Tips on how to build a strong brand identity for your business in 2023 are as follows:
Conduct Audience, Value Proposition and Competition Research
Research is an important aspect when it comes to building a strong brand identity for your business. Understanding your target audience and its demographics, competitors, the goal of your business, personality, voice, and values are all important steps in developing a strong and unique brand identity.
Steve Jobs once said, “Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realise it themselves.” It goes without saying that different people have different needs and demands. It is quite evident that you cannot advertise to Gen Z the same way you would market your product to Millennials or Baby Boomers. To build a brand that people will like, it is important to understand what your target audience wants from a business in your niche industry. Begin by learning about the pain points of your audience and then providing solution-oriented products.
Value Proposition + Competition Research
As a business, question yourself about what sets you apart and makes you unique in the industry. What are you offering to the customers that no other business is providing? How are you standing ahead of your competitors in the industry? This is important to build a strong, unique, and respectable brand identity for your business. Observe your competitors to understand which branding strategies are effective and which ones you can neglect.
A mission statement that outlines your objectives, principles, and vision of your business is also necessary. Businesses with strong brand identities are very aware of their target audience and themselves. Be willing to stand up for what you believe in. Customers are drawn to businesses that share their beliefs now more than ever. Incorporate your goals and vision into everything you do. Establish relationships with people who share similar beliefs as yours.
Research might become monotonous at times. But the more you invest in research and study your audience, the more you will understand about your industry. This will help you create a strong and unique brand identity for your business. Use typography, colours, and graphics to express your brand’s personality. Your tone of voice will help enhance your brand’s visual representation. Be human and approachable.
To quote an example: Coca-Cola- Whenever you think about Coke, you automatically think of “Happiness.” The reason is: that the brand has associated itself with joyous occasions. They present their personalities as carefree and fun-loving. This motivates the audience to forget their worries and live in the moment.
SWOT stands for:
Strengths- positive characteristics of your business;
Weakness- qualities that prove to be negative for your business;
Opportunities- Innovations and trends in your niche beneficial for your business;
Threats- aspects of your industry and environment that might have a negative impact on your business.
Conducting a SWOT analysis will help you better understand your brand and business. You may discover qualities you wish to represent in the brand by taking into account the characteristics of your business.
Designing a Logo & Custom Template
A renowned graphic designer Paul Rand once said, “Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that’s why it is so complicated.” It is time to bring your brand to life once you have done thorough research about your business and its environment. Design plays an important role in building a strong brand image. Let’s study further to understand more.
A logo does not entirely include your brand identity. Your logo is the most visible aspect of your business. It is also an essential component of the branding process. A logo is present everywhere, from your website to business cards and online advertisements. A well-crafted logo encourages your potential and existing customers to stay. It explains who you are, what you do, and how it helps customers. Did you know that 33% of the top 100 brands use the colour blue in their logos? Some of the famous logos are:
Nike’s Swoosh designed by Carolyn Davidson
Netflix logo was designed by a New York-based design firm called Gretel
IBM logo designed by Paul Rand
Some interesting facts about colours in branding are:
- 80% of the brand awareness is enhanced by colours.
- People’s behaviours, moods and stress levels are influenced by colours. (Take a note, please)
- 93% of shoppers emphasise visual appearance alone when they want to buy something.
- Blue is the favourite colour of 35% of women and 57% of men.
Colour is so much more than just an aesthetic factor for any brand. Colour is the first impression of your brand that customers come across, and this impression is accompanied by a wide range of emotional connections. Develop a colour palette for your brand to strengthen its identity. It gives you a choice to develop unique designs for your business while adhering to the brand’s identity.
Typography is the term for the fonts you leverage to build a unique brand image. For instance, serif fonts indicate that your business is more conventional, sans serif (like Helvetica) assists in producing a more contemporary look. You should use your fonts consistently throughout your print and digital platforms. You should focus on using consistent design across all platforms and preferably stick to no more than three readable font families. Below are a few examples of typography used by popular brands:
Sans Serif: Google, Netflix
Script or Cursive: Cartier, Ray-Ban
Serif: Rolex, Prada
Creating a branding guideline for any business is necessary to create a strong brand identity. It is a document that outlines rules and regulations for using design and its resources. It is the simplest approach to ensuring that all future design work you create will be consistent with your brand identity and deliver the right impression. By outlining brand guidelines, you make sure that the components of your brand are correctly used and look presentable. Guidelines give your business some sort of control over how others use your brand, making sure that its visual identity is always consistent.
You might be sending out email newsletters, business cards, or type-up letters to your existing and prospective customers. Developing templates will make your business more harmonious, trustworthy, and a thought leader in front of your audience. For example, by developing an email template, you can make sure that your emails are informative and entertaining to read. It will help your brand appear professional at all times.
Businesses with a physical store must also be aware of their signage. Your signage plays an important role in how you treat your customers and build a strong and unique brand identity. All of your signage, from the small sale sign in your window display to signs for a new pop-up store, should be eye-catching while being consistent with the rest of your design elements.
Incorporate Language to Engage, Promote and Represent Your Brand
After establishing design elements and conducting in-depth research for your business, you are now prepared to integrate your brand within your niche community. High-quality content is one of the most significant aspects of building a strong brand identity in the marketplace. Strong brands like Apple, Coca-Cola, Nike, and Amazon, to name a few, form an emotional bond with their customers. So, make sure you do storytelling in a unique way to engage your audience and establish a relationship with them. Language plays a crucial role in creating and establishing a strong brand identity in front of an audience.
Try to learn the slang of your audience. The language should also align with your brand’s personality. If your brand is luxurious, use professional language, and if your brand is casual, use more informal language. The language you use will represent your brand across all aspects of your business. So, it is important to carefully craft the tone and voice to reflect the brand’s personality. For instance, Dove has a hugely loyal audience base. They have created their brand voice to build awareness of body positivity, female empowerment, and self-love.
Emotions and Forming Relationships
People love good stories. Actually, people prefer stories that inspire them. Forming long-lasting relationships with a brand can be based on creating an emotional connection with customers, which is important to establishing a strong brand identity for your business. For example, the brand voice of Coca-Cola emphasises friendliness and positivity.
The most efficient and effective approach to promoting your brand is by designing ads. It is a means of reaching your target audience and communicating your brand’s message. Leverage advertising your brand online and offline to reach your target audience, grow your business, increase your sales and revenue, and generate a higher ROI. Ads also help in building a strong brand identity for your business as they work as infotainment (information + entertainment) for the audience and provide solutions for their pain points.
Social media is a fantastic tool to connect with your customers and build relationships. In the digital era, social media plays a significant role in creating a strong brand image for your business. You can establish your brand on the respective social media platforms to express your story and form an emotional bond with your target audience. Who doesn’t love social media? All of your target audience might be on certain social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, X, LinkedIn, and more). Utilise the power of social media, produce relevant content, and build a strong brand identity that resonates with your audience.
Monitoring and Analysis of Your Brand
It is important to monitor and analyse performance metrics and data to build and maintain a unique brand image in the industry. Google Analytics helps you understand your audience’s preferences and demographics and what keeps them interested in your brand. There are many advantages of brand monitoring. It helps to improve customer service. It helps you attract potential customers and retain existing ones.
For a successful brand identity, brand monitoring is essential, as it gives the opportunity to implement changes and stay updated with trends. You can experiment, learn, and then optimise after you figure out what sets you apart from your competitors. Customers who believe in your brand will begin to support you if your product lives up to the buzz you create.
Learn What to Avoid
- Do not imitate your competitors.
- Do not send conflicting messages to your consumers.
- Maintain brand consistency offline and online.
Use the right words and graphics to express your brand message to your consumers. Your competitors might have excellent branding strategies; however, do not try to copy the same strategies. Study your competitor, conduct your thorough research and then create a strategy that will align with your brand values and goals. You might follow different online and offline strategies, but remember to maintain consistency with designs, colours, fonts and themes.
Build a strong brand image for your business that establishes long-term relationships with your customers. Consistency is worth it, so make sure to use a consistent colour palette, fonts, and images to develop an effective brand identity. When consumers quickly recognise you with your logo and what it communicates, that is when you have won the game. Create a brand identity that your customers will remember.
FAQs on Brand Identity: How to Build a Strong Brand Image
What is the branding strategy for 2023?
Customers are looking to connect in a more transparent way. They want the brands to be honest with them. So, don’t be afraid to be real with the customers. Understand them, their pain points, and offer solutions and establish a long-lasting relationship with them.
What is the importance of branding in 2023?
Brand marketers are aware that enhancing and maintaining the brand image is essential for the expansion and success of any business. Consumers have a lot of choices in the market and the well-trusted brands will make it easier for the consumers to make purchasing decisions.
What are the brand identity design trends in 2023?
Brands are expected to use a dissolving effect in 2023 to draw attention to their logos. Additionally, the use of GIFs and animation in the designs will take place on social media platforms. Glitch effects, gradients, typography with a twist, and geometric patterns are a few latest trends in brand identity designs.
How to build a strong brand identity?
– Conduct comprehensive research
– Determine goals & identify your target audience
– Create a brand personality and voice
– Create a logo
– Continuously monitor the metrics
– Research your competitors
– Be approachable
What is a strong brand identity?
A solid brand identity is a sign of strength for every business. It delivers on the promise of your brand’s unique value proposition by giving great customer service. The experience should be consistent, satisfying, and sensible for your audience.