“Your Brand is what other people say about you, When you are not in the room” - Jeff Bezos
As Jeff Bezos said, a powerful brand identity is defined by a strong visual message and an exclusive brand style. An outstanding strategy to build a business also constitutes the implementation of the right set of visual elements. This will deliver the appropriate message and build strong communication with your target audience. The personality of your brand will determine your recognition among customers. Design your brand identity in such a way that it can immediately form the connection between you and your customers and increase customer loyalty.
Designing a brand identity should be backed by immense research. It should be appealing enough to stand out. After all, it affects how your audience perceives the brand.
Before you commence your journey of creating a brand image, it is absolutely necessary to understand your brand well. There are certain key elements that shape your brand. These include the vision, values, attributes, and the brand’s style of communication.
Are you confused about the brand’s elements? Or unclear about how to create a unique and intriguing personality? Shrug off your worries!
Here are five simple hacks to branding or re-branding your brand image. Whether you are building your brand from scratch or re-structuring your brand image in a whole new form, these tips will always guide you through the process:
Understand your brand
1. Understand your brand :
This is the very first step before designing a brand image. Be fully aware of your brand’s values, traits, mission, target audience, and unique positioning before approaching a designer. The designers will always ask about your preferences and choices. Give crisp and clear information to the designer on how you want the audience to perceive your brand.
Here’s an example of how Design Makers understands its clients. This helps Design Makers to discover everything they need to know about their client’s choices after the discovery session and before they start designing.
Provide as many details as you can. If it’s about your audience, then try to provide every inch of information ranging from demographics to social status to the profession of the clientele. Through brand identity, explain the emotions you want to induce among your customers. If you are designing your brand from the scratch, remember to make a classic and timeless identity. It should last a lifetime.
If you are rebranding, then remember to focus on new aspects of your business and promote them in an appropriate way so as to bring them to the people’s attention. The sole purpose of this process is to give a complete insight into your brand values to the designers before they proceed into researching.
2. Research :
The research stage forms an important part so as to ensure the exclusivity of your brand. This will help the designer in studying the target customer’s preferences. This in turn will be beneficial in creating a strong visual identity that is preferred by the audience. Competitor’s brand study is also done to see where you stand in contrast to them. Conceptualizing a fresh brand image is similar to commencing a new business. The only motive is to create a brand personality that synchronizes with your target audience.
The research will help the designers in brainstorming creative ideas and create concepts that will match the company’s tone. Here’s an example from Design Makers who researched the keywords for designing the logo of a client’s brand.
3. Design :
Understanding the brand’s language and researching its audiences and competitors will lead the designer to the designing stage. This stage includes creating the key design elements for visual imagery i.e. Logo, Typography, Iconography, Pattern, Texture, Colours, Photography, Illustration, Layout, and Composition. Here's an example of elements of Toyota's logo.
The motive is to ensure that every element is designed in sync with the brand image. While rebranding, remember not to create confusion with the new brand image. Thus, keep the old feel of the brand intact through one or two supporting elements in the new brand identity.
These are the key assets to build a consistent visual brand identity across all platforms. The design should be flexible enough to look striking for whichever purpose it is used for Website, Social Media, Billboards, Signage, Blog Posts, Advertising Banners, Podcast Images, Flyers, Merchandise, and Stationeries. Always remember, consistency is the key.
4. Style Guide :
The brand style guide is intended to be the rulebook that contains everything about your logo usage, typefaces, and color palette codes. The rules will determine the limitations of those elements for online and offline media, layout guidelines, the image uses, etc.
Here's an example of a brand style guide from PixelGo. An easy method of maintaining consistency in branding is by creating a brand guideline for your company and sharing it with your team members. They can all follow the same guidelines to render a professional and homogenous appeal all over. This will help in building a trustworthy and reliable relationship with the customers. Inconsistency is a sign of unprofessionalism.
5. Execute :
The final phase includes the implementation of all the customized elements in a proper way so as to resonate an impactful visual brand identity. From here onwards, the company’s image starts taking shape. Your brand’s personality should be structured in accordance with the engagement of your audience and customers, to deliver them the brand experience of premium grade. The brand style should be similar across all marketing platforms. Website is one of the major marketing touch-points which should represent the brand identity is a strong compelling manner. In today’s cut-throat competition, a hastily designed website is a complete no-no. It is the hub of your sales and business and is often the very first marketing platform visited by a prospective customer. Thus, it is very essential to create an impressive effect on the audience through the company’s website. Other than Website & Landing Pages, Print Media, Packaging Design, Digital Marketing, Advertising, and Social Media Content are other branding agents.
To summarise, your brand identity is how your audience perceives your brand. Therefore, it’s necessary to come up with out-of-the-box ideas to design a brand identity else it would be difficult to stand out in the current scenario.