The word ‘branding’ often gets used a lot in the business world and is thrown around quite a lot, but it's easily confused by many as just being a logo. This could not be further from the truth, although a logo is a small part of a business brand, it does not make up the entire brand identity.
REMEMBER: There IS a difference between branding and brand.
Think of it this way - just like you have your personal identity, which makes you unique and memorable, your brand should also have a ‘brand identity’. It’s a crucial part of creating a business, and one that will allow you to stand out from the millions of other businesses in your industry.
Whether you’re starting a new business, or rebranding an existing business, it should be the first step when looking to take your brand to the next level (or as we like to call it, Zero to Hero).
So, what is brand identity?
Brand identity is essentially the personality and perception of your business. It encapsulates the company's mission, vision and core values as well as creates a promise to customers to deliver consistent quality throughout products, service, and brand experience. It can also be considered as the way you want existing customers and potential customers to perceive your brand, product, or service. In other words, brand identity is who you are, what you do, and how you do it.
Brand identity includes elements such as:
Tone of Voice
Social Media Presence
Brand identity is not to be confused with brand image or branding.
Brand image is the perception of your product or brand by consumers, branding is the actions taken to build a certain image, while brand identity is the personality you give your product or service and how you want it to be perceived by consumers.
Why is brand identity so important?
Developing a strong brand identity is one of the many key steps to success and is what will help create a recognizable and memorable brand. A consistent and distinctive identity will help you stand out in your already highly competitive marketplace and will critically impact whether or not customers will want to purchase your product or service.
As we’ve discovered and discussed, brand identity isn't just a logo or marketing campaign, it's how the brand presents itself to the market. Take a look at global brands such as Coca Cola, Apple, or Nike - they’re strong brand identity has allowed them to be recognised anywhere in the world, cultivated a loyal customer base and become leaders in the market.
When you think of the above business names, you think of their logos.
How to create a strong brand identity
Purpose and Positioning
This is perhaps one of the most important steps in creating a powerful brand identity. Before you begin creating any tangible elements, you need to understand who you are as a brand.
This includes asking yourself questions like:
What is your mission (aka what is your why)?
What are your values?
What tone of voice do you want your brand to have?
What makes your brand unique?
What is the driving force behind starting this brand?
Once you have a clear understanding of your purpose as a brand, you can start working on elements that will bring the brand to life. This is where the fun begins and you can start designing elements such as your logo, colour palette, graphics, images, and typography. These may all seem like simple components, but overall they will convey emotion and meaning as well as create your brand identity. When designing, consistency is what can make or break the process. Follow the design choices throughout all areas of your business to create a harmonious brand identity.
Use language that matches the personality of your brand and speaks to your customers in an engaging and exciting way. If you have a laid back brand, you might want to consider using a more conversational tone, whereas if you have a luxury business, you may want to use a more professional tone.
Like any other aspect of marketing, you won’t know what is working and what is not unless you are regularly monitoring. Use social media, comments, and analytics to monitor your brand and get a sense of how consumers are responding to your brand. This will allow you to make changes when needed.
Now that you’ve got a clear understanding of brand identity and the tools needed to create one, it's time to start building your brand! It will take time, effort, and hard work, but it's worth it.
PSST - if you want to know more about developing your brand identity, please reach out and book in here for a discovery call. During this 15-minute free chat, we will discuss what is necessary to get you from Zero to Hero.
Zoe, Team Greenery & Co