Brand identity is a necessary strategic component of any brand in all industries. Higher education, private firms and solely digital companies are examples of organizations that require a brand identity. One should carefully construct brand identity guidelines so that when a new business is launched, the identity does not need to change significantly.
Starting a business with an effective identity starts by following brand identity guidelines. These guidelines shape your brand and how the public perceives it, and it is ultimately what will make or break your brand once it hits the market.
1: Understand Your Target Audience
A strong identity for your brand will be the best tool you have for drawing in consumers and keeping their attention. Differentiating your brand from another in the same industry is the challenge that will set you apart. A brand identity should showcase what sets it apart from others on the market. Brand identity guidelines focus on visual and social media as well. What drives your business’s growth should be worked into its identity.
2: Create a Clear and Motivating Mission
The mission of a brand should be concise, accessible, honest and accurate. Brand missions shape the identity of a brand. Developing a solid mission will help you shape the rest of your brand identity guidelines.
3: Establish an Overall Style
Brands of 2017 have a lot to cover when developing an identity. When you are establishing brand identity guidelines, you will need to consider social media, product packaging, content that is produced for or by your brand, and merchandising.
Sometimes, even the appearance of employees can count in designing a proper brand identity.That does include any uniforms or dress-code requirements. Brand identity covers it all. Effective brands use consistency in fonts, colors, logos, and writing. Social-media posts may follow a specific format that relates directly to your marketing scheme.
4: Logo Matters
The most crucial part of a brand identity is the logo. A logo is what people will associate with your brand. A great logo will be memorable, clean, easy to use on merchandising and marketing material, recognizable and improvable. You do not want your brand identity to go through a significant change.
Still, being able to subtly improve your logo over the course of the brand’s lifetime is necessary for staying fresh and modern. Major companies like Instagram, Facebook, Wal-Mart, and Apple have all held a consistent brand identity, but their logos have changed subtly over the years. Your brand identity should strive to do the same.
5: Create Brand Guidelines Packages
If there are people who use your brand identity in other content, you will want to create a package of brand-identity guidelines to ensure consistency. An example of this is a university brand. A university may have students creating web pages, research projects, written or oral communications, and countless other designs with the University branding in mind.
In order to remain consistent and uphold the values of the brand identity, a university will typically offer students access to guidelines to follow. Brand identity guidelines ensure that there is no mistaking what company the information belongs to.
Additionally, style guides instruct on how to appropriately use the logos and visual content for the best effect. An improperly used visual style will result in disaster for your brand. Problems with identity usage include stretched images, shrunken images, poor positioning and designs that are not equally suited for web browsing and mobile browsing.
6: Make Data Visual
Data about a brand includes customer feedback, keywords associated with a brand, your intended goal, products, and overarching themes. It should be your goal to create a strong identity from that information.
Elements of those components should create a strong image that tells a story about the brand’s identity. Brand identity guidelines should craft a visual that elicits an emotional response or a pull to the brand.
7: Photography and Graphics
Photography and graphics should follow a consistent pattern. This way, clients will recognize them as part of your branding. Consumers of your brand should never look at your photography and wonder why it’s different from one thing to the next.
It should be creative enough that it always engages the consumer, but it should follow brand identity guidelines to create something that identifies your brand without the need to mention a name. That is a true marker of success when creating a brand identity.
8: One Should Avoid Certain Things
Knowing what to avoid is part of developing a brand identity that endures. Offline and online branding should be consistent with each other. You should not send mixed signals by using language and visuals that are not clear.
This is one pitfall to designing your own brand identity because what makes sense to you may not make sense to your consumers. You should also consider usability and readability. Brand identity needs to be accessible to people with visual or hearing impairments and other disabilities. These issues may affect the interpretation of a brand if it is not clear enough.
You can isolate an entire segment of your audience by doing something like using a font that is impossible to read.
9: Say No to Copying
It should be a no-brainer that copying is frowned upon and harmful to your brand. However, plenty of individuals or companies copy or steal from other businesses on a regular basis. Set your brand apart, and don’t copy the hard work of other companies. You can feel free to take tips from a successful brand in your industry, but people will easily notice outright copying.
Summing It Up
Your approach on effective brand identity guidelines should strive to create something that is flexible when growth is necessary. On the other hand, identity should not have to undergo substantial changes. Brand identity shifts are difficult for consumers to keep up with, and they can pose a certain risk.
Getting it correct the first time is critical, but following strict guidelines will help you achieve this goal. A strong identity for your brand involves considerable research. Still, it is smooth sailing once you have developed a strong brand identity appropriately for your audience.