Online With Dock Line: A Beginner’s Guide to Building Brand Identity
Have you ever wondered what makes a company instantly identifiable? It’s all about brand identity! Picture this: your brand has its own unique voice, values, and a special relationship that your clients can expect to have with you. As if your company was its own person. Once you build out the personality of your brand, you’ll set the tone for interactions with your clients.
Brand identity helps you establish a strong and consistent brand image. Think of it as the secret sauce that ensures your audience knows exactly what to expect. While most companies spend talk about client needs, this is an opportunity to talk about yourself. You can assess your business from a bigger perspective, and get excited about what your business represents to the world.
In this article, we’re going to dive into that exciting world of brand identity. Get ready to discover how it shapes the perception of your brand and creates meaningful connections with your target audience!
What is Brand Identity?
Brand identity is the unique essence that defines and distinguishes a brand from others. It encompasses a variety of elements that collectively shape how the brand is perceived by its audience. These elements include:
Mission and Values
First, a brand is made up of your company’s values and mission statements. These are the core guiding principles that reflect your convictions and purpose.
Products and Services
(Yes, these do come second!) Secondly, your brand identity consists of the products and services you offer, as they contribute to the overall perception of your brand.
Voice, Tone, Personality, Style
Furthermore, brand identity includes the brand’s voice, tone, personality, and style, which all play a role in shaping how the brand communicates and connects with its audience.
Relationship with Customers
Lastly, brand identity encompasses the ideal relationship the brand aims to establish with its customers, including the level of trust, loyalty, and emotional connection it strives to foster.
Together, these elements form the foundation of brand identity, allowing businesses to cultivate a strong and distinct presence in the minds and hearts of their target audience. Your brand will take these 4 elements and combine them into a visual representation of your company. It takes shape in various forms, such as your business name, logo, font choices, color palette, and even the photos you use. These elements work together to create a cohesive and recognizable visual identity for your brand. They help convey your brand’s message, evoke specific emotions, and make a lasting impression on your audience. So, think of brand identity as the artistic expression of your brand that speaks volumes—only by saying a few words.
Why is Brand Identity Important?
Brand identity is of paramount importance as it provides people with instant recognition of your brand. When they see your logo, color palette, font choices, and photos, they can immediately associate them with your company. This visual consistency helps individuals identify, understand, and remember you more easily. It creates a lasting impression that sets you apart from competitors and fosters a sense of trust and familiarity. By having a strong and well-defined brand identity, you establish a visual language that speaks to your target audience and reinforces your brand’s unique characteristics.
The products people choose to buy often reflect their personality and lifestyle. By showcasing your brand’s identity consistently, you give potential customers an opportunity to align themselves with your values and feel a sense of belonging. This connection builds trust, increases brand loyalty, and ultimately drives people to choose your brand over others in the marketplace. A strong brand identity can make a significant impact on the decision-making process, leading to increased customer engagement and higher conversion rates.
One example of great brand identity from a world-renowned company is Nike. Nike’s brand positioning serves as an excellent example of a strong and effective brand identity. With their iconic “Just Do It” slogan, Nike has successfully established themselves as a brand that inspires and empowers individuals to push their limits and achieve greatness. This positioning is reinforced through their visual identity, including the famous Nike swoosh logo, which has become instantly recognizable worldwide. The brand’s consistent use of bold typography, sleek design, and dynamic imagery further enhance their identity and create a powerful visual language.
Nike’s brand identity is deeply rooted in their core values of athleticism, innovation, and determination. Through their marketing campaigns, they consistently communicate these values, showcasing athletes and ordinary individuals alike who strive for greatness in their respective fields. By associating themselves with high-profile sports figures and engaging storytelling, Nike creates emotional connections with their target audience, inspiring them to overcome obstacles and pursue their goals. This alignment between their brand identity and the aspirations of their audience results in a strong and loyal customer base.
How to Build Brand Identity
Define Your Business
The first step to building a brand identity is to define your business on a deeper level. You’ve probably already determined your business name, industry, and products. Here are some deeper questions to think about:
- Who is my target audience? (Businesses or individuals)
- If my audience is businesses, who in the company makes the buying decisions for my product?
- If my audience is individuals, what are the main demographics? (Age, location, gender, income, etc.)
- What inspired me to start my business? Is that source of inspiration important to my brand’s values?
- What does my company name represent to my customers about my brand?
- What problems does my company solve for my customers?
- Why do we do what we do at this company?
- Why do my customers want to buy my products?
- What are the core beliefs and convictions of my company?
- If my brand had a personality, what would it be like?
- What sets my company apart from the rest?
After you’ve answered these questions, turn your answers into a few sentences that communicate the problem your company is solving, and how you are going to help your customer achieve their dreams or desires. With the help of a copywriter or marketing team, these sentences can be turned into a slogan that represents your brand. When people hear or read your slogan, they will immediately know who you are. This slogan needs to include tone of voice, which will communicate what customers can expect from their relationship with you.
Visualize Your Brand
With the help of a graphic designer, look through some of your favorite logos and brands from other companies. Look at your competitors and see what they’re doing. Now think through your brand’s personality—what colors represent who you are? If you’re bold, making a mark on society: red, orange and yellow are great options. Let’s say you’re a spa and massage therapist, you’d probably aim for cooler, calm colors like blue or green.
Next, look through different symbols and think about what people would recognize in a matter of seconds. When people see a leaf symbol, what is their first impression at a quick glance? It’s usually something environmentally friendly, or landscaping services. When thinking about a logo, these questions are important:
- At first glance, what does this logo communicate?
- What kind of business comes to mind? What kind of products do you envision?
- Based on this logo, who is the target audience?
- Does this logo inspire you to learn more?
- Get Feedback and Refine
As you further develop your brand identity, it’s important to get several pairs of eyes on your ideas. Ask your friends, family, and colleagues for their opinions. Make sure to ask people who work at your company and also people who don’t know much about your company. This will give you unbiased feedback that will help you think like your potential customers.
Build Your Brand Identity with the Experts!
At The Dock Line, we work with multiple companies across the local area to establish their brand identity, and help them reach greater audiences. We’ll take the time to ask you all the right questions, and dive deep into your business to find the gold and create a brand identity that fits you like a glove. Our unique approach to online marketing helps small businesses develop an established presence online, get noticed more in their local communities, and become an authority in their industry. Give us a call and we’ll chat about the best way to help grow your business!
Love this content? Read 3 Tips to Create the Perfect Logo for Your Business by Bryce Roper