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How To Establish An Exciting Brand Identity

When it comes time to develop your brand identity, you’ll be faced with an enormous number of decisions. From the major questions – what logo should we use? – to the small – what design system should we follow to make sure our website is cohesive? – every single question has to be answered with attention to detail. We’ve outlined seven steps you can follow to develop a strong brand identity that will help you stand out from the competition and stick out in customers’ minds.

First, you need to outline your priorities and develop your brand strategy. To do that, you need to conduct market research. Then it’s time to write a detailed creative brief and see what the graphic designers and copywriters can come up with. After that, focus on the words – take the copywriters’ messaging and refine it so that the copy has a clear, consistent message. Once you’ve finished these steps, you only have a few more to go before you’ve developed strong brand identity. Read our blog to find out what the rest of the steps are!

How To Establish An Exciting Brand Identity

Branding is a complicated and important process. Good branding increases sales, and bad branding leads to disaster. Whether you’re at the beginning of your branding process or you’re looking to overhaul an existing brand identity, you have to start with the basics. Follow these seven steps to develop a strong brand identity.

Step 1: Outline Your Brand Priorities and Develop Your Brand Strategy

To begin with, you have to know what your company’s priorities are. It’s vital that, before any naming or designing begins, you answer the core questions that will guide the rest of your design process.

Ask yourself: What’s our unique value proposition? What do we want to accomplish? How do we want our products and our company to be perceived? How do we want to change the world through our business?

After you ask yourself, you also need to gather information from brand employees and stakeholders (investors). Keep in mind that how they perceive your company is a good source of information for what will be approved in the final stages of developing your brand identity.

Step 2: Conduct Market Research

The next step is to find out what works for your customers and what doesn’t. If you already have an existing customer database, you can reach out via a survey to find out what they like the most (and the least) about your products and your company. 

If you don’t have an existing customer pool, then it’s time to look at the competition. See what’s working and what’s not when it comes to logos, wordmarks, icons, and overall messaging. It’s a good idea to research the competition even if you already have a customer pool from which to draw your data. Knowing what the competition is doing can help you make important decisions.

Step 3: Write A Detailed Creative Brief

A creative brief lists the big-picture concepts and the small details that the company believes are important when it comes to how the brand is perceived. Copywriters and graphic designers use the creative brief to come up with ideas for the brand identity. But without important information about the company’s current values, the customers’ preferences, and the vision for the future, copywriters and graphic designers are lost at sea. 

Take the time to formulate your creative brief with the help of the top decision-makers at your company. Make sure the most important values and considerations are highlighted so that the creative professionals who are at work developing your brand identity are armed with the knowledge they need to create truly stunning graphics and compelling copy.

Step 4: Keep Your Messaging Consistent

While the logo is the heart of the brand identity, your brand messaging needs to be consistent across all aspects of the identity and all platforms. The brand voice – everything from the company’s “about us” page to each product description – needs to be consistent. The brand’s tagline and value proposition need to embody the brand voice. 

Step 5:  Make A Plan For Every Design Element

There are many aspects of a brand identity, and therefore there are many decisions to be made. Keep your brand priorities, your vision, and your messaging in mind as you and the creative team make decisions regarding your brand’s:

  • Logo
  • Typography
  • Colors
  • Illustration
  • Design system
  • Photography
  • Data visualization
  • Iconography
  • Video and motion 
  • Interactive elements
  • Web design

As your team works out a plan for each of these elements, remember that they need to be memorable and unique. Your brand needs to stand out from the competition on all of these elements. These elements also need to be able to grow and evolve with the brand. Lastly, it’s best to make sure that these elements lead to the creation of a brand identity that’s easy for designers to use across many different media types.

Step 6: Refine Your Visuals

You might have a previous logo that you’re working with, or you might be starting from a blank slate. Whatever the case may be, it’s important that you keep in mind all the information you’ve gathered so far as you work out the details for your visuals, which are so important and sometimes make a bigger difference than the copy does. 

Think about the conversations you had with the company decision makers, the results of the customer surveys, and the details of the creative brief. Then step back and come up with a list of the brand’s goals and values. Take some time, both on your own and in a group setting, to formulate ideas for visuals that complement the brand name and communicate a specific message to the audience. 

Repeat this process for all the elements we listed above to come up with the final version of your brand identity. 

Step 7: Finalize Your Brand Style Guide

At the end of the process, after you’ve come up with a plan for each of the elements of your brand, it’s time to put it all together and write up your brand style guide. This is the document that all employees will follow as they create social media posts, update the company blog, develop white papers, and engage in all the other marketing activities necessary to make your brand successful. 

The brand style guide lists, in an easy-to-use format, the details for each of the design elements – everything from the name and point size of the brand’s fonts to the hex color codes used in the logo. 

Make sure every last detail is clear and easily available for employees to find and use.

Conclusion

The work that goes into developing a strong brand identity can’t be done overnight. It takes time, research, clear communication, and plenty of brainstorming to come up with a brand identity that stands out from the competition and embodies everything your company values. By following these seven steps, you’ll make the enormous task of developing a strong brand identity more manageable. Fantastic branding is the first step on the road to success!

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