What is a Brand Identity?

By October 5, 2019 October 7th, 2019 Branding, Featured

Aesthetic and visual consistency is crucial when it comes to good branding. This keeps your brand recognition high and helps consumers develop a connection with your brand. So, how do you discover your brand identity? You create it. You’ll also want to make sure your logo epitomizes your brand’s identity. A talented logo designer can help capture your brand and build a logo that resonates with your customers.

Your brand identity is important because it’s your brand’s narrative from a visual perspective. Your brand identity needs to be clear to your customers as well as your team. It weighs heavily on the way your customers perceive your brand and influences important marketing decisions as your business evolves.

 

Table of Contents

 

What Elements Make up a Brand’s Identity? 

 

Your brand identity encapsulates everything visual that is part of your company. This includes the color scheme, images, typeface, graphic elements, logo, and any other visual elements that are part of your business.

Brand identity style guides are also a part of any strong brand. When designers and marketers talk about style guides, they are referring to specific rules and guidelines that keep the brand visually aligned.

Your brand identity is the cornerstone of your business persona. It helps differentiate you from competitors and makes the story of your brand more accessible to customers. For large corporate brands, this is sometimes referred to as a “corporate identity.” The number of elements included in your brand identity depends on your overall branding and marketing strategy. It depends on how many touchpoints (places or instances where customers can come across your brand image) your brand has.

 

Logo Design

 

One aspect of a brand identity that we love to talk about is logo design. This is because your logo is typically the first piece of identifiable information customers experience with your brand. Your logo design needs to draw attention. It needs to be memorable.

The logo should be created before any other branding elements are added. The rest of the elements that make up your brand identity will utilize your logo. All of your branding elements must coexist. You don’t want the logo on your email newsletter, for instance, to seem out of place. The choices you make from a visual perspective for your brand identity should always tie in with your logo design.

 

Typography

 

Your typography choices aren’t limited to just your logo design. They need to reflect your brand’s identity. What typefaces will you be using in your various written communications— website, emails, mailers, etc.? Specify the typeface used for headlines as well as body text. What about the sizes of the fonts used? This is equally important information.

When you look at other top performing brands, you’ll notice that their fonts are all carefully chosen. Your brand identity should include all of the fonts, font sizes, and special formats (italics or bold) that you would like to use. You should note the difference of the fonts selected for body text compared to those used for the headers or titles. If you use specific fonts for social media marketing, you will want to note that as well.

 

Color Scheme/Color Palette

 

Your color scheme (or color palette) is another important choice as part of your brand’s identity. Far too often, entrepreneurs think that they simply need to decide on colors for their logo. It’s easy to overlook the potential background (or accent) colors on which their logo will be placed in future marketing. Consistently producing successful marketing material boils down to creating a proven/working formula. You shouldn’t choose random colors each time you design a new piece of branding material. The color scheme should include possible color combinations that you already know will work with your logo/image.

When planning your color palette, think about the border colors on social media posts or the color choices for bolded headline text in email marketing newsletters. What colors come to mind that would complement your logo? You might want to consider different tints or shades of a color already used in your logo design. Your logo design displays your brand’s main colors, but it doesn’t encompass all of the colors that can be used in your marketing materials. Choosing a color scheme is one way a brand identity stays fresh and leads to positive brand recognition over time.

 

Packaging

 

Depending on your business, your packaging materials are also part of your brand identity. The question of whether to use recycled tissue paper to package your products, as opposed to foam peanuts or bubble wrap, is a brand identity decision. Do you plan to include thank you cards or notes in each shipment? The outside of the boxes should also be taken into account. Do you want your logo stamped on them? If so, will it be stamped in its original colors or basic black? If your products or services are delivered virtually, what would that email look like? Besides your logo design, what other elements are present?

Packaging is a serious consideration because it’s another representation of your brand. When a customer orders a product or service from you, all of these things—the email they receive, the download link they encounter, the box that arrives in the mail—tell them something about your brand. It will convey your ability to be thorough. It will prove that you’re capable of paying attention to the finer details of running a business.  More often than not, this is a huge differentiator considering there’s so much competition in the world.

 

Marketing

 

Your brand identity shapes all of your marketing efforts. As you create sales funnels (the customer’s progression from awareness to purchase to loyalty), you will want to make sure that each stage matches your brand’s identity. Similar to the aforementioned categories, this again means that the correct colors and typography should be used. Your marketing efforts always stem from your brand identity.

 

Messaging

 

What is your brand’s message? What is the core message that you want customers to understand? Does your messaging share your brand’s story? Is it compelling? Decide on several iterations of your brand’s messaging. You will want a short version that can be pitched in an elevator, a longer version that is perhaps a paragraph, and a version that shares your full story (think a company introduction/biography featured in a newsletter or magazine).

You will always be able to represent your brand in a consistent fashion with this messaging available at your fingertips. It also means that every member of your team will understand your brand’s story. Customers respond to (and support) brands who have a story behind their name, who stand for something, and whose background is relatable/compelling.

 

Developing Brand Identity 

 

The main purpose of developing a brand identity is to create consistent messaging across all products, services, platforms, places, and locations. Any time potential customers see your brand, they should see the brand identity that you’ve created. It doesn’t matter whether your brand is a small start-up or a Fortune 500 company, you need to have a solid brand identity to be remembered.

When developing your brand identity, make sure that it’s not only clear but easily accessible to anyone in your company. You need to make sure that you are simultaneously developing a brand style guide. Your brand’s style guide needs to include all of the elements we mentioned above. Those elements need to be laid out in a clear way with specific instructions on how to use each element. You should also have graphics in the style guide available for your team with examples of how to use them. Listing as many possible scenarios that you can think of will make your style guide that much more effective.

A brand identity puts forth a consistent image of your business. It lets customers know who you are and understand what you do. Companies want customers to have an idea of their story and their purpose. This consistency develops into brand culture, and customers might even begin to integrate this brand culture into their own lives. The brand identity encompasses every element of the company including the logo design or wordmark images, color scheme, graphics, fonts, pictorial elements, and any other visual elements that are used. Creating a style guide is important because it sums up your brand identity.

If you have any questions about brand identity, branding, logo design, or branding designs, contact us today! Logo Coast is here if you’re interested in rebranding your business or drafting your first branding materials. We would love to help you move forward with your branding needs and work with you to create the best brand identity and strategies for your business.