The first rule of Marketing is ‘Show and Sell’. As a matter of fact, studies show that the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than words.
Branding hence has a lot to do with the visual factor. So, while you are plunging forward with marketing your brand online, the real question is, what do you know about creating a visual brand identity?
If you’re not sure about the answer, no need to bite your nails. We’re here to guide you through the ABC of Brand Identity and how you can use it to make the best of brand marketing, both online and offline.
What is Brand Identity?
Brand identity is the way a company presents itself. It is implemented to maintain a systematic communication of the brand to the public.
How does Branding help?
By keeping a consistency in your brand’s visuals, you help the audience to relate to it easily. For example, we’re sure you remember the tagline of McDonald’s: “I’m lovin’ it”. Or Amul’s brand mascot; the little girl in a white frock.
By using mascots, taglines, logos, color palettes, tunes, and much more, you make it easier for people to remember your brand. Pairing this strategy with consistent advertising that uses such elements, you keep the impression intact.
Thus, users are more likely to remember your brand when they are shopping/looking for the type of services or products that you offer. And thus, by creating a visual brand identity, you are indirectly inviting them for conversion.
Apart from this, your brand identity also helps in making an impression for the brand. With the correct impression, you attract the right kind of audience. It also helps in increasing the brand value overall.
In fact, research shows that 90% of the consumers expect their experience with the brand to be the same across all platforms and devices. As you can conclude, branding forms the base of your business and how you drive sales out of it.
What goes into developing a strong brand identity?
All the content you publish anywhere, both online and offline, directly makes your brand identity. Hence, there are some strategies you can follow to keep the brand identity consistent. Here’s a step-by-step guide on the same.
Understanding the purpose of your brand
Before you begin creating an identity, start with basics. Know the purpose of your brand, as it is the foundation of everything that comes next.
Here are a few questions that will help you understand the purpose of your business. What does your company sell or do? Is it corporate, commercial, or something else? What audience are you targeting? What is the appeal you want to give to it- serious, fun, or more?
When you’ve answered all these questions, you’ll have charted a blueprint of your ideal brand identity.
Creating a name and tagline
The next step is to give your brand a name. The name can either be related to the business, or a family name, or a figment of your thought process on the brand. Whichever you go for, it is going to be associated with your business forever.
Additionally, having a tagline for the brand is crucial. It can be used to inform the audience about what your brand does. You can also pass on a message, share your vision, or give an important detail through it.
To give you brand identity examples, ‘Since 1932’ is a tagline which indicates that the business has been running for decades, thus adding to its credibility. Or a tagline like Nike’s, “Just Do It” gives an idea that the brand has to do with physical activities like sports or fitness. Moreover, it also serves as an inspirational message to its customers, which is a smart play.
Making a logo
A logo is the absolute symbol of your brand. It is going to be everywhere on your brand- the website, a business card, a print ad, in product tags… like we said, everywhere.
The logo is also the means to know a brand and remember it. If you have noticed, most people recognize a brand only through its logo. Hence, the colors and typography that you use in the logo, its size, the way it is used; they all matter.
Selecting the correct typography
Typography has to do with the text content in your brand. The type of fonts, their color, size, and style all come together to give your brand a unique identity.
If you’re wondering why we’ve mentioned typography as a critical feature in how to create a brand identity, have a look at the image below. The column on the right shows the original brand typography, whereas the left one shows the same brand logos with a different typography. Nike’s logo would not look so powerful with a different font and small letters, you’d agree from the example.
Be it the logo or just the fonts you use on the website, the typography of each and every text associated with your business makes a difference. This is because each font creates a mood of its own. And to match them with the mood and appeal of your brand is thus necessary.
Deciding on a color palette
Colors play an important part in the brand identity process. It is proven in psychology that colors instigate emotions in humans. And that each color represents one thing or the other when looked at. For example, green is usually associated with healthy foods and nature.
Thus, to know which colors suit your brand the most can help you win at branding. To know more about how colors impact branding, read our blog here.
And it is a fact that you cannot use just one color for the branding visuals. Instead, you can decide on a color palette. It should have a set of colors that go well with each other while also representing your brand correctly.
The color palette you choose should offer a set of values to your brand. Moreover, you should go for colors that are usually associated with your business. For example, the food industry makes good use of red, as it instils hunger.
Finally, be very careful when deciding on the combination of colors on your palette. If your business has a loud and fun-inspiring reputation, pastel colors are a bad idea. Similarly, using two colors that do not aesthetically match may also avert potential customers.
Forming branding guidelines
A branding guideline is basically a bunch of rules you make that explain the way your brand works. These are the rules the designer, web developer, and brand reputation management services have to follow for the brand.
These guidelines include basic information about your brand, the color palette and typography, logo usage instructions, and other relevant information. The image below shows the rules Volkswagen has made for is the logo.
Be it something as small as a social media post or something major like printing a logo on your product, the style guide rules are absolute and collective.
How to use your brand identity in different places
By following the principles mentioned above for brand identity design, you’ll be done with the first half of using brand identity efficiently in marketing. So, what comes next? Using the decided logo, typography, and other visual elements from the branding guidelines.
Remember that whatever you do for marketing your brand will rely on the brand identity design. And in turn, your brand’s identity will be maintained through all of that content. Thus, both the aspects are deeply intertwined.
So, here’s how you can use your brand’s identity in digital and print marketing and branding.
The page layout, typefaces in headlines and content body, and usage of video or image content should all be decided according to the visual appeal you’re methodizing for your brand.
Additionally, the tone of your website should reflect the mood of your brand. For example, if your business is of healthcare, the text on the website should have a sympathetic and sincere tone. Whereas, for a shopping brand, you can use loud colors freely.
During the stage of web development, you can also hire a brand developer in India to help you entail the brand image to your website effortlessly.
With each of your social media post, the audience should get an idea about your brand. This is the core reason behind publishing anything on those platforms. With every post, make sure to add your logo or a distinctive element that the user can instantly relate to your brand.
By doing so, you make the posts relatable, while also maintaining the flow of your profile. Additionally, the content on these platforms should also have a tone that your brand is known for. Your social media profile can be the most accessed means of your business. Hence, taking care of each aspect of this section should be a practice and not just a hobby.
The packaging in which your product is carried is one of the most special brand identity elements for your business. Whoever buys your product is likely to have a look at its packaging. They can be looking for some specific product information, or just going through it out of curiosity.
Thus, using the logo along with related visuals can enhance the user’s experience of your product. One strong brand identity example of this feature is McDonald’s. With every new collection or campaign, the company comes up with customized packaging.
This trait shows their dedication towards the product, while also keeping the users engaged with new things to ponder upon.
Business cards are your brand represented on a small piece of paper. The crispest way to market yourself directly, business cards also allow a great opportunity at branding your company’s identity.
By choosing the right colors and concise yet intelligent text, you can win the reader over.
Brand stationery or collaterals include notepads, post covers, CD, placards, pens, and other such things.
And as you must have guessed by now, all the products that your brand uses can have the same color palette, text, or graphic design.
Between 2014 and 2017, email rates have increased by 180% on mobile devices, according to a study. Which is to say that emails are still a significant part of branding and marketing.
Thus, designing a visual framework for emailers and newsletters and using them for your frequent emails will help the user remember your brand better.
Creating a Brand Identity is something you invest in once and procure results for years together. Also, remember that everything people will know about your brand depends on the brand identity you create for it. Hence, make sure that you go all in.
A bit about us
RareDevs is a branding agency in Ahmedabad with a relentless focus on all things branding and marketing. If you would like to know more about making a brand identity or our services, reach out to us. We promise you this- we’re web and branding nerds who are also super fun to hang out with. Try us!