HOW TO CREATE A SUCCESSFUL BRAND IDENTITY

Doing business in the current climate is challenging isn’t it? We are all competing on price and competition seems to be ever increasing. Depending on the product you sell or service you provide, you are suddenly competing with folk from the other side of the planet. But does it really need to be that hard? Is there a better way of doing things?

As always, it takes time and hard work to create a sustainable, long-term business. There is no way around that. However, there are certain factors that will help you to raise above the crowd so to speak and be perceived as being different. One of those factors is a strong brand identity.

In the noughties, it was all about direct mail campaigns, networking, and cold calling. Businesses tried to convince people to buy stuff they didn’t need or want. Now, it is all about engaging a tribe that remains loyal and talks enthusiastically about your business to others.  Branding is about what people expect, experience, and remember about your business.

Benefits of a strong brand identity

A strong brand identity is more important to a business than ever before for several reasons:

1. Consumers can clearly identify the products and services you are offering

2. It provides a platform from which you can market your products and services

3. It helps you to build strong customer loyalty and ensures repeat business

4. You are not just competing on price

By understanding the role your brand identity plays in your business, you can create a successful marketing strategy that benefits the company as a whole.

Create a standout brand identity

Every business needs a strong brand identity to succeed in the long-term. It will help your business to stand out from the competition, make customers want to buy your products or services, and help you stay afloat in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

So, how can you do it? Here are some tips:

1. Know and understand your customer

To create a brand that is successful requires you to understand the values and expectations of your target customer and focus your offering to them. Trying to be all things to all people will only dilute and confuse the strength and message of your brand.

What kind of values should be considered? Price? Value for money? Quality? Customer Service? Product or service of their local area? Sustainability?

2. Decide how you want to be perceived

To do this, you need to firmly establish what your company stands for. Do you want to be seen as a funky and cutting-edge high-end business, or would you rather be seen as solid, dependable, and reliable? What is the core idea of the company and the message you want to project? You can come up with the most fantastic name and logo, but if you have no vision or proposition for the company, then it’s just not going to work.

3. Be innovative, bold and daring

Stand for something you believe in. Don’t try to compete with the big brands on their terms. You can’t win. But big brands are bogged down by large layers of bureaucracy, preventing them from being flexible and reacting to the ever-changing needs of their customers. Those layers can make it hard for them to be daring with their branding. Small businesses can dare to be different. Interestingly, many savvy shoppers look for something that is different. BrewDog may have had negative headlines lately, which is a shame, but because they dared to be different, they stood out and people took note. You can achieve the same, just try to be a bit subtler and balanced.

4. Memorable business name

Choose a simple and unique name for your business that customers can easily connect with. This is the first and perhaps the most important step in creating a successful brand identity. If people can’t find you when they Google your name, you’ll have trouble building any traction with potential customers.

If you can afford it, please work with an experienced web designer or SEO specialist to find a name that offers good branding potential on the web and on social media. Too often, businesses choose names that make life hard for themselves later.

5. Striking logo

Create a unique logo that reflects the brand’s personality. A logo is the visual representation of your brand. It’s what people will see and remember when they think about you. Your logo should reflect the personality and values of your brand to help it stand out from other companies in your industry and area. Keep it simple and minimalistic.

Unfortunately, DIY logos often do not tick those boxes. If you want to stand out from the crowd and make people notice and remember you, engage a skilled designer.

6. Consistent branding

To achieve that, you need branding guidelines. These guidelines should set out how your company’s image can be played out through marketing materials, including what types of content you’ll post about, how imagery will be used and what tone of voice you’ll adopt. The guidelines should be given to everybody involved in the marketing process.

Have a good look at your website, business cards, email footers, vehicle signage, invoices and other branded elements and ask yourself: Do those all look like they come from the same company? They likely won’t. Don’t despair, this is normal. Consistency does not happen by chance. It requires planning, discipline, and a strong commitment. Create a plan to improve area by area of your business, picking the most important ones first. If you struggle with it, ask a friend with a flair for design or a graphic designer to help you with this.

7. Strong visual communication

Kenneth Louis Smith wrote in the Handbook of Visual Communication that — a visual message accompanying text has greater power to inform, educate, or persuade a person or audience.

As humans, we have a strong bias towards processing the world around us visually. Our brain processes visual messages multiple times faster than any written text. We understand images instantly, long before the language that describes them. In a digital reality with an overabundance of information, gaining a user’s attention is increasingly difficult. Every day we receive a constant bombardment of impactful information, and the challenge is to stand out above all of them.

Because the audience’s attention is brief, we need visuals to stimulate emotions, generating a rapid reaction from the individual. In short, visual content has become a fundamental pillar of any marketing strategy and creativity is a decisive differential factor.

For those reasons, images and videos we use to showcase our brand, whether that is on our website, in our online shop or on social media, those need to be of high quality, authentic, unique, and supportive of our brand identity. If we achieve that, we will fully harness the extraordinary power of visual communication.

For more information about branding, brand identity, graphic design, photography or videography, please go to www.digitalstirling.co.uk or  contact info@digitalstirling.co.uk.

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