If you are thinking about launching or rebranding your business you’ve come to the right place. To build a strong brand identity that sets you up for success you need a brand map. This map will guide you through your brand’s process to help you position your brand in the market so that you attract your target audience.
Before we get started it’s important to understand the difference between your brand and your brand identity. Your brand identity is different from your brand. Your brand identity is the set of tools, e.g., name, tagline, logo, symbol, color palette, font, brand photography, brand videography, and infographics that position your brand and separate it from other brands. Your brand is the overall perception someone has about your company, product, and services by way of your brand identity.
Your brand identity is comprised of your brand’s values, visuals, and story which create the personality of your business. These are the core elements of your brand’s DNA. People often confuse a logo for its brand identity however strong brands are recognized by their brand messaging and visuals. For example, when you read, “Just Do It” you immediately think of Nike, or “I’m lovin’ it” you think of Mcdonalds’. The same is true when you see a swoosh symbol or golden arches.
Your brand visuals are more important than just identifying a logo. People are visual and see through the lens of storytelling. The best way for your brand to stand apart and be seen and heard in a saturated market is to create and maintain a consistent narrative and brand personality through verbal, visual, and emotional attributes.
Have you ever wondered how Starbucks became the most recognizable coffee brand? It’s not because they have the most affordable or best coffee. It’s because of the company’s core values that you experience when you walk into Starbucks. The cozy atmosphere, free wifi, multiple charging stations, the iconic coffee cups with the twin-tailed mermaid logo, the feeling of community, delish seasonal recipes, and the overall trendy vibe.
Starbucks was built on a strong vision and mission statement that carries throughout its brand identity.
In order to build that strong connection with your target audience you have to establish your brand’s identity. These steps will help you get started with establishing your brand’s identity.
Before anything, you must know your business “why.” What is the purpose? This mission statement should be clear and concise and articulate your brand’s goals and vision. In short, why your brand exists.
Your brand’s core values are the attitudes and beliefs that reinforce your mission statement. Your core values guide your personality, behaviors, and decision-making process that help you connect with your audience on a personal, relatable or emotional level.
To identify your target audience you need to research your brand’s purpose. Knowing what you offer is and how it is different from competitors will help you target the right audience to serve their pain points.
In order to establish a strong brand identity you need to know what your audience’s needs and wants are so you can find a solution to their problems. This is important so that you can clearly communicate how you can help them through your brand messaging.
Brand messaging is using the right words to communicate the essence of your brand to potential customers. It is how people perceive your brand. Your messaging starts with your core values, mission statement, and brand culture.
Value and Selling Proposition
How you stand apart from other brands and what makes your offering unique will help you to create your value proposition and selling proposition (USP) to attract your audience. Your value proposition is what you are offering to customers for what they are paying. The USP is why or the emotional connection and reason customers should buy from you instead of competitors.
Let’s Use Starbucks as an example again:
Their unique value proposition is: “Creating a culture of warmth and belonging, where everyone is welcome.”
Their selling proposition is: “Love your beverage or let us know. We’ll always make it right.”
Establishing your brand’s personality is giving your brand a set of human characteristics that dictate the way people feel about the offering. In short, it’s the way the brand acts, and shows us, its values, hobbies, sincerity, humor, etc. A brand personality elicits an emotional response with the intention of its audience taking a positive action that benefits the brand.
Your brand’s visual identity is all the visual elements used to represent your business, from your name, tagline, logo, brand photography, videography, font, color palette, and infographics. Each of these components works together to create the overall look and feel of your brand.
A brand’s voice is the personality a brand takes on in its communications. It should be clear, unique, and appropriate for your target audience through character, purpose, tone, and language. Just like a person has a personality and a voice, your brand should have one also.
Once you’ve mapped out your brand identity you can begin implementing it into your website design, social media, marketing, advertising, blog, and print media. Creating a brand style guide will help you stay consistent and cohesive with your brand identity and maintain your company’s goals.
If you are struggling with establishing your identity inquire about our services at firstname.lastname@example.org.