Branding

How To Create a Brand Identity In 7 Steps

Creating a strong and unique brand identity is a crucial step for any business looking to stand out in the competitive marketplace. Your brand's identity goes beyond just having a brand logo and extends to the overall cohesive identity you present to your target market.

Picture this: you’ve just launched an exciting new product or service and you want to create an identity for it that will make your target market sit up and take notice. Where would you start? How do you go about creating a unique brand identity?

Not sure? Not to fret!

In this blog, we will guide you through the 7 steps you need to follow to create a memorable and effective brand identity. So, buckle up and get ready to take your brand to new heights!

Brand identity vs brand image: a quick recap

Brand identity and brand image are two essential concepts in the world of branding

While they may sound similar, they actually refer to two different aspects of a brand, and both are crucial as part of a brand strategy. Let's quickly recap what each of these terms means:

Brand Identity

Brand identity includes the elements that make up the core essence of a brand. It includes the brand's persona, values, visual identity, tone of voice, and overall personality. It is how a brand wants to be perceived and recognized by its target audience.

Think of brand identity as the blueprint or roadmap for your brand and brand marketing materials. It serves as the foundation upon which all marketing efforts are built. Investing time and effort into creating a strong brand identity ensures consistency and brand recognition.

Brand Image

Brand image, on the other hand, refers to the perception and reputation of a brand as perceived by its audience. It is the result of interactions and experiences that customers have with the brand over time. Brand image is formed through various touchpoints such as advertising, customer service, product quality, and social media presence.

While a brand can strive to shape its brand identity, brand image is ultimately formed by the audience's perceptions and opinions. It is crucial for a brand to ensure that the desired brand identity aligns with the brand image that the audience holds.

A successful brand creates a positive brand image by consistently delivering on its brand promises and aligning its actions with its identity.

Should I work with a professional brand identity specialist?

For truly transformative results, working with an experienced brand identity specialist is highly recommended.

A professional will be able to offer guidance and insights based on their experience with other brands, as well as provide valuable advice about how to create a powerful and unified brand identity that resonates with the target audience.

Below, we will outline the 7 steps of creating an effective brand identity, but step zero would be to consult with a professional before you even begin.

Transform your brand identity. Brief us today.

How to create a brand identity in 7 steps

Step 1: Define Your Brand's Persona

To create a captivating brand identity design, you must first determine the persona you want your brand to embody. Think about the core values, personality traits, and characteristics that define your brand.

Are you aiming for a fun and playful tone or a more serious and professional one? Knowing your brand's persona will help you maintain consistency in all your communication efforts.

Here's how to do it:

Determine Your Brand's Core Values

  • Start by identifying the core values that drive your brand. Consider what principles and beliefs your brand stands for.
  • Core values provide a guiding framework for decision-making and help shape your brand's personality and behavior.

Identify Your Brand's Personality Traits

  • Think about the personality traits that align with your brand's values and appeal to your target audience.
  • Examples of brand personality traits could include being adventurous, professional, reliable, or innovative.
  • Defining your brand's personality will help you to create consistent brand messaging and build strong emotional connections with your customers.

Step 2: Understand Your Target Audience

Crafting a brand identity without considering your target audience is like shooting arrows in the dark. You need to understand who your ideal customers are, their needs, preferences, and pain points. This knowledge will help you tailor your brand identity to resonate and connect with them on a deeper level.

Here's how to do it:

Conduct Market Research

  • Market research is crucial for understanding your target audience. It involves collecting and analyzing data about your potential customers, their preferences, and behaviors.
  • Use surveys, focus groups, social media analytics, and customer feedback to gather valuable insights.
  • Identify demographic information, such as age, gender, location, and psychographic factors like interests, values, and lifestyle choices.

Create Buyer Personas

  • Use the information gathered from market research to create detailed buyer personas.
  • Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers. They summarize their characteristics, motivations, pain points, and buying behaviors.
  • These personas will guide your branding decisions and ensure any brand assets resonate with your target audience.

Step 3: Develop a Simple, Distinctive Visual Identity

Visual elements play a vital role in creating a memorable brand identity, so start by designing a unique and versatile logo that reflects your brand's personality. 

Your logo should be memorable, scalable, and easily recognizable – as Siegel & Gale research tells us that consumers are more likely to ascribe a logo they recognize with positive attributes, namely Trusted, Respected, Reliable and Premium.

Alongside your logo, carefully select a color palette, typography, and imagery that align with your brand's persona. Consistency across all visual elements will help establish a cohesive and recognizable visual identity.

Here's how to do it:

Crafting an Effective Logo Design

  • A logo is the visual representation of your brand and should be designed with care.
  • Consider working with a professional designer who can create a logo that reflects your brand's personality and is visually appealing.
  • Ensure that your logo is scalable, looks good in different sizes and formats, and stands out from competitors.

Choose a Brand Color Palette, Typography, and Imagery

  • Colours evoke emotions and convey messages in a process known as colour semiotics, so choose a color palette that aligns with your brand's personality and resonates with your target audience.
  • Select typography (fonts) that complement your brand's visual identity and are easily readable across different platforms.
  • Use consistent imagery that reflects your brand's values and resonates with your target audience.
  • Create a brand style guide to encompass all of these brand guidelines and keep everyone aligned.

Step 4: Craft a Compelling Brand Story

Every successful brand has a story that resonates with its audience. Sharing your brand's story can create a genuine connection and evoke emotions in your customers, which in turn can lead to a wide array of benefits, such as:

  • Improving audience engagement
  • Making your brand more memorable
  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Differentiating your brand from competitors
  • Increasing sales and revenue margins

Think about how your brand came into existence, its mission, and the problem it solves. By weaving these elements into your storytelling, you can cultivate a sense of loyalty and trust among your customers.

Here's how to do it:

Define Your Brand's Origin Story

  • Share the story of why and how your brand came into existence. Highlight the values and aspirations that serve as the foundation of your brand.
  • Communicate the unique selling proposition (USP) of your brand and how it solves a problem or fulfills a need in the market.
  • Make your brand story relatable and engaging to capture the attention and interest of your audience.

Incorporate Emotional Appeal

  • Infuse emotions into your brand story to create a deep connection with your audience.
  • Use storytelling techniques to engage your audience, such as anecdotes, personal experiences, and testimonials from satisfied customers.
  • Show how your brand has positively impacted people's lives and make your audience feel like they are part of your brand's journey.

Step 5: Develop an Aligned Tone of Voice

Your brand's tone of voice goes beyond just the written content. It represents your brand's personality and influences how your brand communicates in various channels. Determine what style and language best align with your brand's persona.

Are you going for a friendly and conversational tone or a formal and authoritative one? Maintaining consistency in your tone of voice will create a cohesive brand experience across all touchpoints.

Here's how to do it:

Define Your Brand's Tone

  • Consider the emotions and impressions you want to evoke in your audience through your brand's communication.
  • Determine whether your brand's tone should be conversational, professional, authoritative, or playful.
  • Create a style guide that outlines guidelines for writing, including word choice, sentence structure, and overall tone.

Adapt Your Tone to Different Channels

  • Your brand's tone should be consistent across all channels, but it can be adapted to suit the specific platform or medium.
  • Understand the nuances of each channel, such as social media, website content, and customer support interactions, and adjust your tone accordingly.
  • For example, your tone on social media may be more light-hearted and casual, while your customer support tone should be helpful and empathetic.

Step 6: Be Authentic and Transparent

In today's world, authenticity and transparency are key elements in building trust with your audience. 

In fact, research has revealed that transparency in the focal brand’s communication of production and cost would increase consumers’ perceptions of the brand’s transparency and authenticity. Such positive effects were found to similarly impact consumers’ attitude, trust and behavioral intention toward the brand.

Be honest about your brand's strengths and weaknesses. Show the faces behind your brand, sharing the stories of your team members and their dedication to delivering high-quality products or services.

Authenticity will differentiate you from your competitors and attract loyal customers.

Here's how to do it:

Share Behind-the-Scenes Content

  • Authenticity is all about being genuine and transparent with your audience. Share behind-the-scenes glimpses into your brand's operations or the people behind it.
  • Showcasing your team's expertise, passion, and dedication can build trust with your audience and make them feel connected to your brand.

Be Honest About Mistakes

  • Transparency means admitting when your brand makes mistakes or falls short of expectations.
  • Instead of hiding or deflecting blame, take responsibility and apologize. Showing humility and a commitment to improvement can strengthen your brand's integrity.

Step 7: Consistency is the Key

(Source: Medium)

Consistency is vital in creating a lasting brand identity. Ensure that your brand identity is consistently applied across all touchpoints, including your website, social media profiles, marketing materials, and customer interactions. By maintaining a cohesive brand experience, you build trust and familiarity with your audience.

Here's how to do it:

Maintain a Consistent Visual Identity

  • Consistency in visual elements, such as your logo, color palette, typography, and imagery, ensures that your brand is instantly recognizable.
  • Use brand guidelines to ensure that all visuals across different platforms, such as your website, social media, and marketing collaterals, maintain a cohesive and unified look.

Deliver Consistent Messaging

  • Your brand messaging should be consistent in terms of brand voice, values, and key messages.
  • Ensure that your brand's core values are consistently communicated across all channels to strengthen the overall brand identity.
  • Coordinate your marketing and communication efforts to make sure every touchpoint provides a unified brand experience.

5 strong B2B brand identity examples

(Source: IBM)

Building a strong brand identity is equally important for B2B (business-to-business) companies as it is for B2C (business-to-consumer) ones. Here are some remarkable examples of B2B brands that have successfully established their unique brand identities:

  1. Salesforce: Salesforce, a leading cloud-based CRM platform, has developed a strong brand identity centered around trust, innovation, and customer-centricity. Their logo, featuring a cloud with bold lettering, signifies their expertise in cloud computing. Their branding consistently reflects their commitment to providing cutting-edge solutions, with a clean and modern visual identity.
  2. Mailchimp: Mailchimp, an email marketing and automation platform, has created a playful and quirky brand identity. Their logo, a friendly chimpanzee, embodies their brand's personality and connects with their target audience. Mailchimp's consistent use of vibrant colors, whimsical illustrations, and casual tone of voice in their communication efforts reflects their brand identity of approachability and creativity.
  3. HubSpot: HubSpot, an inbound marketing and sales software company, has built a brand identity around education, helpfulness, and empowerment. Their logo, a vibrant orange and blue magnet, symbolizes attracting and nurturing customers. HubSpot's content, design, and customer service consistently reflect its brand identity of providing actionable insights and exceptional support to businesses.
  4. IBM: IBM, a global technology and consulting firm, has established a brand identity focused on trust, expertise, and reliability. Their logo, with a solid blue rectangle accompanied by bold lettering, exudes confidence and professionalism. IBM's consistent use of blue in its visual identity, along with its authoritative content and thought leadership, has solidified its brand's position as a trusted industry leader.
  5. Adobe: Adobe, a software company well-known for its creative tools, has developed a dynamic and innovative brand identity. Their logo, a red stylized "A," represents creativity and dynamism. Adobe's sleek and modern visual design, combined with its emphasis on empowering creatives, reflects its brand identity as a driver of innovation and inspiration.

These B2B brand identity examples demonstrate the power of a well-crafted and consistent identity in establishing credibility, fostering loyalty, and attracting business partners. 

By understanding their target audience and effectively communicating their brand values, these companies have successfully differentiated themselves in competitive markets.

Closing Thoughts

Creating a brand identity requires a thoughtful brand strategy framework. It's not just the visual elements but the holistic representation of your brand's personality, values, and story.

Remember, it takes time and effort to build a strong brand identity, but the results are well worth it. So, take these steps, infuse creativity, and craft an unforgettable brand identity that resonates with your target audience and sets you apart from the competition. 

Need support with your brand identity design?

Huddle’s brand identity services are dedicated to developing successful and cohesive brand identities that represent your values and story. 

Our team of experienced branding professionals will be there every step of the way to ensure that your new brand identity captures the essence of your company and resonates with your target audience! 

Transform your brand identity. Brief us today.