Note: This is the third article in a series on branding from Creative Emporium. To read the first article about Creating Brand Values, click here. To read the second article about Creating a Brand Promise, click here.
This is our third installment of our four-part series on branding. This month, we’re talking brand identity – how to create a memorable and meaningful visual brand, according to our Design Manager, Christos.
Your company’s brand identity is the outward expression of your brand, including its name and visual appearance, and is used to both identify the brand, and as a means of identifying with the brand. It’s this identity that acts as a means of customer recognition and reflects your brand’s differentiation from competitors. And the more similar your products are to your competitors, the more important branding is, in order to create a unique identity for your business.
“Creating a brand identity involves looking at design, colours, logos, fonts and key brand elements”, says our Design Manager, Christos Vayonitis. Christos works closely with our clients ensuring their brand identity is reflected at every touchpoint – from their online ordering systems, through to branded merchandise. He’s also responsible for our own rebrand during 2013. “Your identity should align with your brand strategy and objectives, and be an authentic representation of your brand values, personality and ethos, as well as being relevant and attractive to your target audience. It’s not pretty design for the sake of it – there should be meaning behind it”, Christos continues.
But how do you go about creating a brand identity?
Christos says, to build your visual brand identity and create your brand, you should try and work through the following:
1. Start with a brand workshop
These are great ways to generate key insights about your brand and what it stands for. A brand workshop acts as a fact-finding mission to uncover the reasons and strategies behind your brand – why do we do what we love? What are the values that we stand for? What’s our personality? Once you understand these elements, along with the company vision and objectives, this will inform how your brand looks and feels. You can put together a brand workshop internally, but you may want to consider hiring an experienced branding agency or consultant who does this for a living and can provide objectivity and expertise in the area.
2. Decide on the brand name
You may already have a name, may be rebranding, or may be starting from scratch. No matter your current situation, your brand name is crucial as it should be easily recalled, be distinct, be relevant and meaningful to your audiences and potentially, be easily registered/trademarked.
3. Design the logo
Think about some of the world’s most successful brands: Apple, Nike, Google. Why are they great? Their logos are simple. You’ll want to work with a skilled graphic designer with a portfolio of logo designs under their belt. When considering your logo, also think about the colours, scalability and typefaces as these all reflect your identity. It needs meaning too – style over substance is never the right way to go, so consider how the logo design and any symbols/graphics used, are relevant to the brand.
4. Consider other graphic elements
- Decide on the colour palette
- Select fonts and typefaces
- Agree style and tone of voice
- Think about photography and image style
5. Agree the strap line/tag line (if needed)
Your strapline acts as your brand promise, which essentially sums up your offering to customers in one simple sentence. Think Nike, ‘Just do it’.
6 External considerations
There are so many customer touch points where they will come into contact with your brand. Therefore, you need to consider:
- Packaging (such as Coca-Cola’s bottle shape)
- Product form (such as the Apple iPod)
- Uniforms (such as Virgin Airways red)
- Building design (such as McDonald’s restaurants with golden arches)
- Vehicle design (such as EasyJet aircraft)
7. Create your brand guidelines
Your brand guidelines are essentially a document that pulls together your identity and act as a style guide that must be adhered to at all times to ensure that the brand is used consistently across all communications and other touch points. You’ll need to work with a branding agency and/or an experienced brand guidelines designer to put these together, and they’ll need to cover the use of:
- The logo
- The strapline
- A chosen typeface
- What legal copy must appear on all marketing communications material
- Tone of voice
- Vision and values (for context)
- Dimensions, colour palettes, positioning, etc.
Creative Emporium – Complete Branding Solution
We’re experts in providing the complete branding solution for our clients, so please get in touch today to discuss your branding requirements and how we can help you ensure that your brand identity is reflected at every touch point – from your promotional products through to your corporate clothing and website, we can help you. Call us on 08707 500057 or drop us a line by email.
We’d love to hear your own thoughts and examples of brands who you think have a great brand identity so why not leave us a comment below?