Branding 101: What you need to know about brand identity
A common misconception in the marketing world is that a brand is just a logo. Many think that if you have a nice logo, then you have a decent brand. The truth is your brand identity is so much more than a color palette and clean fonts. Your brand is the complete, cohesive and visual picture that customers have in mind when they think of a business. Defining a brand identity requires time and energy. Businesses must continue to fine tune their branding strategy even after the launch of a new logo. This keeps their business relevant to their target audience, ultimately boosting their overall identity.
Your brand is the complete, cohesive and visual picture that customers have in mind when they think of a business.
The face of your brand
While a business logo is not the complete definition of a brand identity, the logo is the “face” of your brand. In one instant, your logo must communicate your business name, your professionalism and, in some cases, your industry. If your company logo is not concise, people won’t take the time to understand it. If your logo is not memorable, people will easily forget.
Think of a logo that jumps into your mind whenever the business name is spoken. McDonald’s? Nike? Apple? These logos are strong because they quickly latch onto the visual part of the human brain and leave a lasting impression. Branding a business starts with a strong logo that bleeds out into every part of your business.
The heart of your business
Defining a brand identity starts with catching the user’s eye with your logo and brand guidelines. After you draw a potential customer in with your professional presentation, you must connect with them on an emotional level. If you ask a loyal customer why they stay true to your business, they could say things like “I’ve worked with you for twenty years” or “I appreciate your involvement in the local community.” Of course, the quality of your product and service is vital, but the reality is that the perceived value of a product and service is usually greater than the actual value.
What sets you apart from your competitors? Do you connect with your customers on an emotional level? If you boiled down everything your small business offers to find the true heart, what would you find? Customers initially buy from a new business for a variety of reasons, but customers stay loyal to a business because they connect on a deeper level with the company’s brand identity.
Branding a business starts with a strong logo that bleeds out into every part of your business.
The message you want to communicate
Earlier in the blog, we mentioned McDonald’s. Did you immediately think “I’m lovin’ it”? When you see the Nike swoosh on a pair of running shoes, do you think “Just do it”? These are taglines that these brands use to communicate a memorable message to partner with their professional logos. Not every business needs a tagline, but every business does need a consistent communication pattern.
A mission statement could be an excellent start for a strong communication and branding strategy. Think about the services your business provides and why you do what you do. Once you craft a mission statement, keep it consistent and use it everywhere.
Apple, Inc. ends every press release with this sentence: “Apple’s more than 100,000 employees are dedicated to making the best products on earth, and to leaving the world better than we found it.” Not only does this statement highlight what they seek to do in their business, but it leaves the consumer with an emotional connection to the company. We all want to leave the world better than we found it, right?
Branding a business starts with telling a compelling story: your story. Once you capture the eye of your audience, you can begin winning them over towards loyalty with your brand identity. If you are unsure about the strength of your brand identity, poll a few of your clients. What do they have to say about your brand?
N2DIGITAL is now offering branding packages. Work with one of our expert designers to begin transforming your company’s brand identity into a compelling story. Contact us today!