What is it, and how to create one?
dentity is a tricky concept to pin down. When you think of identity, you think about all the attributes, characteristics, and values that make a person who they are. It’s the result of their ideas, words, thoughts, and actions – from what they think and believe to how they dress and present themselves to the world.
Brand identity is pretty much the same – it’s how your brand chooses to display itself to the eyes of consumers. Values, experiences, emotions, memories, and stories unite together to form an identity that differentiates your brand from the competitors next door. The design, the logo, the color palette, the typography – it’s all that. And much more.
Brand identity is undeniably the primary driver for all decisions across the consumer journey. Believe it or not, consumers adopt a positive or negative perception of your brand based on your identity, without even purchasing your products or services. That’s why today, more than ever, companies are spending millions to create and elevate their brand identity to the minds of consumers.
While it might sound easy to create an identity for your brand in a few days’ time, there’s much more to think about. From planning to execution, everyone in the marketing team must share a common vision and goal. From the social media management team to the graphic designers and content creators, it’s essential that everyone is aligned on what your brand stands for and what values it holds right at heart.
WHAT IS BRAND IDENTITY?
Brand identity is the collection of elements that a company creates to establish a personality in the minds of consumers. A memorable logo, a distinctive color palette, iconography, and other visual elements all add up to create a brand identity that differentiates your brand from its competitors. Apart from that, a distinct brand identity shapes consumers’ perceptions about your company, builds loyalty, and makes your brand memorable.
It’s not uncommon to hear the terms branding and brand image being used interchangeably for brand identity. Even though these terms fall under the same umbrella, they’re essentially different. Branding refers to the marketing activities pursued to actively shape a brand. In contrast, a brand image is the external perception of the company in the eyes of consumers and society. What separates brand image from brand identity is perception vs intention. While brand identity is how you want to be perceived by consumers, brand image is how you are actually perceived in the eyes of the world.
It’s all good in theory, but how do you go on creating a great brand identity that stands out and makes a difference in this crowded marketplace? Let’s find out.
How to create a brand identity
If you manage to express who you are as a company to the world, then well done – you’ve set the foundations for building strong relationships with your customers.
However, before you start working towards your brand identity, make sure you know exactly what characteristics and values you want to instill in your brand. If you’re not sure, then try asking the below questions. If you got the answers, then you’re ready to go:
THE ELEMENTS OF A BRAND IDENTITY
If you want to create a brand that stands out and resonates with its audience, start from your brand identity. Here are the elements that you’ll need to include in your brand identity design:
There is no brand without a logo, which makes it the most important element of a brand identity. When creating a logo for your brand, you want to tick off the following boxes:
When working with your digital agency or graphic designer, you want to ensure that your logo is delivered in multiple formats to fit different contexts and backgrounds.
You guessed it right. Typography is the font you choose for your brand. But with millions of fonts out there, selecting a typeface seems like a daunting, never-ending task. Here’s a better way to think about fonts.
There are four major types of typography:
Serif fonts have their roots in ancient Roman square capitals and are distinctive because of their anchor or extension at the end of each letter. They are often used for brands that want to appear professional, trustworthy, and just a little traditional. Examples of serif font styles are Garamond, Times New Roman, Bodoni, and Rockwell.
Sans-serif fonts are fonts that have smooth edges and lack the anchor or “feet” of their serif counterparts. This type of typeface gives a more sleek and modern feel to brands. Some examples are Helvetica and Franklin Gothic.
Display fonts come in different styles and shapes. Each display font has a special element – be it an unusual shape, letter, outline, or shadowing. If you envision a big, fun, and bold brand identity, display fonts are your go-to option.
Script typography emulates cursive handwriting and is designed to add a personal, artistic touch to brands. Fonts like Allura or Pacifico are great for brands that want to dig deeper into art and self-expression.
You guessed it right. Typography is the font you choose for your brand. But with millions of fonts out there, selecting a typeface seems like a
daunting, never-ending task. Here’s a better way to think about fonts.
According to research, color plays a pivotal role in visual experiences. Up to 85% of consumers believe color accounts for more than half among the various factors important for choosing products, while 92.6% said that visual appearance is the most persuasive marketing factor. This allows us to say that using branding colors and logo colors strategically can seriously impact how your audience perceives your brand.
Red: Red is the color of energy, excitement, passion, and love. It’s a perfect choice if your brand identity is loud, youthful, and exciting.
Orange: Orange is a high-energy color associated with joy, warmth, heat, enthusiasm, and enjoyment. Use it if you want your brand to appear friendly and playful.
Yellow: Yellow is all about happiness. It symbolizes energy, friendship, and happiness. Its playful and joyful vibe makes it a great choice if you want to feel fun, friendly, and affordable.
Green: A color that symbolizes nature and tranquility. Although green color can be used across any brand and industry, it’s typically tied to two things: money and nature. If your brand is connected to any of these, green is a great choice.
Blue: Freedom, peace, trust, inspiration, and harmony are some of the feelings your customers may feel about your brand when they see the color blue. Blue is ideal for brands with a large target audience and a wide demographic.
Purple: Purple is a royal color, so use it if you want to add a luxurious look and feel to your brand.
Pink: If your target audience is skewed towards women, then pink is a great color to play with. Pink is conventionally associated with innocence, sweetness, romance, and playfulness.
Brown: Brown is not commonly used for branding and offers a great chance to use it to stand out from competitors. Brown can help consumers perceive your brand as rugged and masculine.
Black: Looking for a modern and sophisticated look and feel? Nothing compares to black. After all, black is the new black!
When it comes to brand perceptions, there’s something about the shapes you use that can make a difference in instilling your brand’s personality. Here’s how different forms and shapes can affect your brand identity:
Round shapes —like circles, ovals and ellipses— create feelings of unity, harmony, and community. Their warm and friendly vibe can create a welcoming and positive brand perception.
Straight-edged shapes—like squares, rectangles, and triangles— are associated with strength and efficiency. Straight lines create a feeling of trustworthiness and can be used to imply balance. Be careful not to get too dull: mix your straight-edged shapes with dynamic elements to grasp your customers’ attention. Keep in mind: vertical lines suggest masculinity and power while horizontal lines suggest tranquility and harmony.
BRAND TOUCHPOINTS: SHOWCASING YOUR BRAND IDENTITY
Every interaction with a consumer happens through touchpoints – whether a store, a website, an email, or a business card. As you might have guessed, touchpoints provide a great opportunity to showcase your brand identity.
CREATING A BRAND STYLE GUIDE
Without a doubt, your brand identity is an imperative part of your brand. Without a solid brand identity, you’d have a hard time earning consumers’ attention and stealing the spotlight.
If you need some help, reach out to our team of strategists and designers in Cyprus! From graphic design to content writing and digital marketing, we know exactly how to make your brand noticeable. In the meantime, check out what we’ve done for other clients in our project showcase and get inspired!
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