“Your brand is a combination of a customer’s experiences with your business at every touchpoint. Each memory, thought, impression, website visit, story, sales letter, social media post, event, phone call, and transaction contribute to your company’s brand reputation.”
Elaine Fogel, Beyond Your LOGO: 7 Brand Ideas that Matter Most for Small Business Success
Complete Your Brand Strategy
Briefly put, your brand’s strategy should be a detailed plan that outlines exactly what you are going to achieve and how you are going to achieve it. Before diving into things such as your brand’s identity and content strategy, it’s important to have your brand strategy fully fleshed out.
Start by answering the following –
‘What are your brand’s core values?’
‘What is your brand’s voice?’
‘What is your brands’ messaging architecture?’
And finally, ‘How will your visual identity work within those elements?’
Once you’ve got a better understanding and fully documented brand strategy, you can shirt your focus to the next step – brand identity.
Understanding Your Brand Identity and What Makes It Standout
Your brand identity is more than just a logo and a color palette. It’s a comprehensive visual language that can be applied to everything – from website to packaging. At a basic standpoint, this includes your logo, colors, typography, design system, photography, illustration, iconography, data visualization, interactive elements, video and motion, and web design.
With that being said, it’s more than just completing these categories and moving onto the next. A strong brand identity needs to work for everyone, internally and externally. Make it distinct, memorable, scalable and flexible, cohesive, and easy to apply.
Do Your Research
With your brand strategy and brand identity in place, it’s important to be highly critical of both at your third step of building your brand. That means gathering as much information as you can about who you’re trying to communicate with, who your competition is, and where your brand stands.
Build Your Identity
Once you’ve gotten to this point, you’ve gotten a fair amount of research and analysis complete. You’ll want to take all this information you’ve collected at this point and translate it into visual concepts. In step two, we touched on understanding each brand identity, now it’s time to put it into practice.
Build A Brand Style Guide
The only thing worse than having a poorly designed brand identity, is having a beautifully designed one that is never used or used incorrectly. That’s where a brand’s style guide comes in.
Including clear, and easy-to-follow guidelines for every part of your brand identity leads to a more successful brand identity overall. Once created, be sure to distribute to the team in an easy-to-access location and regularly updated.
Stay educated, inspired, and equipped to keep your brand’s identity new and relevant in today’s changing landscape.