22 January 2015
For a brand to be memorable it needs to evoke a connection. To make a brand valuable you need to connect to the right customer. It takes patience and diligence to achieve and maintain both. The use of colour, typography, imagery and tone of voice should reflect the underlying values of the brand identity.
So what are the core traits of uncovering and developing a strong brand identity? How do you let your customers and or the community know who you are, what you do, and how you like to do it?
Let’s look at the 5 all-important areas you’ll get to know well:
1. Defining your essence
Brand identity analysis and discovery starts within. This is about recognising and defining the values and mission of your organisation. What is it that you strive to do in the world and the marketplace? What does your company stand for? Developing an authentic, believable brand story; one that customers as well as employees can really get behind is vital to developing a strong position in the market. It is what sets your brand apart, and allows all other elements of business including strategy, values, personality and mission to be built out from a central place of truth – essentially assigning them a deeper and clearer meaning. This in turn, is something that becomes inherently understood by all who interact with your brand.
2. Make friends with your customers and market
This is about reaching out, and really making an effort to discover what makes your customers tick. There is a need to define what is of value to them, and how to meet on their level. Working through this stage will help to shape the tone and premise of your core business message your raison d’être so to speak in a way that will be able to connect. It forms part of the why you do what you do, and highlights how your products and services will match the needs of the customer. Finally, market research, customer segmentation and profiling will help inform this process.
3. Encapsulate the message with a strong logo and tagline
Once you have managed to hone in on your single concept or brand definition, it’s then time develop a clear brand visual identity. This takes the form of a unique and memorable company logo. Arriving at this point often involves working with a talented graphic designerl, who can assist the visual translation of you company mission, vision and value. Equally important is a tag line to accompany your logo, and can be used in other promotional content. It conveys the theme and value of your brand and sells your product. It does all of this in no more than seven words.
4. Design a look and feel that compels your audience
How you present to your audience matters. Colour scheme is important and needs to remain uniform throughout messaging. Other areas like fonts, pictures, layouts etc. serve as visual reinforcers of your brand. Our recent project with Very Special Kids is a great example. Following a comprehensive brand audit, clear opportunities were identified to refresh the brand with a friendlier and more approachable image, which was then communicated across all touch points. This included a new website and content and was reflected visually across the new logo, signage and apparel assets.
5. Stay on brand, during every touch point
Brand Identity is about being consistent in your messaging and look. This needs to extend out beyond your website and promotional materials into social media, business cards and at best should extend into areas like email signatures and language used within and around the office. Getting your team members to really embrace the identity helps to cement the corporate image, work culture, company mission and brand overall. These are all intertwined.
Your brand is one of the most valuable assets of your business and needs careful attention and consideration to present in the best light possible. Talk to MIH if you’re thinking about a re-brand or looking to get a new brand initiative soaring.