If you think a brand identity is only for the likes of giant fast food, retail, telecommunications or banking companies with massive advertising budgets, it’s time to think again. Brand identity matters just as much for small and medium sized enterprises.
What a brand identity is
Your company’s brand identity is essentially one or more of its defining qualities or features that you want to resonate with your clients. It’s the key attribute you want them to think of first when your organisation’s name crops up. You may, for example, want them to associate your business with an outstanding product that is your hallmark, or with your exceptional customer service and reliability, or with your company’s vision and values.
A brand identity is not the same as your company logo, but an eye-catching logo is an important part of your brand.
What a brand identity does
It increases brand recognition
A distinct and consistent brand identity will set you apart from your competitors. You’ll stand out in a potentially crowded market. Maintaining a uniform brand across all your social media accounts, for example, will avoid confusion and ensure that customers recognise your business immediately.
It helps build a loyal customer base
A strong brand identity, as well as attracting clients, will help to keep them loyal. When you stand out in your field you take on the mantle of an industry expert, which should lead to increased sales. Your customers are more likely to have a trusting and lasting relationship with you, and even become advocates for your brand.
How to develop a strong brand identity
- Design a logo, preferably with the help of a graphic design professional, that reflects what your business does and its goals and values.
- Choose a colour, or combination of colours, that reinforces what your business offers, for example a shade of green for a wholefoods company, blue for air conditioning installation, pink for a pastry shop specialising in cupcakes. Spend some time learning about the psychology of colour. Use your chosen colour scheme everywhere – in your logo, on your website, on product labels and packaging, in the external and internal decor of your premises, on company vehicles and in emails and social media.
- Create a professional website to showcase your brand, business and products. Once again, expert assistance will pay dividends. You’ll need an About page, Product or Service page, FAQ page, Contact page, and possibly an online store. Make sure you keep your website up-to-date.
- Communicate your brand via targeted marketing. Consider using email campaigns focusing on particular demographics or localities, blogs on social media, participation in community fundraising activities and event sponsorship.
- Respond to reviews posted in social media or on review websites. Offer thanks for positive reviews, and reply to negative comments in a way that shows you are striving to fix any problems mentioned.
Brand identity matters more – but is also easier to achieve – than you think
Whether you’re an existing company or a startup, it’s time to pay attention to creating your brand. But it’s not hard to do.
Start by understanding what your brand identity is, and its important role in brand recognition and customer loyalty. Armed with this knowledge, you will be in a position to create a strong brand identity for your business using a memorable logo, appropriate colour scheme, professional website, brand-focused marketing and responsiveness to customer reviews.