Your brand identity can help differentiate you from your competitors. Creating a strong brand identity—and knowing how to effectively use it—can help you build rapport with your audience to keep them coming back.
What is a brand identity?
A brand identity is how you showcase your business’s personality to its target audience. Unlike a brand purpose that focuses on your business’s why, your brand identity focuses on your business’s who. It includes curated visual elements that help you broadcast your business’s image to the world. Once you create your brand identity, you’ll be readily recognized by your consistent use of colors, imagery, and design formats.
Why is having a brand identity important?
A brand identity is important because it has the power to retain customer connection and entice your target audience to engage with your brand. Establishing a strong, consistent brand identity can help you set you apart from competitors and telegraph your unique value. And a consistent brand identity builds trust, and that trust can be leveraged when you offer something new.
What does a strong brand identity include?
Outside of consistency, a strong brand identity should include the design basics: a color palette, a carefully chosen typography style, and a logo, all used on a consistent basis. Don’t randomly change your color scheme or typography without considering how it might impact your customers. Edit your business’s logo sparingly because you’ll still want your target audience to be able to recognize your brand.
How to create your brand identity
Although you don’t have to make decisions for all of your brand identity’s components in one sitting, you do need to build a foundation.
Choose your brand’s color scheme
Colors are about more than making your logo look nice. Choosing a proper color scheme comes with knowing which colors evoke which emotions and understanding how this can influence how people feel about your brand. Some colors you might consider using are:
- Red. Use this color when you want to draw attention to a specific area or object. Red can evoke feelings of confidence and excitement in your target audience.
- Blue. This is a calming color that promotes a relaxing sense of order, and you should use it when you want your audience to feel at peace.
- Black. If you want a more elegant and sophisticated brand identity, add black to your color scheme. This color can boost your target audience’s confidence in your brand while providing a sense of protection.
- White. Balance your brand identity’s color scheme with a hint of white. This can give your brand a clean and simple, calming look.
Select typefaces for your brand
After you pick your color scheme, start exploring typefaces. Typefaces are another visual element that can define your brand and evoke a desired feeling in your audience. To avoid confusing designs, you shouldn’t use more than three different fonts. Having trouble choosing? You can narrow down your options by deciding to use serif or sans serif typefaces. Just like colors, serif and sans serif fonts can evoke different feelings about your brand:
Serif fonts have letters and numbers that include serifs—feet or hooks at the end of the figures. Serif typefaces are often used to telegraph elegance, confidence, and trustworthiness.
Sans serif fonts have letters and numbers that don’t include feet or any additional strokes. If you’re hoping to create a more modern and cleaner brand identity, you should consider using sans serif fonts. Using these types of fonts is a way to emphasize how inviting and approachable your business is.
Create a logo and choose other design elements
Once you’ve decided on your brand’s color palette and typography, you can use both to design your logos. Your logo should be a good representation of your brand’s offerings and its mission. Wisely implement the colors into your logo so that it showcases tone without overwhelming your target audience. Any other photos, illustrations, and design elements that your brand publishes should follow the same color palette, typography styles, and design structure that your logo uses for consistency.
Codify your brand’s voice
The words your brand uses are important too. You’ll want to use specific language in your brand’s communications, so develop a voice with a consistent tone.
One way to formalize your brand’s voice is to build a style guide. A style guide can help ensure that anyone who creates content for the brand is doing so in a way that’s reflective of the establish brand voice and identity. When creating a style guide, include which words you prefer over others, how you want to use punctuation, and what types of words should be capitalized.
Once you’ve developed a strong brand identity and begin to communicate in a consistent voice, you begin strengthening your relationship with your target audience. Your combined branding elements will put you on the path to being seen as a reliable, transparent presence in your audience’s day-to-day.