Effective branding builds a positive image. A consistent brand identity is a way to communicate your values to potential customers and make them feel connected through similar values. This not only attracts potential customers to your brand but also increases customer loyalty and credibility. A strong identity is the first thing you need to distinguish yourself from the competition.
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What Is Branding?
Branding is the process of developing a cohesive look and feel for your company. This includes everything from logos and stationery to website design and advertising. These elements help build a perception for customers to identify your brand and build trust.
What Is Brand Identity?
"Brand identity" is the visual representation of a brand. It’s what makes your business unique and memorable to consumers, and it can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be.
Unlike branding, brand identity is more like a connection between the business and its customers. The identity makes a brand instantly recognizable to the customers. It leads to customer loyalty and customer retention.
Why Does Brand Identity Matter?
Brand identity is a very important part of any business. It’s the visual representation of your company and what it stands for. Strong brand identity will help you build trust with your customers, increase sales and even improve customer service.
A brand's visual identity is the first impression that a company creates. It’s how you make your brand stand out from others, and it’s what people will remember about your business when they think of you or your products. The visual identity should be consistent across all platforms and mediums. If you don't have a clear image of who you are as a company, then you won't be able to effectively communicate your message.
The first step in creating a successful brand identity is understanding who your target audience is. You need to know their age, gender, interests, hobbies, and more. Once you have this information, you can start brainstorming ideas that will help you define your brand.
The second step is choosing the key elements of your brand. This includes things like colors, fonts, logos, taglines, etc.
For example, Nike has created a positive brand image. So the tangible element, such as a pair of Nike shoes, is considered to depict personal identity, thus becoming a valuable asset in the eyes of a customer.
How to Develop a Strong Brand Identity?
Let's look into how to present a brand identity by getting all the visual elements intact to stand out from the competition.
Design is the foundation of your brand identity. It’s what makes you unique, and it’s how people recognize you as a company.
But design isn’t just about esthetics; it’s also about usability, functionality, and user experience (UX). These aspects of design are vital to ensure that your brand identity works well on every platform.
In addition, other factors affect the overall quality of your brand identity. For example, color psychology plays an important role in determining whether your brand looks good or not. Also, brand consistency is another factor that affects the success of your brand.
Vital Design Elements
The key elements you need to inculcate in your branding process before you start designing are:
Shape and Form
A product's shape and form lead a customer to click the "call to action" (CTA) button. These can be in the form of
- Straight lines- Vertical lines give a vibe of strength, while horizontal lines depict calmness and serenity.
- Round shapes- These portray unity and love. Round shapes may include ovals, ellipses, and circles.
- Edged shapes- Shapes like rectangles, triangles, and squares create a sense of trustworthiness for customers. However, they need to be merged with other elements like strong colors to create a personal impact.
This refers to the font you choose to be displayed on your branding materials. It can be the font of your logo or the brand font. There are four popular types of typography used for an effective brand identity, such as:
- Serif fonts- These fonts include Times New Roman and Garamond. The anchor-like shapes in these fonts make the brand look credible and a bit old-timey.
- Sans serif fonts- Fonts like Franklin Gothic and Helvetica do not have anchor-like feet. These fonts are used by brands that stand for modernity.
- Display fonts- Fonts like Metallica have unique symbols like lines or other artistic elements. This font is used by the brand to represent a strong identity and bold image.
- Script font- Pacifico and Allura are two types of fonts that give the effect of hand-writing. So brands that portray luxury and femininity prefer using a font that is similar to a hand-written word or phrase.
Colors have a psychological impact on customers. Choosing an appealing color palette is an effective branding strategy.
Incorporate your brand colors into everything. Colors are one of the most powerful tools in branding. They influence our emotions, attitudes, and perceptions. So, choose colors carefully.
Keep your brand colors simple. Complex colors may distract users from reading your content. Simple colors work best for brand identities. Choose colors to represent your brand's personality, such as:
- Black- It represents class and sophistication.
- Pink- For years, pink has been associated with females and feminine products. It depicts softness and a luxurious feel.
- Red- Red is the color of youth, so if your brand targets are vigorous and full of life people, this color works best for your brand identity. Red has been the color of Coca-Cola's brand identity and a part of its marketing strategy, representing youth as its target market.
Designing the Brand Identity
Now that you are clear about which visible element to choose for your brand, it's time to look into the actual designing process to achieve your business goals.
It is a symbol that represents your company. It’s usually the first thing that potential clients see when they visit your website or read your ads. A great logo helps establish credibility and builds trust between you and your target market.
Logos are used in almost every type of marketing, including print media, social media, websites, email campaigns, and billboards.
Your logo needs to be unique and recognizable. When creating your logo, keep these things in mind:
1. Choose an easy-to-read font.
2. Keep it clean and simple.
3. Avoid using too many colors.
4. Select a color scheme that works well together.
5. Remember that your logo is only one small part of your overall branding strategy.
Types of Logos:
- A wordmark is the most common form of a logo. It consists of just text.
- A pictorial mark is a combination of words and graphics.
- A symbolic mark is a logo that has meaning beyond just being an image. Examples of symbolic logos are Nike’s swoosh, Apple’s apple, Microsoft’s Windows, and Google’s G.
- Hybrid marks are combinations of both pictorial and textual logos.
- An emoji is a character that looks like a cartoon face or animal.
Packaging is a vital component of a strong brand identity. It does all the talking for your product and helps it shine out from competitors. Attractive packaging gets more traffic to your website and leads to repeat purchases.
If you're running a business online, then your website plays a vital role in creating a compelling brand identity. It also provides a platform for customer interactions and strengthens your online identity. Potential customers visit your website before making purchasing decisions.
- Ensure that your brand identity is consistent across different channels. When designing your website, make sure that the same fonts are used consistently throughout the site.
- Include a contact form on your website. Having a contact form allows visitors to get in touch with you easily.
- Add a call-to-action button to your landing page. A CTA helps users take action immediately after visiting your website.
- Optimize your website for mobile devices. Mobile devices have become increasingly popular over the past few years. If you want people to visit your website, you need to optimize it for these devices.
Business cards come in handy when opting for business development. High-quality cards that are well-designed reinforce a positive perception of your business. It is advisable to have a simple format for your business card. The company logo, along with your relevant personal details, is sufficient to get you more clients.
An e-mail is a personalized way to engage with customers and get more conversions. Since an email address is an important part of your brand identity, choose your company's name as a preferable option. This makes it more relatable and builds trust.
The body of the e-mail should be simple and precise. It should focus on giving information regarding the product or service. Amongst all the promotional emails, welcome emails tend to have a higher open rate.
Is Brand Identity Important for Digital Marketing?
The answer is yes. Brand identity is one of the most important aspects of a company’s success, and it can be applied to any business. We have discussed above how brand identity affects your online presence.
Visual identity is the most important part of your brand. It’s what people see first and it communicates a lot about you, your business, or your product. You can have the best website in the world but if no one knows who you are, then it doesn’t matter.
If you don’t know who you are, your target audience won’t either. They may not understand why they should buy from you. If they do decide to purchase from you, they might end up changing their buying decision because they didn’t get a good enough first impression.
It’s also important for business owners to consider their competitors. How does their brand identity compare to yours? What makes them so successful? Are there ways you could use those ideas to make your brand more appealing?
It’s also important that you have a consistent message across all your channels. That means having a single voice and tone of voice that you communicate through all of your marketing materials.
Steps to Maintain Brand Identity in Digital Marketing
Business owners of large and small businesses face the challenge of maintaining their brand identity. Especially in the era of digital marketing, investing in one channel can affect the overall business performance. By the time you choose a channel, it might be outdated. So here are simple steps that can keep you at the top of your game.
Prepare Design Style Guidelines
Guidelines help achieve consistency so that your brand looks the same on your website as well as other social media platforms. These are like written manuals that give a clear idea of how the brand should be perceived internally and externally.
As discussed in detail above, the visible elements play a vital role in brand identity. Developing a guideline can help designers create something that replicates their business values. The iconography, logo iterations, typography, and colors enable you to maintain a strong brand identity through all channels.
Create Verbal Brand Identity Guidelines
The tone of voice reflects the brand's personality and differentiates it from others. The written tone is a means to communicate your message to the audience and has a direct influence on how your message will be perceived by the audience. It can include using an emotional tone, selection of words, and the style of communication.
Create a tagline that defines your brand. Taglines are short phrases that describe your brand. They're often used in marketing materials such as brochures, websites, and social media posts. Be consistent in your messaging. Avoid having multiple messages within your brand. Instead, stick to a single message.
Understand the Value of Email Marketing
Email marketing is still one of the best ways to generate new customers. Plus, there are many free email services out there. Develop Unified Email Templates for frequently used e-mails like:
- Promotional emails
- Automated emails (welcome email)
- Blog highlights
- Acknowledgment Email Replies
Maintain Consistency Across Marketing Channels
Your design should be consistent whether marketing through Facebook or your website. People should be able to recognize your brand based on the visual elements in all forms of digital marketing. The brand guidelines should make customer interaction and social media instructions a part of the manual.
Pair Digital Marketing Channels
Make various marketing platforms point to each other, for example, your e-mail should highlight the "Follow" option of social media platforms. While the social network you use should point back to signing up for receiving brand e-mails. This enhances the brand identity and leads to more conversions.
Importance of a Strong Brand Identity for Digital Marketing
The importance of a strong brand identity is not a new concept. It has been around since the beginning of time, and it will continue to be important as long as people are looking at products and services online. Strong brand identity plays a key role in your online reputation and can help you:
Stand Out From the Crowd
In today's world, almost everyone has their business online. Amidst fierce competition, your brand identity should be unique and memorable so that it stands out from the crowd. Now it is all about search engine rankings. Brand identity highlights the distinguishing characters of your brand thus increasing the online traffic and click-through rate. It also helps lower the bounce rate of your website.
A strong brand identity helps build trust with your target audience. When they see your brand name and logo everywhere, they know your company stands behind its products and services. Your brand identity also makes it easier for potential clients to find you when they search online.
A strong brand identity helps you market effectively. If your brand identity is clear and easy to understand, then it’s much easier for you to convey your message to your target audience.
A strong brand identity can make your business look professional and trustworthy. This gives you credibility and authority in the eyes of your customers. When people recognize your brand, they feel comfortable trusting what you say.
Attract More Customers
A strong brand image can help you attract more customers. Customers want to work with companies that they feel confident about. So if you create a good reputation for yourself, you’ll be able to attract more customers.
People buy things because they believe your product or service will solve their problems. If your brand identity doesn't make them want to do business with you, then you won't succeed. To increase the conversion rate you will have to concentrate on online identity as well as Search Engine Optimization.
Why Choose Osborne Digital Marketing
Osborne Digital Marketing is a premier digital marketing agency. It works on elements to strengthen the extended identity of your brand while keeping the core identity intact. It offers a corporate branding pack to take care of all the visible elements required for a strong brand identity. It helps manage your online reputation and assists you with Search Engine Optimization for your website.
In this article, we have seen the importance of building customer expectations through our brand identity and continuing to deliver them with consistency. All you need to do is to inculcate the key elements into your social media marketing campaigns and digital channels to drive more engagement and sales.