A brand identity is the visual elements of the brand such as logo, colour and the design that separates the brand from the competition in the eyes of the consumer. A strong identity should be memorable, easily identifiable and consistent. Having a strong brand identity can lay the steady foundations for building a positive brand image, which in itself can bring about customer loyalty and consistent sales.  

So… how do you go about building a strong brand identity?

What does the brand identity stand for?

Although a brand identity should undoubtedly be visual appealing, it is clearly not just for the sake of looking good. The brand identity should be a visual representation of the values, messaging and purpose of the organisation. For a designer, having a clear understanding of ‘what the brand is all about’ is vital for translating a meaningful and impactful design to the audience. Brand identities should be created with these messages and values at the forefront of the mind, using the identity as a vehicle for conveying what exactly the overall brand stands.

As an example, Whisk are a B2B business that connect some of the world’s leading brands, such as Samsung, with consumer-driven online food purchasing data.

The duotone design of the abstract W logomark helps to visually communicate ideas of connection, and data processing. Effectively conveying the purpose of the business through the brand identity.

Consistency is key

A firm understanding of what the brand identity should represent can also help consistency across the brand identity. When creating a strong brand identity, consistency is absolutely crucial. An inconsistent brand identity will come across as confused, unsure of itself, and ultimately lose its effectiveness in conveying brand messaging. Colours, fonts, logos and all other visual elements should be used consistently in order to make the brand identity more memorable and identifiable.

An organisation should be consistent across all forms of communications and activities they take part in to strengthen their brand. A consistent brand will be able to establish a greater degree of trust with the consumer, which in time can create a sense of loyalty to the brand.  

Knowing your audience

By knowing and comprehending your audience it becomes much easier to create a brand that resonates with them. Fully understanding their needs as consumers allows for the creation of a brand identity that is most appealing to them. Place yourself in their shoes and picture a brand identity that they will be able to feel a connection with. This will help you to choose the correct tools when designing.

If you have created a brand identity that appeals to your audience, then it is a safe bet that the visuals are firmly in keeping with your brand values.

Impactful

It is all well and good creating a brand identity that conveys the brand messaging well, but if it isn’t striking and memorable then it won’t gain the much-desired recognition from the audience. There needs to be a certain amount of X-factor. To truly be a strong brand identity it is absolutely essential that, whilst remaining on brand, the design captures the imagination of the audience.

Immerse yourself

Be on the constant lookout for inspiration. Read design blogs and books, follow social media accounts and in general be a sponge for new ideas that will help you develop your craft. This will help improve your range and increase your capability to produce strong brand identities.

A strong brand identity is an amalgamation of creative flair, the capturing of a brand message and consistency. A strong brand identity cannot exist with the absence of any of these factors. Without creativity and a great design, the brand will not be attention grabbing or memorable. If the design is strong but does not represent the values of the brand, then the wrong image will be conveyed to the audience. And if the brand identity is inconsistent then this will only serve to confuse the consumer and muddy the waters. If all of these key factors are implemented in equal measures, then this is a great starting point for creating a strong brand identity.

Chris Green

Chris Green at This Design Life
Chris Green is a designer and marketer. He runs an agency called Calloway Green and is also the founder of This Design Life.

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