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While it may seem like you are saving time in the short term, neglecting your brand identity can only result in additional hassles in the long run.
Foregoing branding may result in your messages being heard loud and clear, but it may also result in unintended effects and long-term concerns. While the consequences of this approach are not immediately apparent, they will manifest themselves all too rapidly and frustratingly in a variety of ways: you will receive more questions than sales, consumers will be unclear about what you are all about, and potential customers will purchase from your rivals.
Businesses must build and nurture emotional connections with their audiences through their messaging, advertising, and interaction if they are to succeed in today’s market. Your brand is the most precious asset in your company, and when it is done well, the benefits and return on investment are measurable and immediately noticeable.
The information in this guide will take you step by step through the process of developing a brand identity for your company.
Creating an identity
Your brand identity consists of much more than just a logo. A style guide, marketing materials, or color palette are only a part of it. Brand identity is the result of how your company appears, feels, and communicates with its target audience. As a result, it has an impact on the entire customer experience, and ultimately on how others perceive your reputation and business.
With so much on the line, it is unlikely that your business’s brand identity will manifest itself in an instant. It will take time, research, and careful consideration, but the results will be well worth it.
So, where do you even begin?
Without first gaining a thorough understanding of your target audience, you will be unable to develop a brand identity that will resonate with them. So, first and foremost, devote sufficient time to thoroughly researching your primary, secondary, and tertiary audiences. Create personas that reflect their likes and dislikes, hobbies, and core principles, and then act on them.
After you have gained a thorough grasp of your clients, you should conduct competition research. What are the visual components, personalities, and themes that other companies in your field are using to establish themselves in your market?
Finally, do not forget to conduct interviews with the individuals who are most familiar with your present brand: your staff. They hold significant influence over how the company should be portrayed and what has or has not worked in the past for the organization as a whole.
2. Think about your branding assets
Once the research process is through, it is time to have some fun. It is time to put all of your newfound knowledge into visual form and work with the best print shop. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most prevalent brand assets:
- Color palettes for logos
- Photographic and graphic design for advertising and marketing campaigns
Consider the three Cs of branding and how they might assist you as you create your brand assets:
Clarity: It is your responsibility, not your customer’s, to find out what you are trying to say. If consumers have to think about what you have done in order to understand it, your brand is not obvious enough yet.
Consistency: Your signage should speak in the same tone as your website, which should speak in the same tone as your Social media profile. Why? Confidence and commitment are instilled in your customers by your brand’s consistency.
Commitment: We want our advertisements to go viral, and when they don’t, we become discouraged and change our strategy. Do not forget that successful branding takes a lot of effort and patience.
It is quite OK for your brand identity to evolve over time. Once you have developed your preliminary brand identity, you should study and refine it in response to customer input. Try out different ideas and methods to evaluate which ones are the most effective. If you want to find out which narrative connects most with your audience, you could test alternative taglines on your homepage, for instance.
Branding Myths You Need To Ignore
There are several typical branding fallacies that you should be aware of when developing your brand identity in the beginning phases. Unfortunately, far too many business owners believe these fallacies, which can have a negative impact on their company’s long-term success.
The following are three big branding misconceptions that have been refuted:
1. Branding is only important in the early days
Do not underestimate the importance of your company’s most valuable asset. Branding can account for as much as 50% of a company’s total value, depending on the industry. This is due to the fact that effectively implemented branding transforms your product or service into something unique and unreplicable: the distinct value that you provide to your target customer.
To put it another way, branding is not only relevant but also vital at every step of your company’s growth and development. Your brand must be relatable in order to capture the attention of potential customers. Just because you have established a brand does not imply that your target audience will come to you in large quantities. It must clearly express the value and solution you provide. Unless you invest in your brand, people will form their own opinions of your company if you simply present the world with a great idea and make no investment in your brand.
2. Branding has to be expensive
Branding should not be seen as an expense that you can simply skimp on. It is a financial investment in a tangible asset. It has the potential to be your most valuable asset, even if no one can agree on just how much it is worth. Consumer awareness, associated traits, and brand loyalty are all factors that contribute to brand equity. Despite the fact that these intangible features are difficult to quantify, this does not rule out the possibility of investing in this critical asset. The most effective strategy to deal with the ephemeral character of this asset is to seize hold of your story and start telling it.
This leads to the next obvious question: how much money should you set aside to make this investment? As a rule of thumb, we recommend allocating 12 – 15 percent or more of the first investment into branding. This sum can then be used to hire a branding consultant, graphic and web designer, a copywriter, a marketing expert, a social media specialist, and other relevant resources.
3. Branding is complicated
Curiously, some people assume that investing in branding makes things more complicated, whereas, in truth, it makes things more complicated not to invest.
It is important to invest in your brand strategy, no matter how basic you believe your company is. Make your story and values easy to understand, consistent, and repeatable. Instead of rehashing your story every time you launch an advertising campaign or an email funnel, it is less complicated to base future decisions on a set of branding principles.
When it comes to competition in today’s internet marketplace, the store down the street is no longer your only option. There are tens, hundreds, or even thousands of businesses exactly like yours seeking attention online, and it can be difficult to stand out.
It is now more crucial than ever for businesses to establish a distinct brand identity in order to stand out from the crowd. In order to compete with larger businesses, small businesses do not have the resources to launch large-scale marketing campaigns. As a result, it is even more critical for small businesses to understand who they are, what they offer, and who they are offering their product or service to in order to be successful.
It is critical to allocate sufficient time to ensure clarity and the creation of a sleek business brand. When it comes to all communications, a brand is the crucial business driver, and it has an impact on every area of your company.