A brand identity is a set of tools or elements used by a company to create a brand image. A brand image is a customers’ perception of the brand consisting of various associations related to it and memories about interacting with it. A brand identity and its elements stem from a company’s mission, brand value proposition, long-term goals, competitive position on the market, and relevance to the values and interests of the target audience. These factors have a foundational nature and, in the branding process, describe what a company wants to communicate. Meanwhile, a brand identity describes how these foundational elements are communicated. The most commonly agreed upon elements of a brand identity usually include:
- A brand name
- A tagline or a slogan
- Colors and graphic styles
- A logo and a wordmark and their variations
- A voice and a tone
- A style and a typeface
If your brand is in its early stages or preparing to rebrand and not sure where to start, follow these tips to move through the process seamlessly and build a stronger brand identity that sets you up for success
Step 1: Complete Your Brand Strategy
Your brand identity is a tool to help you execute your brand strategy. Your strategy is a detailed plan that outlines exactly what you’re trying to achieve and how you’re going to achieve it.
Step 2: Understand What a Brand Identity Is and What Makes It Great
A logo and a color palette alone do not make a brand identity. When designing your identity, you need to create a comprehensive visual language that can be applied to everything from your website to your packaging.
Step 3: Do Your Research
When you begin a branding project, you want to approach each phase from a philosophical and highly critical standpoint—inspect, poke, and prod until you get to the core of your brand.
Finally, Take a Look at Your Existing Brand
Whether you’re building your brand identity entirely from scratch or updating a stale identity, you still need a full assessment of the current state of your brand’s identity. How that brand identity might be crafted or tweaked to align with your goals going forward. The goal is to understand how your brand is perceived, both internally and externally. Getting an honest and accurate reflection is the only way to understand how and where you’re succeeding or how you need to course correct.