Building a Strong Brand Identity: 5 Helpful Concepts
Building a strong brand identity is an essential part of running a business with staying power. Whether you’re a newcomer or a mainstay to the business world, your brand identity is essential to your business’ success. Read on for our best advice on building a brand identity that makes a lasting impression.
Building a strong brand identity that makes an impression is one of those tricky elements that relies more on vision than capital investment, and can make or break your growing company. It’s more than just the “look,” the visual marketing elements such as your logo, photography, and more — it’s about creating a feel, a story around your company that hooks consumers, makes your company memorable, and is one of the roots of customer loyalty. A company’s identity is the manner in which it is presented to the public, so it isn’t difficult to imagine how it’s an essential part of a growing company’s success or failure. Powerful brand identities build customer loyalty and build strong client followings; one of the most famous examples of this is Apple, especially following the 2001 release of the iPod. Consistently innovative both aesthetically and technologically, Apple became the tech world’s Goliath, in large part because of the story it told about his company and its products through its advertising and media presence.
Here, we’ve assembled concrete tips that will help you in building a strong brand identity that speaks volumes about your growing enterprise, and don’t forget to check out our free business plan templates to help you plan for your new company’s growth.
Building a Strong Brand Identity: The Essentials
1. Know Your Audience
Market research will be indispensable here, as it’s the kind of information that allows you to ensure that you’re working with the correct demographic for your product or service, and proposing content that they will actually enjoy and relate to. Defining your marketing personas will be helpful when you begin to work with focus groups, surveys, and marketing interviews: this means defining what kinds of individuals your group of target customers is made up of. Once you’ve defined your ideal customer base, it becomes a question of conducting research and analyzing existing, up-to-date statistics regarding your target audience. What do they like, what interests them, how do they spend their days, and how is your product and/or service going to make their lives easier? Knowing your audience will help you know how to address them, and it’s an integral part of building a strong brand identity. Check back for more articles on conducting marketing research.
2. Speak Their Language
Once your research has revealed to you some of the essential qualities of the demographics you’re targeting, you’ll move your strategy onto the appropriate platforms, be that Facebook, Instagram, your website, and others. Make sure that you’re speaking the correct “language” for the platform and your audience (for example, Facebook is about community, while Pinterest is about aesthetics), and above all, make sure that your enterprise itself has refined the language it uses with customers, or a kind of public persona that is the interface between your customer base and your business. Is the voice behind your company witty, warm, formal? The options are endless, but it’s important to make sure that your company’s language matches that of your target customer base. A luxury brand, however, wouldn’t be seen sassing its followers on Twitter like, for example, Wendy’s.
3. Tell Them a Story
In theory, any good or service corresponds to an unfilled need that a savvy entrepreneur decided to fill by launching his/her business venture. Your business has an origin story, its own special narrative, and communicating this to your customer base makes your brand and the goods and services it offers more memorable. Sharing the narrative behind a brand contributes to its perceived transparency and allows clients to connect to your enterprise on an emotional level, building a strong brand identity for your nascent company. Companies with stories, much like people, are relatable — across the board, audiences respond to what they can understand and empathize with.
4. Propose Value
What are your core values as a company? This ties into the narrative you establish to tell the story of your company — your origin story plays into your business’ reason for being, and that raison d’être should also have something to do with your enterprise’s core values. Are you committed to quality? artisanship? great customer service? user experience? Distill your core values from your company’s story to propose value not only in terms of the goods and services your company offers, but also in the strength of the values your enterprise upholds behind its product(s).
5. Develop a Creative Content Marketing Strategy
Once you’ve determined your audience, your language, your narrative, and your core values, it’s time to translate all of this into eye-catching visual content and copy to be deployed on your website, trade publications, social media, and any other platforms you deem relevant to marketing your business according to your target demographic. The visual and written elements that you use across these platforms should remain cohesive in their ensemble, and should work together (imagery, video, text, and even font choice) to create an aesthetic that encompasses and indeed elucidates your brand identity — check out our article on visual marketing for more tips on this aspect of building a strong brand identity.
Making sure that the visual and narrative elements behind your company stress your business’ values, origins, and accessibility is the goal behind any successful identity-building strategy, from social media feeds to your company website’s “About Us.” Keeping in mind that consumers develop affinities to relatable, human companies that respond to their everyday needs, building a strong brand identity that’s as inspirational and relatable as the people behind it is a step your growing business shouldn’t skip. And to make sure that there’s a solid substance behind your company’s form, make sure to download our free business plan template to help you get started.