Creating a brand identity is the first step your company must take once you’ve settled on your business plan, what service or product you are selling.
A brand is everything your company identifies as; it’s the vehicle to tell your story, it’s what communicates your values to visitors at first glance.
Building a strong brand identity, a story of who you are as a company is an in-depth process, which takes a comprehensive strategy.
What are the features of a brand? What parts of a company truly make up a brand identity?
Though the list is extensive, here are five key aspects of a well-branded company.
An Engaging Logo with a Story Behind it
According to Forbes, the right logo communicates everything without uttering a word. It inspires feelings and emotions in customers and conveys a sense of honour, trust, pride, excellence and integrity.
But beyond investing in an engaging logo, as a company, you must also have a story behind it.
For example, Starbucks was named after a nautical creature and to illustrate this, the company created the logo (which has gone through many changes over time as a brand refresh is just as important) of a 500-year-old sea witch. The current figure you see when walking into a Starbucks is based off Queen Esther at Seaworld.
Eye-Catching Colour Palette
When we say picture a can of Coca-Cola, what are you seeing in your head?
Odds are, it’s probably the iconic red. Before even seeing the label or tasting the refreshing liquid, you know a can of coke simply by its colour.
Your colour palette, should not only be eye-catching, but it should also embody who you are as a company. If your company is trying to promote outdoor activities, choose colours you would find in nature. If you’re a brewery that wants more of a rustic feel, go with blacks and greys – more of an industrial palette.
Uniform Voice and Tone
Before we dive into the importance of a uniform voice and tone within a brand’s identity, we first need to understand the difference between the two.
the expression of a brand’s personality and values, which always stays the same.
the tone varies according to the situation, subject matter or medium, while still retaining a consistent voice.
Whether it’s social media, your website, marketing collateral or in-person, use the same voice, and subtly change the tone.
Think of MailChimp, the way they conduct themselves online and the way they communicate in general is always consistent. They are human, familiar, friendly and straightforward.
Comprehensive Brand Guidelines
The most important thing that a company has are brand guidelines (sometimes known as a visual identity guide), something helping employees understand how to properly represent the organization both internally and, most importantly, externally.
If you have in-depth brand guidelines, nothing is open to discussion and it minimizes the chance of error: there’s a right way and – inherently – there’s a wrong way.
Brand guidelines also help rid of the stress which commonly accompanies working with external organizations.
Consistency is Key
This is one of the most important aspects of a well-branded company.
Whether it’s the tone, the colour palette, content, a social media presence or the logo, the more consistent and persistent you are, the more people begin to recognize you. The more people recognize you, the more they trust you, and trust leads to purchasing and promoting.
A tip to help you, your employees or your contractors with consistency is aspect number four: comprehensive brand guidelines.