8 Best Practices for Crafting a Memorable Brand Identity
Your brand identity is the face of your company. Sounds simple enough but let’s go a bit deeper and break it down just a bit more. Your brand identity is both the look and feel of your company AND how it sounds.
This means your brand’s visual elements are just as essential as your brand’s overall character and personality.
Imagine you’re sitting in a room, and in walks a man wearing a business suit. Your first impression is he’s a professional and probably serious about his job. But then he starts cracking jokes and telling funny stories.
Another example. A clown walks in, complete with a big fake nose and squeaky shoes. Instead of performing a comic routine, he starts explaining quantum mechanics.
While these are both extreme examples, it should help bring home the point that your brand identity is tied to both what you say and how it appears.
WHY YOUR BRAND NEEDS TO BE MEMORABLE
When your brand is memorable, you’ll have a better chance to succeed. Your future customers are bombarded with ads everywhere they go, especially when they’re online.
So not only does your brand need to stand out, it needs to be memorable. Otherwise, people will see your brand and forget it the very next moment as the next thing comes along. When your brand’s face AND personality both stand out from the competition, you’ll stand a better chance at being heard and remembered.
That’s enough talking about ‘why’; let’s talk about ‘how’ by looking at 8 best practices you can use right now to craft a memorable brand identity.
1. Identify and detail your target audience
One of your very first steps should be to identify who your target audience is and create a crystal-clear picture of who they are. Why is it important? You wouldn’t target the movers and shakers of a large B2B company the same way you would college students.
By narrowing down and researching your target audience, you’re able to learn and understand what they want from a company, which is essential to building your brand identity.
Using tools like surveys, audience research platforms, and investigating your competition, narrow down your users, so you have a clear picture of who they are and what they’re looking for, such as:
- Their age groups
- What are their values
- Their pain points
- What they’re looking for in a brand
- What personality and visuals appeal to them
2. Why does your brand exist?
Having a clear purpose helps fuel your branding. It provides a clear plan and defines your very existence. Without a clear foundation to base your messaging and advertising on, you’ll struggle to battle against competitors who are fully aware of their purpose.
Ask these four questions to identify your purpose:
- Why does my brand exist?
- What problem does my brand fix?
- What separates my brand from competitors?
- Why should my customers even consider my brand?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can create your brand’s purpose and use it to steer your brand identity.
3. Choose a tone of voice for your brand
All of your brand’s communication needs to sound the same as if it were coming from the same person. To do that, you need to create a tone of voice for your brand. You can do this by imagining your brand is a person, with feelings, and its very own personality.
Imagine your brand is Conan O’Brien (the tall, funny guy) and create messages if it were Conan speaking. Now do the same with Bill Gates. By injecting a personality into communication, you’re helping to solidify the brand’s identity. You don’t have to choose a specific person to base it on. Create your own by selecting a list of adjectives that best describes your brand’s tone:
4. Select your brand color scheme
The previous point was about how your brand sounds. This one is about how it looks. The knowledge that color psychology exists is nothing new, but not everyone takes advantage of it. Don’t be that person.
Instead, choose 2-3 colors which:
- Pack a punch and will get your brand noticed
- Are unique and exciting, instead of dull and boring
- Evoke feelings and emotions in your audience that you want them to
Red is a powerful, passionate color, where-as blue is calming and intelligent. Black is strong and professional, where-as green is healthy and natural. Experiment with different color combinations and remember to keep your target audience in mind.
5. Pick a brand name
Picking a brand name is either frighteningly complex or super easy. Ideally, your brand name should be short and catchy while also letting customers know what you do.
- Netflix – Net (internet) and flix (movies)
- Amazon – biggest river in the world and biggest online store
- Twitter – short chirps from birds
Other companies use their founders’ names, like HP (Hewlett-Packard), or are named after a piece of fruit, like Apple. As a new brand, you don’t want your audience to waste any time wondering what it is you do. When you start to gain traction and recognition, only then consider changing your brand name to something else.
Uber was initially called UberCab, and only after they started to become a recognizable brand name did they drop the ‘Cab’.
6. Design an awesome logo
Your brand name needs to be backed up by a logo, which is your brand’s visual representation. Here’s a quick list of tips:
- It must be unique, don’t steal your logo from another brand
- It should incorporate your brand colors
- It should be easy to read and understand
- Ensure it can scale up and down, so it looks good no matter what size it is
- It should match the tone and character of your brand
- It should appeal to your target audience
7. Keep your branding consistent
When you have all your brand identity elements ready, it’s crucial that you use them consistently. This means that you stick to the same tone of voice, use the same colors on your website, ads, emails, etc. and use the same logo.
Brands who fail to be consistent dilute their branding. To help stay on the same page, and remain consistent, create your own brand guidelines. This will help you and everyone who works with your brand conformed.
8. Don’t stop tweaking
A common action taken by successful brands is the constant tweaking of their brand identity. The changes are rarely big or even noticeable, but slowly they’ll test new ideas and develop their brand, so it always resonates with its target audience and remains memorable. Once your brand is live and out there, don’t stop trying new things and improving your brand so you can make the biggest impact.
With these 8 steps, you can craft a memorable brand identity that packs a punch. Take your time to perform research and dig deep to uncover your brand’s purpose. The rest will fall into place.
Gordon Maher works for Tailor Brands’ the automated branding and logo design platform. Tailor Brands provides all the tools that small business owners and entrepreneurs need to turn their idea into a real business and brand.
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