the ultimate guide to brand identity

Before we get started, I want you to stop and take a moment to think about your favorite place to grab a cup of coffee. What were the first things that came to mind? Probably your favorite drink, right?

But what if you were to dive a little deeper? If you had to describe your favorite coffee shop to someone who’s never heard of it, you’d probably describe their logo, the atmosphere, or the uniforms the staff wears. You might even include their prices or unique items on their menu.

Without realizing it, what you described was the company’s brand identity. Below, we explore the benefits of creating a unique brand identity and how you can get started.

What is Brand Identity?

Brand identity is a collection of visual elements that, when used together, help your company stand out from the competition. Brand identity includes the following elements:

List of Brand Elements

Simply put, your company’s brand identity is what allows it to be recognizable by customers. Without it, your company would get lost in the crowd. After all the hard work you’ve put into your company, that’s the last thing you want to encounter.

How to Develop a Brand Identity

Think about your shopping habits. If a website has an aggressive color palette, seems out-of-date, or has inconsistent names and designs across social media channels, would you feel comfortable purchasing from them or using their products?

While those elements may not seem like a big deal on paper, they can actually cost your company a lot of money. If you’re stuck trying to develop a brand identity, we have some helpful tips:

  1. Ask yourself why you’re doing this. This answer will become your mission statement.
  2. Determine what your company’s values are. What drives your company?
  3. If your brand was a person, how would it communicate with others? For example, would your company convey a soft, friendly message or would it be more analytical?
  4. What kind of personality would your brand have?
  5. What is your style guide? How will you create a unified message across all your marketing accounts — i.e. website, logo, social media, etc?

Why are these questions important? Well, for starters, identifying your company’s values will help determine the shape and design of your logo, as well as the colors used on your website. This will also help you get your message in front of your target audience.

Marketing to Your Target Demographic

Did you know that millennials make up the key demographic for online commerce? Millennials, those between the ages of 26 and 41 in 2022, who also represent approximately a quarter of the country’s population, spend about $600 million on goods and services annually. However, Generation Z is giving millennials a run for their money.

Generation Z (those between the ages of 10 and 25 in 2022) are the future consumers. They spend the majority of their money on technological devices, eating out, and transportation, however, they are more willing to spend money on luxury items when compared to previous generations. They are also more racially diverse than previous generations.

Collecting this data is the first step in developing a brand identity because you can adapt your marketing efforts to meet your audience’s needs. For example, millennials place a huge emphasis on companies and products that provide value to them through organic methods. According to the American Marketing Association, millennials are usually interested in supporting brands that they can develop a personal connection with. Because of this, hard sells are not the optimal way to market to this demographic.

The AMA’s study further concluded that millennials place a strong emphasis on the look and feel of a company’s website. According to 92% of millennial respondents, “an app or website’s appearance is an important factor when deciding whether or not to submit personal information.” Similarly, Generation Z is more technologically savvy than other generations, prefer customized web content, and are more likely to make purchases based on real life testimony than celebrity endorsement. Like millennials, Generation Z is more inclined to conduct long-tail keyword searches (niche questions that don’t have a high search volume) on Google.

Whether you’re marketing to millennials, Gen Z, or another demographic, collecting this data is important to understanding who your target audience is and how to market to them because you can build marketing strategies and use graphical elements that will speak to these specific audiences. So, if you have a website that uses out-of-date colors, flashy graphics, is focused on hard sales pitches, and isn’t optimized to meet long-tail keyword searches, you’re going to be losing out on a lot of conversions.

The Psychology of Color

In 2017, I took a leap of faith and started my own company, DESIGNTIFF. It is probably one of the greatest challenges I have faced. I had been in the corporate world for a decade and achieved rapid success. I could have easily continued on that same path but was eager to be free of the creative restraints that come with working in the corporate world. I decided the risk would be worth the reward. It proved to be the right decision at the right time. Thanks to my reputation and a colleague’s recommendation, my very first client was a $100 million dollar company. Today, I work with clients across the United States, Australia and China in retail, fashion, entertainment, food and beverage, eCommerce, non-profit, architecture, construction, and more. 

Psychology of Color
Typography-Font-Style
Use of Typography

Another way you can establish a cohesive brand identity is through your use of typography. Typography is the type of font you use in your promotional advertisements, not limited to your logo, product packaging, business cards, flyers, and tagline.

San serif fonts, for example, such as Open Sans and Roboto are often used to help attract younger consumers since they are modern, direct, and considered friendlier than other older fonts like Times New Roman, which may feel outdated.

Logo Design

You might not realize it, but your company’s logo design can say a lot about your business before anyone ever visits your website. Traditionally, logos that are either rectangular or square-shaped are often considered to be very trustworthy, however, they can look basic if they don’t use an eye-grabbing color.

Rounded logos, on the other hand, tend to establish a much softer connection with audiences. They often promote feelings of love, community, and unity; the Starbucks logo is a good example of this, as their advertising is often aimed at millennials on the go. Since Starbucks’ target audience are millennials, their logo speaks to their unique values and personality traits. An example of this would be the emphasis millennials place on charitable initiatives. If you’ve ever visited the inside of a Starbucks before, you know they have a board of local events and causes customers can get involved in. This is not an accident.

A logo should be easily recognizable the moment someone sees it. Furthermore, they should serve as a symbol of the values your company represents and the products you sell. When creating a logo, you want to make sure it does the following:

  • Makes a lasting impression
  • Clearly communicates your company’s mission and values
  • Visually appealing to consumers
  • Clean, simple, and timeless
Final Thoughts

When we think of a particular brand, we think about the various elements that make it: their logo, their website design, color scheme, package design, and typography. Even if we don’t realize it, we’d probably never think of a particular brand if their design and marketing team didn’t take the time to analyze all these variables. If you’re ready to get started yourself, DESIGNTIFF can help.

Key Components of Logo Design

1Makes a lasting impression

2Clearly communicates your company’s mission and values

3Visually appealing to consumers

4Clean, simple, and timeless

Before we get started, I want you to stop and take a moment to think about your favorite place to grab a cup of coffee. What were the first things that came to mind? Probably your favorite drink, right?

But what if you were to dive a little deeper? If you had to describe your favorite coffee shop to someone who’s never heard of it, you’d probably describe their logo, the atmosphere, or the uniforms the staff wears. You might even include their prices or unique items on their menu.

Without realizing it, what you described was the company’s brand identity. Below, we explore the benefits of creating a unique brand identity and how you can get started.

What is Brand Identity?

Brand identity is a collection of visual elements that, when used together, help your company stand out from the competition. Brand identity includes the following elements:

List of Brand Elements

Simply put, your company’s brand identity is what allows it to be recognizable by customers. Without it, your company would get lost in the crowd. After all the hard work you’ve put into your company, that’s the last thing you want to encounter.

How to Develop a Brand Identity

Think about your shopping habits. If a website has an aggressive color palette, seems out-of-date, or has inconsistent names and designs across social media channels, would you feel comfortable purchasing from them or using their products?

While those elements may not seem like a big deal on paper, they can actually cost your company a lot of money. If you’re stuck trying to develop a brand identity, we have some helpful tips:

  1. Ask yourself why you’re doing this. This answer will become your mission statement.
  2. Determine what your company’s values are. What drives your company?
  3. If your brand was a person, how would it communicate with others? For example, would your company convey a soft, friendly message or would it be more analytical?
  4. What kind of personality would your brand have?
  5. What is your style guide? How will you create a unified message across all your marketing accounts — i.e. website, logo, social media, etc?

Why are these questions important? Well, for starters, identifying your company’s values will help determine the shape and design of your logo, as well as the colors used on your website. This will also help you get your message in front of your target audience.

Marketing to Your Target Demographic

Did you know that millennials make up the key demographic for online commerce? Millennials, those between the ages of 26 and 41 in 2022, who also represent approximately a quarter of the country’s population, spend about $600 million on goods and services annually. However, Generation Z is giving millennials a run for their money.

Generation Z (those between the ages of 10 and 25 in 2022) are the future consumers. They spend the majority of their money on technological devices, eating out, and transportation, however, they are more willing to spend money on luxury items when compared to previous generations. They are also more racially diverse than previous generations.

Collecting this data is the first step in developing a brand identity because you can adapt your marketing efforts to meet your audience’s needs. For example, millennials place a huge emphasis on companies and products that provide value to them through organic methods. According to the American Marketing Association, millennials are usually interested in supporting brands that they can develop a personal connection with. Because of this, hard sells are not the optimal way to market to this demographic.

The AMA’s study further concluded that millennials place a strong emphasis on the look and feel of a company’s website. According to 92% of millennial respondents, “an app or website’s appearance is an important factor when deciding whether or not to submit personal information.” Similarly, Generation Z is more technologically savvy than other generations, prefer customized web content, and are more likely to make purchases based on real life testimony than celebrity endorsement. Like millennials, Generation Z is more inclined to conduct long-tail keyword searches (niche questions that don’t have a high search volume) on Google.

Whether you’re marketing to millennials, Gen Z, or another demographic, collecting this data is important to understanding who your target audience is and how to market to them because you can build marketing strategies and use graphical elements that will speak to these specific audiences. So, if you have a website that uses out-of-date colors, flashy graphics, is focused on hard sales pitches, and isn’t optimized to meet long-tail keyword searches, you’re going to be losing out on a lot of conversions.

Psychology of Color
The Psychology of Color

In 2017, I took a leap of faith and started my own company, DESIGNTIFF. It is probably one of the greatest challenges I have faced. I had been in the corporate world for a decade and achieved rapid success. I could have easily continued on that same path but was eager to be free of the creative restraints that come with working in the corporate world. I decided the risk would be worth the reward. It proved to be the right decision at the right time. Thanks to my reputation and a colleague’s recommendation, my very first client was a $100 million dollar company. Today, I work with clients across the United States, Australia and China in retail, fashion, entertainment, food and beverage, eCommerce, non-profit, architecture, construction, and more. 

Typography-Font-Style
Use of Typography

Another way you can establish a cohesive brand identity is through your use of typography. Typography is the type of font you use in your promotional advertisements, not limited to your logo, product packaging, business cards, flyers, and tagline.

San serif fonts, for example, such as Open Sans and Roboto are often used to help attract younger consumers since they are modern, direct, and considered friendlier than other older fonts like Times New Roman, which may feel outdated.

Key Components of Logo Design

1Makes a lasting impression

2Clearly communicates your company’s mission and values

3Visually appealing to consumers

4Clean, simple, and timeless

Logo Design

You might not realize it, but your company’s logo design can say a lot about your business before anyone ever visits your website. Traditionally, logos that are either rectangular or square-shaped are often considered to be very trustworthy, however, they can look basic if they don’t use an eye-grabbing color.

Rounded logos, on the other hand, tend to establish a much softer connection with audiences. They often promote feelings of love, community, and unity; the Starbucks logo is a good example of this, as their advertising is often aimed at millennials on the go. Since Starbucks’ target audience are millennials, their logo speaks to their unique values and personality traits. An example of this would be the emphasis millennials place on charitable initiatives. If you’ve ever visited the inside of a Starbucks before, you know they have a board of local events and causes customers can get involved in. This is not an accident.

A logo should be easily recognizable the moment someone sees it. Furthermore, they should serve as a symbol of the values your company represents and the products you sell. When creating a logo, you want to make sure it does the following:

  • Makes a lasting impression
  • Clearly communicates your company’s mission and values
  • Visually appealing to consumers
  • Clean, simple, and timeless
Final Thoughts

When we think of a particular brand, we think about the various elements that make it: their logo, their website design, color scheme, package design, and typography. Even if we don’t realize it, we’d probably never think of a particular brand if their design and marketing team didn’t take the time to analyze all these variables. If you’re ready to get started yourself, DESIGNTIFF can help.

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