How To Design A Strong Visual Brand Identity: 5 Easy Steps To Follow
A brand is a “Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.” As defined by the American Marketing Association.
So your business brand identity is more than a logo. It’s more than a brand style guide. It’s an essential way to differentiate yourself from your competition. A brand identity influences your customers’ experience at every touchpoint. It subconsciously affects how they view everything from your industry, to your relevance, to your trustworthiness.
As Jeff Bezos the Amazon.com founder says,
“Branding is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”
It’s the lasting impression you leave on your customers and clients, and it’s shaped largely by the visual identity that you present.
Why You Need A Strong Visual Identity?
A logo and a color palette alone do not make a brand identity.
Visual branding is how you show the type of friend you will be. Use it to influence your audience’s perception of you.
Your audience is defining your brand. If the visual that you’re conveying does not match your values, it will disappoint, confuse, and alienate your audience.
It’s the sum total of everything your audience can see when they look at you. Together, all of those visual elements tell a story. That story can re-affirm your values or take away from them.
Also brands who have a consistent visual identity are resonating better. You want to make sure that your visual presentation speaks the same language as what’s being said in any text, audio or video. If your visual presentation doesn’t match the conversation, it’ll lead to inconsistencies in your communication.
And the good news is in today’s post you’ll found the easy ways to influence how your audience perceives your brand.
Strong Brand Identity Design Process
When we begin a branding project, we approach each phase from a philosophical and highly critical standpoint. We want to inspect, poke, and prod until we get to the core of a brand. Then we get down to business. Here’s what that looks like.
Step 1: Define Your Target Audience
This is the first step in building a successful visual identity.
Before you can position your brand to connect with an audience, you need to know who that audience is. Identifying who you are talking to will make every part of your branding easier.
- What is their age, gender, job description, income, and education level?
- What is their personality like? What values, hobbies, and interests do they have?
- What type of lifestyle do they live?
- What are their day to day concerns?
- What solutions are they looking for?
- What other brands do they like?
Or if you’re struggling with this excercise, take a look at your competitor’s audience on social media. See what questions they ask and the posts that they like or retweet.
Step 2: What Is Your Unique Selling Point
Think about what it is you wish to communicate with your costumer? Create a diagram and getting your thougts down on paper is a great way.
What is my unique selling point (USP)? How do you present your brand in a friendly, visual way that shows you have the answer to their problem?
Once you have everything written out in front of you, try and simplify these down to three main points. A good tip here is to come up with a single sentence or tagline that describes yourself and your services. If you can incorporate your three main points into one sentence – great!
Step 3: Visualize It
Now you have collect a ton information, who your audience and what you have to offer, the next step is translate it into visual concepts.
The information we have is often steeped in emotional language about the brand’s personality, goals, and values. Now the challenge is to figure out how to communicate and enhance those sentiments through visuals.
How to do that? A helpful and simple way to help you visualize your brand identity is by creating a moods boards – inspiration boards – vision boards.
A mood boards is a curated collection of visuals that work together to embody the vibe and feeling you want your brand to evoke. They acts as a visual representation of what a brand exudes. It takes key words and characteristics of a brand and gives them a more tangible form we can work off of.
Here the useful tips from Gillian Tracey in creating your first branding mood boards:
- Get a variety of images to create a well-rounded visual representation of your brand.
- Avoid using a lot of design-related images. Instead, seek inspiration in unexpected places. By including examples of logos you like, it makes it more challenging to get that concept out of your head and come up with an entirely unique design. Instead, opt for using images of typefaces or fonts you like, icons or illustrations you think align with your brand, etc, rather than using a completed, pre-existing brand identity.
- Be really particular about images. More likely than not, you’re going to pin a bunch of images to your secret Pinterest board that could possibly work for your mood board. Be very selective when constructing your final inspiration board and only choose the highest quality images that will all contribute to adding to the vibe you’re wanting to create.
- If you’re working with a designer on a branding project and a mood board is part of the process, or if you’re a designer working with a client, make sure you are both in total agreement on the mood board before you move on to designing the brand identity. Since this acts as a visual guide for the rest of the project, it’s vital that everyone is on the same page. It will help lay a good foundation for the rest of the project.
Step 4: Create Now
You have do so such homework and brainstorming, now we get to start in creating your real visual brand identity.
As we have said previously, a great branding is more than just a logo, it’s a process that extends to every aspect of your business. It is building strategy, keeping your social presence active and so much more.
So you need Branding Tools, they are used to develop strong brand identities through interactions with their consumers. Good reputation and high visibility will go a long way in efforts to differentiate your business from the competition and increase your customer loyalty.
How to create your own branding tools? Here we recommend Tailor Brands – A marketing, branding and design team on one platform.
A logo is only the beginning at Tailor. Once you purchase your design Tailor will ask you about your customers, and build out a daily to-do guide that extends throughout all of your digital presence. Tailor Brand will automatically design posts for your FB page, create banners to send your customers for holidays and design merchandise for your next company offsite.
They uses machine learning technology to better understand what the user is looking for. So if you are a lawyer and you receive logo X and then make some changes, those changes now become part of the algorithm for the next related logo… and so on.
Tailor Brands is an automated branding suite and have over 15 professional branding tools that will help you focus your efforts on visual branding, social visibility, and an unforgettable user experience that will help you establish a strong and sustainable brand. from business card design to content generation and social media posting. Tailor Brands toolbox will help simplify your long-term business goals and day to day tasks.
Step 5: Measure and Adapt
You have a visual identity for your business now. Now the last step is meisure your logo and branding – are they going to work?
The InboundRocket has 6 questions that you should answer by yourself:
- Is this logo flexible? (Will it work on different background colours and images, will it work in a square format for your social profiles, will it work in a “rectangular” way as you might need for some headers);
- Is it simple? (When someone sees your logo at a glance, will he or she understand it?);
- Is it “me”? (Is it in line with your brand story, and moreover the brand personality of your story);
- Is it friendly for the web? (Can it easily be used in all sorts of different web situations, like a favicon for your website, or places where you need smaller icons or versions?);
- Is it scalable? (Just like for the web it could be used in small places, like icons, can you also use it on bigger surfaces like business cards, or even posters?);
- Is it differentiable? (Will you stand out from your competitors?).
Then follow with doing a customer survey, since you might assume that your brand’s visual identity sends out a clear message, your customers might think otherwise. It’s important to understand how your brand comes across to those who matter most – your customers.
If by talking to your customers you reached the conclusion that your visual brand story is telling a different story than the one you want it to say. It’s time to learn from these conversations and adapt your visuals where needed.