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Seven effective strategies to building a successful brand identity
26 October 2011
A brand identity is more than just a logo. When you think of a brand identity what comes to mind? A logo design, a business card? You’re right, but a logo design and a business card is only part of a brand identity.
A brand identity captures the essence of a brand, its name, logo, colour palette, typeface, packaging and brand communications. It can be used to differentiate ones brand from its competitors.
Upon seeing your brand name and brand identity, the customer should understand who you and what you can provide them. It should stand out and capture their attention. And most importantly, it should reflect who you are as a business or brand.
Here are seven important branding tips for SME’s to consider when developing a brand identity:
1.Audit your brand identity annually
Auditing your brand is equally important for established and new businesses - it’s a way of making sure your brand identity is relevant and existing marketing strategies are working. A brand audit will raise any weaknesses in your brand giving you the opportunity to review your brand strategy before losing value and customers.
2.Ensure your brand identity reflects your business values
To create a strong brand identity it must reflect your businesses unique story, personality, mission, vision and values consistently. Brand values are an important part of any brand identity – it’s your brands soul.
Having a strong concept behind your brand enables the audience to engage, create an emotional connection to your brand and build brand loyalty.
3.Your brand identity must be relevant
Your brand identity should reflect your businesses products and/or services. A technical-looking logo for a health retreat isn’t appropriate or relevant and can create confusion amongst your audience damaging your brand.
4.Invest in a corporate style guide
It’s like an instruction manual for your brand identity. It’s a valuable tool when dealing with third-party companies and staff to ensure your brand identity is used consistently across all brand communications.
5.Consistency is king
Inconsistency will stop a brand identity in its tracks every time. Ensure you portray a professional image to your potential and existing customers with consistent brand communications from your corporate stationery right through to your invoices. This will convey a sense of professionalism and trust resulting in a loyal customer-base.
6.Use a minimal colour palette
Keep your colour palette minimal and decide on a colour that reflects your brand values and is relevant to your audience, not because you like the colour. Ensure your colour is consistent across all your branding communications, for example if your primary colour is royal blue, don’t use navy or light blue.
7.Less is more
Think Nike, Coca-Cola and Apple. These successful brands have memorable brand identities because they have kept things simple and uncomplicated. If it there’s no reason for a particular element to be there, remove it.
Developing a brand identity can be challenging at times but that’s half the fun. Think about your unique story and ways you can stand out from the crowd by making your brand identity different and more memorable - and why people should pay for the value you offer.
Astrid Varga is creative director of We Create Design Solutions, an Adelaide-based brand design consultancy specialising in branding for SME’s. www.WeCreateDS.com.au