When you build a brand identity, you're actually applying your brand values to any visual elements and contents that will be used to promote your business.
A failed corporate brand identity can break a business. Thus, it is crucial that you get a style that is both timely and relevant to your target audience.
A brand identity is definitely far more than just a logo and it should include a wide range of marketing materials that can withstand the test of time.
If you are planning to create a new corporate identity or updating your old one, We’ve got you covered.
1. Personality: A brand identity is the visual representation of the values and "characteristic" of your brand. Identity design will set the tone and feel of your brand, and it can be used to evoke specific feelings in your audience. It should be designed to communicate your company's overall message and promote your business goals
2. Consistency: Developing a powerful brand identity allows you to create a consistent message across all marketing materials. Each individual piece of marketing material should have the same basic styles and design elements, creating a cohesive branding package.
3. Differentiation: A brand identity helps you to differentiate your business from your competitors and strategically position your brand. Developing a professional, creative identity design can help you to stand out to potential customers in your market.
4. Awareness: A strong brand identity package ensures that your brand is at the forefront of all your marketing materials, which helps to increase brand awareness. The more places your brand is featured, the more contact it will make with consumers, and the more memorable it will be.
5. Loyalty: An effective brand identity will allow the consumer to build customer loyalty and trust in a brand since it allows customers to make a connection between a product and the company
Branding is a process where a series of well-defined activities designed to develop a value system and communication framework for a business, resulting in coherent brand identity.
The value system is what drives the people at the organisation, their shared vision of the company, and the principles they all believe in and project outwardly to audiences. The communication framework is the language, tone of voice and visual symbolism that the organisation uses to get its values across.
A complete branding process should consist of research, strategy and design stages, usually followed by the implementation or execution phase.
You might have heard of immersion instead of research, or planning instead of strategy. There are many different terms for the same things – some sound more mystical than others but the activities they describe are essentially meant to achieve similar things.
Stages of brand identity development
The research phase of the branding project is about gathering information and analysing the findings to get to know your business, industry, competitors, target audience and all of your existing branding and design. It typically consists of extensive desk and field research including interviews where your branding partner listens to you to understand your business challenges, and then aligns themselves with your vision.
The brand strategy is based on the findings of brand research. While the research phase is about exploration, this step is for focusing and consolidating your values, business aspirations and vision for the future. The strategy stage sets the tone of your communication and provides a rallying point for your team in terms of brand values and business direction.
Without design, you wouldn’t be able to deliver the strategy. The design phase is what translates brand values into practical solutions such as a memorable and meaningful visual brand identity. As part of the branding process, design’s main role is to formulate the visual identity but it often goes beyond that. Design thinking can be applied to many areas of your business to improve services, products and workflows.
The implementation stage is when your new brand identity is revealed to the world. It starts with the careful planning of the roll-out i.e. how and when certain aspects of your brand will be launched on various channels. Implementation can take many forms, from a few business cards to a website or series of product videos. This phase can happen very quickly, but it can also last several months depending on your business’ circumstances.
If you want to see a detailed breakdown of the activities each stage consists of, head to our process page.
Why is the branding process important?
The process combines rigorous research, expert strategy and cutting-edge design to create effective, memorable brands. Only by having these essential stages built upon each other and working together can a comprehensive brand be delivered. Focusing on the design only will lead to a lack of substance. Overindulging in research and strategy will result in a highly logical brand lacking innovation.
The purpose of the process is to strike the right balance between information and intuition.
How long does it take?
In the world of business, everything tends to happen quickly and there is an expectation for branding to be the same and deliver quick fixes. Branding takes time. A dream project will flow smoothly and, create brand positioning and visual identity within weeks, but this is a very rare occurrence. It typically takes a couple of months to do the necessary research and define the strategy, and that is only the foundation. From there, you need to agree on design solutions and an implementation plan, then continue to nurture your brand and invest in its growth for years to come. Trying to rush through everything will not produce the outcomes you are looking for, so if you are serious about wanting to improve your business’ performance through branding, be prepared to give this endeavour the time and commitment it needs to succeed.
Are you ready to develop your organisation's branding? Get in touch to find out how we can help you.