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6 Steps to Creating a Compelling Brand Identity

Updated: Apr 8

Karen Bennett sitting with laptop and text 6 Steps to Creating A Compelling Brand Identity
6 Steps to Creating A Compelling Brand Identity

Most business owners understand that your brand is more than just a logo or a catchy slogan; it's the essence of your company—the visual representation of your values, personality, and promise to your customers or clients. So how can you create a brand identity that resonates with your target market and sets you apart from the competition? These six steps are my absolute bible for building the foundations your business needs to reach and connect with your people through your brand identity.

1. Define Your Brand Strategy:

Before diving into the visual elements of your brand identity, take the time to define your brand strategy. Start by identifying your target audience and understanding their needs, preferences, and pain points. Next, clarify your unique selling proposition (USP)—what sets your business apart from others in your industry? Finally, articulate your brand values, mission, and vision. These foundational elements will guide the development of your brand identity and ensure consistency across all touch points.

2. Conduct Market Research:

Conducting market research is so helpful for taking a helicopter view of your business and understanding the landscape you are operating in. Put your business name, brand identity ideas and wider elements of your business model to the test. Look at your competitors' brand identities to identify gaps - is there an area where you can offer something unique? Think about how you could gather your perfect customer or client’s views: if you don’t have the funds for setting up focus groups, social media can provide an excellent platform for you to reach your perfect people that fall within your target customer profile to test ideas out; if you don't have a social media profile for your business account, why not try your own followers or a Facebook group with your target demographic?

3. Refine or Redefine Your Strategy:

Okay, so you’ve done your research, now you need to apply your findings to your brand strategy - consider what has changed and why, so you feel 100% confident in how you are positioning yourself. 

4. Develop Your Brand Identity Elements:

Once you have a clear understanding of your brand strategy and market positioning, it's time to develop the visual elements of your brand identity. It’s a good idea to consider bringing in a professional brand designer at this stage to ensure you maximise your brand identity potential! Whether you choose to work with a designer or not, mood boarding is a great way to start off the creative process. Once you’ve created a mood board that really reflects the essence of your business, you can then go about developing your brand identity elements. These include:

   - Your Logo: Your logo is the cornerstone of your brand identity and should be memorable, versatile, and reflective of your brand's personality. It’s a good idea to consider bringing in a professional brand designer at this stage to create a custom logo that really captures the essence of your business. You might already have a vision for this but be prepared to challenge yourself on any preconceived ideas throughout the design process.

   - Colour Palette: Colour psychology can play a significant role in influencing consumer perceptions, so select colours that evoke the right emotions and associations, but I believe this is just part of the picture: choose a cohesive colour palette that reflects your brand's personality and resonates with your target audience.

   - Typography: Font curation is a lot more difficult than most people appreciate - not least because of the vast amount of fonts available, but also because nuances in typography can make a huge difference to the perception of your brand! One important point is to ensure your fonts complement your logo design and reflect your brand's tone and style. Consistency in typography helps establish brand recognition and reinforces brand identity.

   - Other Imagery: Adding additional imagery alongside your logo can create make your brand stand out so much more and create a more powerful message. What do I mean by ‘additional imagery’? A secondary logo, brand marks, pattern designs and eye-catching photography/video content all create a lasting impression and ensure consistency in style and tone to reinforce your brand identity.

5. Create and Implement Brand Guidelines:

Once you've established your brand identity elements, it’s important to ensure these are consistently applied across all your brand touch points! I recommend documenting them in a brand board or a set of brand guidelines, showing how your brand should be presented across different channels, including logo usage, colour specifications, typography guidelines, and imagery style. These can be passed on to your members of staff, and any external suppliers who may need to refer to them such as marketing consultants, agencies, web designers, or packaging suppliers.

Once you’ve taken your brand out there, make sure you monitor how your brand is being received with your target audience through feedback and then make adjustments when you need to. This was you will ensure that you stay relevant.

And don’t forget, it’s just not about the product or service you are offering, it’s about the feeling your brand creates. With hard work and following these steps, your well-crafted brand identity will make a connection with your perfect audience, build trust and loyalty, and create an army of brand advocates to spread the word on your behalf.

I hope sharing these tips helps you get started on creating your own compelling brand identity, but if you’re feeling stuck or overwhelmed, let’s chat to see how we can work through it together.

Karen x

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