Let’s face the truth: there is something common between a corporate giant’s brand and a startup’s brand: if it’s unable to differentiate itself, it will be lost soon. But there are higher chances that a new brand will be the first one to lose the game.
Here’s the proof: 59% of people over the globe prefer purchasing from a brand they’re familiar with, according to a survey conducted by Nielsen.
So, if you’re a startup launching a product for the first time, you should make sure your brand stands out from the crowd. That’s when you need a brand identity.
Not sure how to bring out the unique personality of your brand when there are millions of other brands combating for the same market share?
Here’s a simple formula: the stronger the brand identity is, the higher are the chances of success.
In this post, we’ll guide you through the five basic steps of developing brand identity.
#Step 1. Developing Brand Identity – Know Your Brand’s Core Strength
“Only those win the game who believe in themselves.”
If you agree, you’ll apply the same rule to your brand identity. Since you’re the one taking your own brand forward, you must believe in the qualities it’s designed to offer to the potential customers. To begin, ask yourself the following question:
“What’s so good about this brand which other competing brands actually lack?”
Hint: This will be that one feature no other brand provides but yours does.
Here’s how to find this out:
Make a list of ALL its features and choose a single feature where your brand proves itself to be the best. That unique feature is your brand’s competitive edge – the core strength that will entice the target audience to prefer your brand over others.
A great example is that of Domino’s Pizza. Look how the key feature of Domino’s Pizza is ingrained in its brand identity: “fresh, hot pizza delivered in 30 minutes – otherwise it’s free.” Usually, a brand’s aspirations and unique selling points find reflection in its company slogans.
Once you’ve figured out what the core strength of your brand is, you’ll be able to devise advertising strategies and logo design in relevance to it.
#Step 2. Developing Brand Identity – Define a Target Audience
No matter how vast your marketing objectives are, you can’t sell your product to the whole world. That’s when there is a need to define a specific set of customers who will more likely be interested in your brand – your target audience.
Simply put, your target audience will comprise of people who have a particular set of characteristics, buying behaviors, and preferences that will lead them to consider your brand for purchase.
If you know who your target audience is, you can devise marketing strategies, communication messages, taglines, and logo designs according to their preferences which not only attracts them to buy your brand but also build their trust.
Let’s take Nike, for example. The company caters to an audience who love sportswear.
Here’s how to know who your target audience is:
Build a customer persona – a description of a typical person who will buy your brand. To do this, fill out the following sections and you’ll know who to market your product to:
- What’s their demographic (age, gender, etc.)?
- How their day is spent
- What their problems are
- What their goals are
- What their lifestyle preferences are
#Step 3. Developing Brand Identity – Choose a Logo Design that Reflects Your Brand’s Personality
To see is to believe. And that’s how visual information provided by a brand helps build its identity. One of the ways you can to make your brand visually appealing is to design a logo that hooks the target audience.
But here’s the challenge: if you overdo it, you’re going to lose the appeal. So, make sure it’s simple but worth remembering every time a potential customer looks at the logo.
To create a logo, consider the three important factors: color, shape, and style – all these factors should resonate with the core strength and personality of your brand.
As you begin to design a logo, you should choose the most appropriate color.
While you can make it on your own, letting the professionals handle the logo and brand design can help you get a logo that stands apart from other brands.
However, it’s not just about the logo design. A creatively crafted tagline also enhances the value of a brand. To get some inspiration, see how OCS, the courier service company came up with a tagline, “Think done.” This reflects its core strength, i.e. to deliver packages so fast that all its customers can assume is that the packages are delivered without any delay.
#Step 4. Developing Brand Identity – Make it a ‘Social’ Brand
Gone are the days when a brand’s presence was limited to TV commercials and print ads only. Now, you’ll find your target audience on social media channels.
Since brands all over the world are stretching their identity throughout Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you should grab the opportunity too.
Begin by creating a Facebook Page for your brand. This way, you can engage your target audience with the content that is somehow related to your brand. A few examples include posting videos, images, and quizzes onto your Facebook Page.
Without going promotional, going social with your target audience is an effective way to let your existing and potential customers remember your brand.
Besides engaging the target audience via your business page, make use of Facebook Messenger by aligning it with your online marketing strategy.
#Step 5. Developing Brand Identity – Never Change the Brand’s Core Values. Stay Consistent
Even if your brand is a newbie, thousands of other brands will keep entering the market – all of them with a purely different, competitive strategy. Though their marketing initiatives may look more appealing, this doesn’t mean your strategy just got outdated.
Instead of following or copying their marketing strategy to stay ahead of them, let your brand stand strong while sticking to its own philosophy. Remember: originality will be the only secret ingredient that will lead your brand to success.
This is exactly how Dove did it.
The company initiated a marketing campaign that was aimed to let their target audience feel good about themselves regardless of their flaws. This brand is so focused on its marketing campaigns that an entire webpage is dedicated to it.
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