I say it often - marketing works when you stand out, not when you fit in. One of the best ways to stand out is with your brand identity. Big businesses use it ruthlessly (Coca Cola turned Santa's clothes from green to red...) and the smallest of businesses need to use it ruthlessly too. Otherwise, potential clients won't recognise you in a sea of competition (you do have competition...if you don't, you might not have a market either). To stand out, your brand identity must show your market:
While brand identity absolutely includes the colours you use in all your communications, it goes quite a bit further than that. It includes everything you use in your communications and even the words you use to tell people your business values, personality and services.
While the clearest examples of brand design are seen in consumer goods companies, it is equally important for consultants - competing with other consultants - and all types of small businesses, from accountants to IT service providers to nail technicians. A one-person business still needs a brand identity.
Understanding brand identity
Brand identity is the visual, emotional and conceptual representation of your business. It includes elements such as your logo, color palette, typography, imagery, messaging, and tone of voice. You can find examples of brand design on our graphics page here.
The significance of brand identity
Emotions play a significant role in shaping preferences and loyalty. When a brand successfully evokes positive emotions like trust, joy, or excitement, the market is more likely to form a strong attachment to that brand. A well-defined brand identity creates consistency across all customer touchpoints and fosters trust and recognition among your audience.
Defining your brand personality
Brands are often given human-like qualities and people tend to resonate with brands that align with their own personality traits or aspirations.
Understanding your brand's personality and defining it clearly guides you in consistently communicating it through appropriate content and visuals that align with your intended message.
Set who you are talking to
Knowing your target audience is essential for crafting a brand identity that appeals to them. Many many small businesses target to wide an audience and fail to reach them. Do some research - understand their preferences, values, pain points, and aspirations. Tailor your brand's visual elements and messaging to align with their interests.
Make sure your logo is memorable
Your logo is the face of your brand and it should be memorable, scalable and reflective of your brand personality. If you aren't really proud of your logo or find the version you have difficult to use, get in touch with Katti Lapidoth here at My Own Marketing Team, who'll help you get it right.
Choose and stick to a cohesive colour palette
Select a colour palette that not only resonates with your target audience but also evokes the emotions and feelings you want associated with your brand. Use these colours in each and every piece of communication, large and small, across all marketing materials and platforms.
Develop a consistent visual style
Consistency is key in building brand recognition and a weak spot we see is with imagery, especially if 'stock' images are used. Establish guidelines for the use of fonts, imagery, and design elements to create a cohesive and recognisable visual style and then stick to it like glue.
Write compelling brand messaging
Craft a brand story that communicates your mission, values, and unique selling propositions and then use it consistently, in your set tone of voice, across all communication channels.
Setting yourself up to succeed
Building a strong brand identity is a continuous process that requires a deep understanding of your business, audience, and market. By investing time and effort now in defining your brand personality, targeting the right audience, and maintaining visual consistency, your small business can create a compelling brand that leaves a lasting impression on customers and sets you apart from the competition. Then all your marketing and sales efforts from then on are more effective, saving you time, money and energy. Read more about our graphics services here and for help with your brand identity and all your design needs, get in touch with us.