In 2022, a strong brand identifies you and your values, delivering your promise to form a bond with your audience. Developing a unique brand identity is probably the single, most important element of any business’s marketing platform. Go back in time and you’ll find numerous examples why an identity is so important. Roman legions marched proudly behind their eagle standard and American confederate soldiers rallied to the Southern Cross battle flag.
What is a brand identity?
A brand identity is so much more than a company logo. A logo is a great place to start but it won’t earn your audience’s trust and respect on its own. Brand identity should encompass everything in 2022, from tone of voice to image styling. A collection of supporting elements that maintains and ensures a positive brand experience. From typography to corporate colours, brand identity reinforces your unique personality and reminds your audience how it makes them feel.
How to construct a unique brand identity in 2022
When building a unique brand identity, it’s worth remembering that old adage; you’ll only get out what you put in. This outward expression communicates how you want to be perceived, the core to your brand’s DNA. It becomes the foundation and reference for all marketing and brand awareness campaigns. So, devoting the resources to get it right will reap massive benefits as your business develops.
In 2022, dynamic brand identities reach across every platform in their goal to converse with real customers, real people. Therefore, start by clarifying who your target audience is. What do they want from you? What area of their lives can you make an impact on, the pain points you can solve? Think about what makes you so different? What do your competitors offer and what can you do better?
Have a clear vision of your purpose
Write down your mission statement. A clear vision that concisely describes your purpose and how you can make a difference. You can’t really determine your business personality unless you know exactly what you’re about and what you will do. Be confident in standing for what you believe in. Customers are always drawn to businesses whose values align with their own.
Giving your brand personality will help it stand out
Brand personality is a crucial factor in helping your brand identity stand out against the competition. Think about how you want to be perceived by your customers and the relationship you will develop with them. Brands can often be like people. If you think about it, the most memorable people are those whose personalities stand out and brands are no exception. Do you want to be seen as a pioneer, bringing something totally unique to the market? Is your prime trait competence, having quality and reliability? Or maybe you’re an integrator, a business that finds ways to bring legacy products or systems together. Your brand personality will create the emotional connection that maintains the relationship with your audience.
Bring your brand to life in 2022
Once you’ve determined the essence of your brand you can create the elements that bring it to life. The logo design should be consistent and cohesive across every platform. Where will the logo be used? Stationery, advertising (traditional and digital), signage, vehicle livery, office boards, clothing, large format displays and exhibitions, for example. There are also numerous constraints need to be considered in logo design. Will it work in single colour (mono) and full colour? Will it also reverse (white on colour)? How and where will the logo be reproduced – i.e. embroidered uniforms or materials like wood or metal for signage?
At Red Thread Creative, our graphic designers tend to begin with simple sketches and thumbnails to create various workable options. In our experience, the best options are the logo designs that carry the ‘brand identity’ in its simplest form. These also have the most impact and perform that much better on any traditional or digital platform.
Having brought it to life, we also recommend that any brand identity is reproduced consistently. Brand bastardisation can kill a brand identity and it should therefore be accompanied with corporate guidelines. This is often referred to as the brand ‘bible’. A set of rules that establish the do’s and don’ts of the brand identity. This will include minimum instructions on reproduction sizes, typography, colour palette, graphic design and layout templates. Conforming to it, anyone working with the brand identity can confidently state they are “following brand”.
Ensure your brand identity is unique.
Any credible creative agency will ensure that your brand identity is unique. Why would anyone spend so much time and resource to find that another business has an identical or similar identity? It pays to devote sufficient time for some proper research. It’s pretty impossible to research every business but the minimum any design agency should do, is perform industry-related research. Red Thread Creative will research competitor logos, colours and typography so that a bespoke, unique identity can be created.
Communicating your brand identity externally and internally
Externally, a company’s brand identity is usually the first opportunity for interaction with its audience and will be a focal point for any future relationship with that company as a ‘brand’.
Your brand identity should therefore communicate competence and authority which in turn develops confidence and trust.
Internally, what does your brand communicate to your team? Your brand should do more than simply represent the values and ethos of the businesses. Staff will naturally form an emotional connection with their company as a brand and how it performs. Strong internal brand communication creates better employee relationships, which usually means happier customers as a result.
Protect your brand in 2022 and see it grow.
Lastly, ensure you constantly ‘police’ your brand, protecting it with every means at your disposal. Even the tiniest mis-use or bastardisation of a brand identity can result in disastrous consequences. It usually starts with a subtle minor tweak resulting from someone’s sheer laziness. Then, having been reproduced that one time, it is now ‘out there’. It may then be seen as a precedent for more and more ‘minor’ tweaks. Eventually your strong, consistent brand identity becomes unrecognisable, or a laughable representation of how it once was. Of course, periodically, all brands should adapt and develop in line with new business trends and scenarios. However, that must be done with a set purpose and not as a result of personal convenience.