With so much competition in the marketplace, your business needs to stand out. Whether you’re starting a law firm or another type of business, your brand identity is what sets you and your products apart from the competition.
Do you know everything involved with creating a cohesive brand identity? It’s more than your logo! While that’s one of the essential brand elements, there’s much more to creating and maintaining the brand that you want consumers to recognize and love.
To make sure you understand the full scope of developing your brand identity, read more about eight critical brand elements!
1. Your Purpose
The products or services you provide are the physical aspects of what you do, but why do you do it? You started your business to offer a solution or serve a segment of the population. Your brand identity starts with who you are and why you do what you do.
Plenty of restaurants serve food, but why did you choose to open your restaurant and serve the type of food that you create? When you define who you are, your brand identity can continue to unfold!
2. Your Personality
Your industry could define some of your personality, but don’t let what you do limit who you are or how you provide your services. Be the “fun” plumbers! No one likes to have to call a plumber, but if your services bring a little joy while unclogging a toilet, you might become the go-to plumbers in your area.
Make sure you don’t contrive your brand personality. Be true to who you are and the most effective ways to deliver what you promise to customers. An insincere brand personality can work against you in the long run.
3. Your Name
Now that you know a little more about who you are and why you do what you do, how does your business’s name represent those characteristics? If you’re starting a new company, you have the opportunity to perfectly name your company to align with your purpose and personality.
What if you already have a business and a name? It never hurts to review these first few branding elements from time to time. Developing and establishing your ideal brand is an essential process. It takes time to create brand awareness and become a recognizable name in your industry.
However, if you find that what you do doesn’t match the name of your business, consider a re-brand. Whether it’s a new business name or you’re renaming your business, makes sure your name:
- Is memorable. If it’s too generic or too complicated, people will forget you (one way or another).
- Makes sense. Your plumbing business names should make it easy for customers to recognize that you do plumbing work.
- Is unique. Don’t copy another business name too closely. That creates brand confusion and could lead to a trademark lawsuit.
Consumers should see or hear your name and immediately understand what you do! As you build your brand identity, people will associate your business name with your quality services.
4. Your Logo
Now we can talk about your company’s logo! Too often, a business starts with the logo, then tries to build a brand around it. That’s backward!
Your logo should emerge from your brand personality, your purpose, and your name. It’s a visual representation of all of those things as they relate to your business.
Much like your business name, make sure your logo tells consumers the essence of what they need to know about your business. Keep it simple and make it powerful!
5. Your Tagline (and Slogan)
Your logo doesn’t have to do all of the work to represent your business visually. Adding a tagline helps communicate the essence of what you do to your audience in a clear, concise way.
What are a few words that sum up who you are a business and what you do? These few words help an audience connect your brand and logo with what you do. For example, Apple uses the two-word tagline, “Think differently.” You’ll see it next to the Apple logo in much of its advertising.
Isn’t that the same as a slogan? Not quite! Your slogan digs a bit deeper and can be a To understand a tagline vs slogan, think about some of the biggest corporations, and how they advertise. A slogan can be a brand-wide statement. You’ll also see different slogans for different campaigns or products within the same company.
Consider Mastercard’s well-known slogan: “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.”
6. Your Colors
To maintain consistency across production, marketing materials, and company communications, your brand needs a defined set of colors. These colors help consumers identify graphics and labeling as uniquely yours!
You don’t have to create your own color (although some companies do that)! As you develop your logo, identify the one or two primary colors you’ll use in your logo and make those your “brand” colors. Create a color palette of complementary colors to be your official company colors.
7. Your Typography
Fonts can be a small detail, but they add a lot to your brand identity. Choose a primary font with a secondary font to use for all official printed communications.
Stick to an easy-to-read font. You’ll find an abundance of font options in the creative world, but only a handful are conducive to clear and impressive copy and creative materials.
8. Your Look
Photos, graphics, and the design that represents your company should have a consistent look and feel. Consumers should be able to see an ad and immediately recognize your name, logo, and design as unique to your business. Make sure your “look” accurately represents who you are as a business!
Your Brand Elements Are You!
These brand elements work together to represent you and your business. While each element carries importance on its own, make sure they all work together through your marketing strategy to communicate who you are, what you do, and who you serve!
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