MyBrand

Develop a Memorable Brand Identity For Today’s Reality

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Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos is famously quoted as saying that “branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” It is an intriguing thought, isn’t it? So, answer it yourself: What are the lasting impressions people feel when you’re no longer in their presence?

Can you answer that? If not, you might want to spend some time on your brand identity – or your “personal brand” – if you wish.

I know what you’re thinking – “Ah! I need a cool logo then, right?” Well, yes and not so fast there kids:

The terms “brand” and logo” are often used interchangeably and really shouldn’t be – even though a logo can be the symbol of a business, person or entity, it is not “the brand” and in fact, creating a logo is just one very small step toward developing a strong brand identity. With millions, if not billions, of businesses trying to make a name for themselves, having a strong brand has become crucial for businesses to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

What is brand identity?

If you are working to develop your first brand identity for a client, or you’re doing this for your own business, it’s important to first understand what a brand is and what it takes to create one. Unfortunately, it is not as easy as giving the business a name and plastering it on everything.

A brand identity is made up of what your brand says, what your values are, how you communicate your product, and what you want people to feel when they interact it. Essentially, your brand identity is your personality or soul of you or your business and an inherent promise to your customers or audience.

Many of us associate the concept of a carefully considered brand with a company but in an age of online influence where we ourselves are the product, personal branding has become ever more crucial to success—on both a personal and professional front.

Your product leaves an impression on your customers long after you’ve made the sale. Brand identity is the process of shaping that impression.

The fact is, you have the power to design how you and by extension, your professional brand, is seen by the world. You have both visual and written elements at your disposal to channel a new energy to the space you take up in the world, whether you’re an intrapreneur looking for career advancement or a self-employed designer wanting to show the world what you’re capable of. Crafting a strong and authentic personal brand is the key to securing more interviews, being considered for more promotions and giving people around you a memorable sense of who you are, even when you’re not in the room.

What Is Personal Branding & Why is it Important?

Why is brand identity so important? Aside from the fact that as the embodiment of almost everything you or your business does, a brand lives and evolves in the minds and hearts of consumers. Its identity, therefore, is crucial to your future.

The “Face” of You

For all intents and purposes, your brand’s logo is the “face” of your business. But that face should do more than just look cool or interesting — a logo’s contribution to brand identity is associative, too. It tells the public that [this image] means [the name of your company].

Credibility and Trust

Having a brand identity does not just make your product more memorable; it makes your brand more authoritative in the marketplace. A brand that establishes a face, and maintains that face consistently over time, develops credibility among its competitors and trust among its customers.

Advertising Impressions will benefit from consistency:

A brand identity is a template for everything you would include on an advertisement for your business — whether that ad is in print, online, or a commercial on YouTube. A brand with a face and industry credibility is well prepared to promote itself and make impressions on potential buyers. And speaking of YouTube; when people are exposed to video ads, they’re not necessarily watching with the sound on, so an excellent branding job is even more critical if they’re not listening – only watching.

What Is Personal Branding & Why is it Important?

Your Mission

We all know companies have mission statements, right? You cannot have one without first giving your brand an identity. A brand identity — one with a face, trust, and a mission — attracts people who agree with what your brand has to offer. But once these people become customers, that same brand identity gives them a sense of belonging. People want to be in the club – just witness the number of folks willing to wear what amounts to advertising a beer, a sneaker, a cause, etc. on a T-shirt without them being involved at all – other than they’re in the club?

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If you want you to become a well-known and beloved brand name, it’s going to take some work, friendos. Here’s a good start – some simple steps – implementing them, however, is another story.

  • Research your audience, value proposition, and competition.
  • Design the logo and a template for it.
  • Integrate language you can use to connect, advertise, and embody on social media.
  • Know what to avoid.
  • Monitor your brand to maintain its brand identity.
  1. Research your audience, value proposition, and competition.

Just like any other aspect of starting a business or new career, or reinventing an existing one – the first step in creating a brand identity is to complete market research. You should clarify and understand these five things.

Audience

It’s no secret that different people want different things. You can’t (usually) target a product to a pre-teen the same way you would target a product to a college student. Learning what your audience wants from a successful person or business in your industry is vital to creating a brand people will love.

Value Proposition & Competition

What makes you unique in your industry? What can you offer that others can’t? Knowing the difference between you and your competition is imperative to developing a successful brand. Keeping an eye on your competitors will also educate you on what branding techniques work well and those that don’t.

Mission

You know what you have to offer, but are your vision and goals clear to everyone else? In other words, know your purpose — you cannot create a personality unless you know what that personality is about.

  1. Personality

Even though you are not necessarily branding an individual, that doesn’t mean that you can’t be personable when developing a brand image. Use your type, colors, and imagery to represent who the brand is. Then enhance that visual representation with your tone of voice: Are you a confident business with a lot of sass, like Nike? Or are you ritzy and professional, like Givenchy? Either way, be sure to develop your brand as a way to represent your business.

Research may be boring, but knowledge about your industry makes your brand identity stronger.

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Documentation

One of the most effective ways to ensure a business sticks to its branding “rules” is to create a set of brand guidelines that document all the do’s and don’ts of your brand. Skype is one brand that has done an amazing job creating a clear, cohesive brand guide that anyone can follow. This is one way to empower people to build brand assets and share your brand while remaining brand compliant.

Learn from those who are doing it right, in other words.

  1. Integrate language you can use to connect, advertise, and embody on social media.

Now you’re ready to integrate your brand within your community and believe me, in every way, your content is your brand online. It’s your salesperson, your store, your marketing department; it’s your story, and every piece of content you publish reflects on, and defines, your brand. So, great content, great brand. Boring content, boring brand.”

Emotionally connect with your audience

People love stories. More accurately, people love stories that move them (emotionally and to action). A strong brand identity can establish an emotional connection with consumers, which can be a solid foundation for building a lasting relationship with a brand. Designing ads, whether traditional or digital, is the most efficient way of introducing your brand to the world. It’s a way to get the message of your brand seen and heard by your target audience.

Social media is also important when it comes to conversing directly with your customers and creating affinity for your brand. If you’re mentioned in a tweet, status, or post (especially if the customer has a question or concern), be sure to give your brand a good reputation by responding efficiently to your customers.

  1. Don’t give your customers mixed messages. If I get a Big Mac in Sydney, Australia or in Bend, Oregon – I know what I am getting into for the most part – and if it’s different – I’m not a happy meal. Know what you want to say and use the appropriate language and visuals to say it. Just because it makes sense to you doesn’t mean it will make sense to your customers.
  2. Monitor your brand to maintain its brand identity.

Similar to other aspects of your marketing, it’s difficult to know what you’re doing right (and what you’re not) without tracking key performance metrics. Use Google Analytics, surveys, comments, social media discussions, etc., to monitor your brand and get a sense of how people talk about and interact with you. This will give you the opportunity to implement changes to your brand as needed, whether it’s to correct a mistake or to improve brand identity.

Creating a memorable brand requires consistent use of type, color, images, and language, but it’s worth it. When consumers instantly recognize who you are and what you stand for all based on a logo, you’ve become more than just a name and a symbol.

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