Whether you sell bread or have a multibillion-dollar tech company, the importance of brand identity cannot be understated. It is your greatest marketing asset, and often, it is the key differentiating factor. But the question is, how do you create a powerful brand? How to make it stand out in the sea of companies?
The answer is quite complex but not an impossible one. Today we’ll dive deep into the world of brand development. Cover what is a brand, why you need to create one, and what steps are required to start the process. There’s plenty to cover, so let’s dive in.
What is brand identity - the basics
Before we can talk about why we first need to answer what is brand identity. So, brand identity is a marketing tool that makes your company stand out. For many businesses, the ambassador of their brand servers their logo. The logo is often characterized as a set of unique messages, color pallets, and design ideas created specifically to represent your mission.
To put it bluntly, your brand is what your people, customers, and competitors see. It is your ultimate marketing weapon but for it to work as intended, you need to do a lot of work in advance. Most marketers agree that first, you work for the brand and later it works for you but before that, you need to put up a lot of work.
Why you need to create your brand
Now there are several reasons why you need to build your brand but most of them boil down to four core aspects that are trust, authenticity, value, and marketing. These will help you create a lasting impact on your customers and employees, and here’s how.
Trust — After you’ve created an impactful and powerful brand identity, trust between your business and your customers can be established. This trust will allow your customers to understand what you do and why you do things this way. It will also help you do business with them as they will no longer doubt whether their investment is right. Besides, if your customer trusts you, you can expect them to buy from time and time again.
Authenticity — Today, if you try to pitch someone something they don’t need, they will most likely reject the offer. Nobody likes corporate salespeople but what everyone does like is a real human being. Branding helps communicate who you are and why your services or products are good. If your brand communicates your vision effectively, people will naturally be drawn to you.
Value — When it comes to purchases, most of them are emotional and rarely planned. The same can be applied to your brand. People respond to brand messages emotionally. Some hate, others love. If your brand identity process establishes a powerful presence among your competition, then your customers feel as if they are a part of a club. This will not only position you most firmly but would allow you to ask extra for your services.
Marketing — We already said that the best brand identity is the one that allows you to set a positive emotional presence. We also said that your brand is the king of marketing. Now let’s combine the two. The more good word is spread, the more referral customers you will get. The more customers you get, the bigger you can grow. It’s a snowball effect that can only get bigger the more you invest time and resources into your brand.
Popular examples of good brand identity
While we can talk all day about the importance of brand identity, a real-world example tops it all. Here are three world-renowned companies that have a powerful brand presence.
Mastercard is a company that lazy people don’t know about. Their logo is iconic in that it is simple but easily recognizable. The red and yellow intersecting circles form an orange middle that signifies unity and harmony between the two. Yet, messaging is not what makes the brand stand out in this case. It is a fact that the logo itself has been changed several times now but you still remember it. The logo maintains the company’s core identity, as well as it is adapted to modern times. Their brand will easily stand the test of time and will remain not only consistent but memorable for generations.
MasterCard logo - Source
While many believe that Netflix builds its brand through various Netflix-funded movies and series, that is not the case. At least not entirely. Netflix is defining brand identity through their logo which is a simple letter “N” that signifies their easy-to-use service. Yet, that isn’t entirely the case. It has a strategic value too. Due to its easy-to-remember nature and small scale, it can be placed on just about anything and remain easily recognizable. The versatility of the logo allows them to share it on any medium and that is its biggest strength.
Netflix logo - Source
Perhaps the most popular example of brand identity done right is Coca-Cola. It’s practically in every top brand list and we aren’t surprised. Every time someone mentions Coca-Cola, you imagine the red logo. But that is only one part of the equation because if you ask the same question during wintertime, you start to imagine the huge truck or the polar bear. It’s adaptable and it sends a very important message, Coca-Cola is festive and relaxing. Virtually all of their commercials are about leisure time and about fun, something everyone can relate to.
There’s plenty of them more but we hope you get the idea. Companies create a brand identity not to power their marketing efforts but to make them possible. If you start shooting various messages to see what sticks, then you’ll succeed but once a curious customer checks it with your doings and they don’t align, you’ll most likely never hear from them.
Coca Cola logo - Source
Steps to take when creating a brand identity
Now how to establish brand identity? If there’s so much to identity branding, where do you even begin? Well, for starters, the amount of things you have to do is vast but virtually all guides start with research, followed by integration design, then what to avoid, and finally, design. Let’s take a look at each.
Before you can communicate to your target audience, you need to identify what moves their fancy. Learn as much as you can about your potential buyers and what you can offer them. Do bear in mind that you can’t target them all in the same way. If you plan on touching a broad audience, then you need to create focus groups.
Now what we mean by integration is your integration into the community you’ve just identified. You can’t just go in and start doing things your way, none will buy it, and you’ll lose all the progress you’ve made before. Your brand should be with the people you want to work and sell to. If that means that you should speak in a certain way, then you have no other choice.
For example, if your target audience is very knowledgeable, then using a niche professional language is for the better. Yet, if your buyers are easy-going people, make your messaging conversational. Remember, you need to be with your people, not on the side, this means that you should adapt everything, from offline ads to social media accounts to how your staff responds to customers.
What to avoid
Now before you jump into the design, you need to know what to avoid when creating your brand. Otherwise, you might lose relevance forever and no business (or person for that matter) wants that. So to start, make your messaging clear as day. If your marketing material isn’t understood from the get-go, then there’s something wrong. If you are selling, then make it a sales message, if you are informing, then make it informational. Nobody likes to read a blog just to realize midway that they are being offered a product or service.
The second thing to keep in mind is competition. For you to stand out of the sea of similar companies, you need to be unique. And copying your competition is the exact opposite of being unique. Your brand should offer something valuable and different. If you see a winning formula, take into account, spin it, and reimagine it.
And now for the most important part - design. Most customers scan your design language. If it’s not up to snuff, expect poor results. It is the central pillar of your marketing and it is the face you show to your customers. If you don’t know how to create a brand identity around the design, start with a logo.
Your logo is the first thing your customers look at. If you show them a higher-quality box and box that has a famous brand logo design on it, chances are the branded one will be favored. That’s how things work inside our heads. We associate brand logos with our memories. If you, as a kid, always receive, say Kinder gifts, the same emotions will be evoked when you buy their products.
The second thing about design is that it should be consistent. You can’t just post yellow logos while using red ones on all other products. People will think it’s fake, a counterfeit. Match your color and shape designs across the board to avoid confusion among users.
Finally, make sure you document your logo design and create guidelines around it. You are a company, and people will come and go but your brand design should remain consistent. By making official guidelines, you will ensure that even new people are on the same page.
We can help you with Zendesk brand identity development
Over the past couple of years, GrowthDot helped develop several brand identities. Our people are trained to communicate with even the most varied audiences and if you need help creating your designs, we can help you with that too.
And even if you don’t need to develop your brand and just want to spread the word in a fashionable way using your Zendesk account, our email branding and theme branding service might be what you were looking for.
Finally, if you just want a unique theme for your Zendesk account and don’t have the time to create one for yourself, check out our Aarhus and Odense themes. But that’s all we have for now. Be sure to come back though as we post articles like this all the time.
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