Create Memorable Brand Identity
What’s your personality? How would your friends describe you in one or a few words? And how would you describe, let’s say your coworker that way?
You probably started naming adjectives like smart, funny, or sophisticated. We use the qualities that the person displays to better categorize and understand our feelings towards them. That’s how human nature works.
Brand identity is similar. Since a brand represents a group of people working for a certain goal, we subconsciously humanize it. We assign human-like attributes based on what the business does and doesn’t do. When there’s a lot of competition, you need to make sure that your image stands out among the others.
We can use this to our advantage. Shape the identity of our brand and the emotional connection that we want our audience to feel. In other words, we can create a personality for our business that we desire.
Here are 6 tips for creating a consistent and memorable brand identity that I think can help you:
Research the target audience
It’s essential to actually reach your users in order to be successful. Before you start building the foundation that is memorable, you need to know who your customers are. You need to have a clear picture of your users.
What’s their age?
What kind of values do they have?
What do they like or dislike?
Do they live mostly in the city or the suburbs?
Tools to use
The research itself can be easy or really difficult. That all depends on the time and money you can spend.
You might already have some information about your audience from years of working with them, or you already know what your goal is. If that’s not the case and you’re on a budget, there are still things you can do.
Use the internet and social media to see what people are liking and talking about. And of course, you can do it yourself by creating a questionnaire and sending it to your friends and visitors. There are a lot of different platforms, including Google Forms, but I would recommend you try SogoSurvey. It allows you to create great looking and easy to manage surveys completely for free.
If you have more money and want faster results, you can go with audience research platforms. These usually offer to do the questioning for you or have other ways to find out what users want. One of the biggest companies here is Nielsen. Whether you’re buying information from a big company or just paying someone to do surveys for you – it’s going to cost you.
After you’ve done at least some basic audience research, you can start to build the foundations of your brand.
Pick your brand’s tone
The tone is how users perceive your website and brand – what adjectives they use when describing you. You want to be in control of that as much as you can. So first you can list a few adjectives that will describe your business.
Just some examples:
You can use one or a few adjectives to create what your brand will be.
Adidas – Confident/ Innovative/ Youthful/ Futuristic – Adidas has branded itself as a company that is not afraid to make innovative decisions and is always thinking ahead. Their style and tone reflect that perfectly.
Slack – Clarity/ Improvement/ Friendliness /Modern – Slack is a popular instant messaging platform. It emphasizes being super clear and easy to use for every customer. This tone helps Slack fit into most work environments because it conveys a sleek and simple design.
FireBox – Lighthearted/ Funny/ Creative/ Ridiculous – FireBox sells unique and funny things and gifts. Its tone can best be described as humorously creative. From the first moment you enter its website you instantly feel the lighthearted approach that the company is taking.
Tools to use
Try to do research or find tools online to help you choose the perfect tone for your brand. There are a lot of helpful websites that provide inspiration in this regard.
For example, you can find a useful list of adjectives that you can use on the Elise epp website.
Pick your color scheme
Colors are everywhere we go, and it’s a well-known fact that certain colors can affect us in different ways. So why not use this knowledge to your advantage? After you’re done picking adjectives, use them to select from 2 to 6 colors that will be your main brand colors.
You have to make sure that the colors you pick match the personality of your business. Picking the wrong colors can easily send confusing or negative messages to people you are trying to attract. Color is a powerful part of your brand that you shouldn’t ignore.
What popular company do you think this color represents?
If you guessed Coca-Cola, you’re right. And all it took was just one single color, that’s how powerful color can be. And of course, it took a long time of consistent use of this color in advertisements, social posts, and real-life to establish this. So keep in mind that it won’t be that easy and quick, but you shouldn’t feel discouraged and instead keep using the colors of your brand persistently.
Using your style, colors, and tone consistently is the key to success.
CloudFlare – uses three main colors to represent clarity – It’s the perfect balance between too much and too little. This allows you to have a variety of designs while also keeping the tone consistent.
Coca-Cola – uses just one color to represent its brand – it’s more of a rare situation with this company. And I wouldn’t recommend just going with one color as at the beginning it might be hard to stand out from the rest.
HootSuite – uses six colors to represent – This allows it to have a lot of different color designs and combinations. But it might be too much to create one distinctive color style.
As with most cases, it all comes down to your preferences and experimentation.
Tools to use
Adobe Kuler is a great tool to use, it allows you to select analogous or complementary colors.
All you have to do is select one color and all the other sliders will adjust automatically.
You can find more information on what specific colors can represent and how to use them here.
Choose a great name for your business
Customers are known to gravitate towards a well-known brand. When coming up with a name, make sure that it is very easy to pronounce, spell, and remember. A great business name should be like a catchy song stuck in your head after you hear it once.
Make sure that your brand’s name isn’t used anywhere else with a negative connotation. And use a translator to make sure it doesn’t translate into something offensive in another language.
You can use your own name or the location you do business. But it’s not just that, a name can reflect a lot of different things. In general, there are seven categories that we can put all business names into:
Descriptive – Use words or phrases that describe what your business does. Ex: General Motors.
Founders name – Use your name, surname, or initials to create your brand’s name. Ex: Ralph Lauren.
Metaphor – Use colorful words and metaphors that reflect what your business does. Ex: Nike (Greek God), Amazon (biggest river).
Geolocation – Use the location you’re located or where you do business in your brand’s name. Ex: Portland Automotive, New York Burger Bar.
Invented – Just let your imagination run wild and come up with fun and catchy words for your name. Ex: Kodak.
Acronym – If you want to use a longer name or you want your brand’s name to explain what you do you can use acronyms. Ex: Ikea.
Lexical – Make your name stand out by using puns, compound words, or even intentional misspellings. Ex: American Hair Force, Petsmart.
One thing to do before committing to a brand name – check whether the domain with this name is free. There’s nothing worse than spending all that time, just to find out that every domain is already taken. You can use domain registrars to check whether the domain is available.
Netflix – Descriptive – Netflix has a rather simple name, it’s a combination of Net (The internet) and Flix (a slang word for movies). It’s really easy to pronounce and easy to remember. And the best thing is that it completely describes what the company does – bring movies to you through the internet.
HP (Hewlett-Packard) Founders name – This well-known tech company was named after its two creators. They used their last names for the original name, and later shortened it to just the initials.
Amazon – Metaphor – Amazon offers you a huge variety of products online that you can order with a click. That’s why the name of the world’s longest river suits this company very well.
Tools to try
You can find some inspiration online if you’re stuck with naming. There are many name generators you can use. These apps create lots of ideas based on the keywords you type. Here are some examples we got when we typed Headphones into the Namelix website.
Or, you can try the Business name generator to find more straightforward variations based on your keyword. Just keep in mind that these generators won’t give you the perfect name, but they might inspire your creativity.
Design a catchy logo
After you have chosen a good and creative name, it is time to choose the visual representation of your business. This has to be something that catches the eye and does not copy another company’s brand identity design. And of course, it has to match the colors you picked before.
You want the logo to be simple and not crowded. A complex logo might seem like a good idea at first, but it can become a problem. Small details make unclear images, and if users can’t even recognize your logo, well, it’s not going to attract any customers. If you’re serious about your business, you will use this logo everywhere. On the website, on t-shirts, or as a business card. Make sure your logo looks good no matter what size you see it.
If you are struggling with creating a logo, you can hire a graphic designer. All you have to do is explain them the idea of how you want your logo to look and they will do the rest for you.
FedEx – Federal Express has a simple and very memorable logo. The logo uses bold font and the Ex color shows different departments (Orange – Express, Red – Freight). And this logo is famous for its hidden arrow that means speed and direction. Can you find it?
Nike – The swoosh in Nike’s logo symbolizes not only the chase of achievement but also its athletic “Just do it” mindset. It also became one of the simplest icons that are confidently linked with this company. Just show a swoosh and most of your audience will know what you mean.
Bing – (Avoid this) – When Bing launched this version of the logo in 2009, it was quickly criticized. And it’s obvious why – there is nothing that would indicate what the product does or even what it is. And uneven squeezed letters just look awful and don’t add anything to the brand itself. So whatever you try, just remember that your logo needs to always look visually attractive.
Tools to try
If you’re not able or willing to hire a professional designer, there are still options to make a logo. You can use an online logo creator that will allow you to design and adjust your logo using an easy interface. It can also give you templates and automatically created logos based on your name and keyword.
In this case, there are two kinds of these generators – free and paid. You have many paid options to choose from, and most of them have an automatic logo maker and a wide range of design tools and templates. They can even improve your existing logo or create it from scratch. Of course, the downside is that some of these services can be quite costly.
The free alternatives usually let you make a logo from scratch or use a ready-made template. But with most of them, you have to face limitations. Either you can’t download the larger logo image or your color choice is restricted to just two. So while it’s free, you pay with your time and hassle.
What I’m saying is, if you’re serious, don’t hesitate to spend some money on a good logo. You won’t regret it in the long run.
Most importantly – be consistent
Now that you have picked your colors, tone, logo, and brand name, it’s time to use them well. And all that work will be wasted if the next day you change the logo or colors. Only consistency creates a good and stable brand image with your visitors.
Sticking with your decisions will make you look like you know what you’re doing. And if you as a business have everything sorted out, there’s no reason for users not to trust you.
So just like that catchy song in your head, you have to repeat and repeat it.
I like to share some small tips to help you out in your brand’s development journey:
You can also research your competitors to find out what they offer for their customers. This helps keep your business up to date and you can even find ways to do better than them.
Deliver quality services
Delivering quality and superior products to customers is one way of creating a brand identity. You might have created the best company logo and brand in the world, but if customers don’t associate that brand with quality, what’s the point?
Use similar images in your marketing
Just like the name and logo of your business, the images that you use are very important as well. Consistency is the key when it comes to images, so make sure your images have the same mood and style.
Brand identity shapes your business
The six tips mentioned above (and those small extra ones) are very important when it comes to create memorable brand identity for your business. A brand gives a business a voice and a personality.
Building a brand identity requires time and patience and shouldn’t be rushed. Know your audience, understand your values, have a good name, and an awesome looking logo. But most important be consistent and keep using your brand until you succeed. And if you follow the advice above, you definitely will.