A strong brand image will influence your current and prospective clients’ response to your products and services. It is essential your business’ logo and graphic identity align with the attitudes, aspirations, and needs of your target audience. Many elements of design—colors, shapes, patterns—evoke different emotions in different audiences. A professional appearance is important in establishing credibility. Consumers may think twice about doing business with a company that appears unpolished or illegitimate. Like we mentioned above, emotional reactions to the look and feel of a brand are hardwired into our brains, and those reactions can heavily influence buying decisions. Consumers (especially millennial consumers) are attracted and loyal to brands that share their beliefs. When developing your brand messaging, it’s important to communicate your values to help build that emotional connection with your target market. Allegiance to a brand can often last a lifetime and is many times passed down to children and grandchildren. Thinking about your brand as a metaphor or personifying it can help you identify the individual qualities you want it to have.
This can be a vehicle, an animal, a celebrity, a sports team, anything—as long as it has a prominent reputation in your mind that summons the sort of vibe you want your brand to give off. What’s in a name? Depending on the kind of business you want to start, you can make the case that your name matters very little or it matters a lot. As we’ve said before, a brand is so more than a name. The personality, actions, and reputation of your brand are really what give the name meaning in the market. But as a business owner, your company’s name is probably one of the first big commitments you have to make. It’ll impact your logo, your domain, your marketing, and trademark registration if you decide to go that route (it’s harder to trademark generic brand names that literally describe what you sell).
Ideally, you want a business name that’s hard to imitate and even harder to confuse with existing players in the market. If you have any plans to expand the product lines you offer down the road, consider keeping your business name broad so that it’s easier to pivot than if you chose a brand name based on your product category. A company logo is probably one of the first things that come to mind when you think about building a brand. And for good reason. It’s the face of your company after all, and could potentially be everywhere that your brand exists. Ideally, you’ll want a logo that’s unique, identifiable, and that’s scalable to work at all sizes (which is often overlooked).
Consider all the places where your brand’s logo needs to exist, from your website to your Facebook Page’s profile picture to even the little “favicons” you see in your current browser tab. If you have a text logo as your Instagram avatar, for example, it’ll be almost impossible to read. To make your life easier, get a square version of your logo that has an icon element that remains recognizable even at smaller sizes. As a new business, and you don’t need to choose an icon over a wordmark when you can get the best of both. This makes it easier to satisfy the condition of creating a scalable logo while still putting your brand name front and center. McDonalds, for example, can use their iconic golden arches wherever the full wordmark doesn’t fit. Unless you’ve got design chops of your own, you’ll probably be delegating the creation of your logo. You can outsource it for a low cost on Fiverr or run a logo contest on 99Designs.
Check out Seek Logo for even more logo inspiration or use our Hatchful logo maker to start generating some ideas. There’s also our comprehensive guide on how to design a logo where we walk you through the process step-by-step. Building a brand doesn’t stop with creating a logo or slogan, or even with your brand launch. Your brand needs to exist and remain consistent wherever your customers interact with you, from the theme you choose for your website to the marketing you do to customer service to the way you package and ship your products.
You’ll continue to shape and evolve your brand as you expose more customers to it and learn more about who they are and how to speak to them. You can tug customers in the right direction, make a great first impression, and manage your reputation, but you can’t control the individual perceptions that exists in each person’s mind (say, if they had a bad customer service experience).
All you can do is put your best foot forward at every turn and try to resonate with your core audience. But hopefully, at this point, you have the tools, knowledge, and resources to start. Brand identity refers to the visible elements of a brand, including colors, design and the logo that people can identify and distinguish the brand with. On the other hand, brand image is about how and what you want your brand to be perceived as. In all, both brand identity and image craft the language for your marketing, advertising and sales efforts. A brand is a feature — or set of features — that distinguishes one organization from another. A brand is typically comprised of a name, tagline, logo or symbol, design, brand voice, and more.
Brand identity, then, is the aspect of branding that focuses on your brand’s personality, as well as the values you convey to customers. Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors’. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be. Are you the innovative maverick in your industry? Or the experienced, reliable one? Is your product the high-cost, high-quality option, or the low-cost, high-value option? You can’t be both, and you can’t be all things to all people. Who you are should be based to some extent on who your target customers want and need you to be.
The foundation of your brand is your logo. Your website, packaging and promotional materials–all of which should integrate your logo–communicate your brand. To know Why Digital Marketing is more effective than traditional Marketing?