Right now, when competition is fierce and consumer choices are abundant, the role of brand identity has never been more critical. It’s not just about products or services anymore — it’s about the story you tell, the emotions you evoke, and the lasting connections you create with your audience.
This is your brand identity.
In this guide:
- What is brand identity?
- Why is it important?
- What are the key components of brand identity?
- How to define your brand identity
What is brand identity?
Brand identity is made up of all the visual and verbal elements that a company uses to express its brand, values, and personality to its customers. A well-crafted and distinct business identity helps establish a strong and memorable brand image in consumers’ minds.
A well-crafted and distinct business identity helps establish a strong and memorable brand image in consumers’ minds.
A brand identity can include visual elements like logos and colors, along with other elements like tone of voice, the personality of your content, your mission statement, and your values.
Why is your brand identity so important?
Your brand identity is essentially your brand’s public face. It establishes trust and authority and communicates your brand’s mission and values in everything you do. A strong brand identity helps you find new customers while building and maintaining relationships with existing ones.
Consistent branding elements like logos, colors, and fonts help customers recognize and remember your brand. This familiarity can lead to increased trust and customer loyalty over time. 81% of consumers need to trust a brand to consider buying from it, so your business identity can go a long way.
What’s more, establishing and sticking to a brand identity ensures that your messaging and visual elements are consistent across all marketing channels. This consistency builds a coherent brand image, whether you’re sharing a post on Instagram, publishing a blog, or crafting newsletters.
The key components of brand identity
A successful brand identity is made up of multiple elements working together, all of which are essential parts of the whole. They can be split up into four categories: Visual, Communications, Values, and Brand Story.
Distinctive brand colors are more important than you might think. Good colors increase brand recognition by up to 80%. One study presented people with colored brand palettes and asked them to identify each company’s name. Over 90% correctly guessed Google from its unique shades of blue, green, yellow, and red.
A strong logo is incredibly powerful and is the most instantly recognizable aspect of your brand. Think about your favorite brands, and you can surely conjure up each of their exact logos in a split second—think Nike’s swoosh, Microsoft’s windowpane, and Coca-Cola’s swirling script. An eye-catching logo that accurately represents your brand gives you a better chance of grabbing attention and leaving a lasting impression. Your logo is often the most iconic and enduring aspect of your brand’s image.
Here, we’re talking fonts, icons, web page design, packaging, social media posts, email letterheads, and any other visual elements. Consistency in your design will reinforce your business’ identity and create a strong image in the minds of consumers.
Communications and brand voice
Tone of voice
Your brand voice is important for establishing what kind of company you are. Are you powerful and uplifting like Dove? Kooky and unhinged like Skittles? Professional and knowledgeable like LinkedIn?
For more about how to find the right tone of voice for your brand, check out our must-read guide.
Of course, you should always tailor your writing to its medium (e.g. social media posts vs. press releases). Still, you should have a consistent writing style throughout all your communications.
For example, you could opt for a casual, off-the-cuff style like talking to a friend or something more structured and professional.
A brand’s words and language can evoke specific emotions in consumers, whether you’re aiming for excitement, nostalgia, humor, or confidence. The language you use is an essential part of your brand identity — it sets you apart from competitors and further defines who you are as a company.
This concise statement sets out the purpose and fundamental reason for your brand’s existence. It outlines your brand’s core values, goals, and commitment to making a positive impact in the world. Your mission statement is an important part of your business’ identity — especially these days when more consumers than ever seek out businesses with a clear purpose.
Vision and goals
Be clear about your brand’s vision and goals. Let your customers know exactly what you believe in and what you will do to champion these causes. While your tone of voice and writing style may vary depending on the context, your brand voice should be consistent across all touchpoints of your marketing communications.
Principles and purpose
Now, more than ever, people want to give their business to brands whose purpose aligns with theirs. Nearly 75% of consumers want companies to take a stand on social, cultural, environmental, or political issues, so be loud and proud about your principles and purpose.
Why does your brand exist? How was it born, and how did it grow? A compelling brand story makes you memorable, and potentially more relatable to your customers.
When communicating your brand story to your audience, there are three main areas to focus on:
- Background and origin
Basically, you’re making it clear how the brand got started, how it’s changed over time, and what you’re hoping to achieve in the future. Your brand is so much more than your products or services, and that’s where storytelling comes in.
How do you define your brand’s identity?
Now we’ve covered the ins and outs of brand identity, let’s take a look at how to actually go about defining your own.
As with everything, you have to start by conducting some pretty comprehensive research. Arm yourself with everything you can possibly know about:
- Your competitors – What are they doing right, and what are they doing wrong? Where are the gaps in the market?
- Your audience – If you’re selling directly to consumers, gather information about your key demographics, and what they’re engaging with already.
- Cultural trends – You need to be completely up to speed on every cultural conversation that exists in the same sphere as your brand. For example, the way you’d market a weight-loss brand now is very different from how you’d do it in the 1990s.
Create a plan
Once you’ve gathered your research, it’s time to craft a master plan. Know how you’ll approach certain aspects of your brand identity — how you’ll develop them, roll them out across your brand, and make sure they’re working. The three key things to plan are:
- Brand positioning
- Brand messaging
- Brand design
While they’re all distinct entities, they need to work together to craft a whole brand identity.
It’s time to implement the plan that you perfected in step two. There are three steps to follow here.
- Gather feedback – Get everyone onboard before taking the plunge, and ask for input from as many people as possible — the more eyes, the better. Certain people may be able to identify flaws that you can’t.
- Communicate your brand with your audience – Update your physical and digital branding. Choose the right channels to share your new brand identity on — the general rule of thumb is to meet your audience where they already are. This could be through various social media channels, by advertising in newsletters or podcasts, or by launching an online blog.
- Adapt & evolve – If you’re getting feedback that things aren’t working or landing with your target audience, go back to the drawing board and try making some changes. Meanwhile, if things are working and resonating with your audience, do more of the same.
Work with Scribly to nail down your brand identity
Through blogs, newsletters, social media content, and web copy, you can tell your story, demonstrate your expertise, share your values, and establish yourself as a credible and trustworthy leader for your audience. Scribly can help you determine your perfect tone of voice for your content marketing that will strike the right chord with your target customers.
Get in touch today for a free audit, and let’s get started!