Regardless of whether you’re a new company that’s just getting started, or a more established one that has never paid much attention to its brand or would like to revamp it – the first step is to develop it. Right from the start it is important to be aware that your brand is more than just a few isolated elements, but rather a complete identity of interconnected parts.
“What Exactly Is Your Brand?”
Because of how often brands are associated with their visual elements, they are often defined first. If you do that however you run the risk of putting the cart before the horse, and it is far better to first decide what exactly your brand really is.
Deciding what your brand is encompasses several areas, and you should consider them all before proceeding:
- What is your company’s mission and vision?
- What products or services does it offer, and what makes them unique?
- What are the core values that you would like associated with your company?
- Who is your target market?
Answering these question should help you to begin to define what your brand identity really is. As you can see some soul-searching may be required, but ultimately you should be able to come up with the framework of an identity for your brand.
The reason that framework is important is because it will provide context as you start to develop other parts of your brand identity.
Visual Elements of a Brand Identity
Once you have a firm grip on your brand’s identity, you can move on to the visual elements that tend to be the most noticeable aspects of it. Keep in mind that because these elements are so noticeable, it is important that they consistently reflect the identity of your brand.
Some of the common visual elements that you will want to develop for your brand’s identity include:
- Tagline or slogan
- Color palette
- Style guide
The exact visual elements that you need will vary from brand to brand, depending on the nature of your company, and its products or services. That being said the five items listed above are more or less constant, which is why it makes sense to begin developing them first.
As you may have noticed many of these elements are linked to one another. For example, your typography, color palette and style guide should be reflected in your logo as well as your tagline. Of course you will want those elements to cover other areas as well, including your website, social media presences, or even company stationary.
By this point you should have defined your brand’s identity, and developed the main elements associated with it. From that point it is a question of consistently utilizing those elements across any and all areas associated with your brand. If you can pull that off, as your brand gets more exposure people will begin to associate its visual elements with its identity – which should be the goal that you aim towards.
If you are looking to design your brand identity at your own, you can go through our logo design guide.