How to Create a Brand Identity From Scratch
With thousands, if not millions, of brands currently in existence, a compelling brand identity is what makes you stand out. It helps your business carve out a unique space for itself whilst building a strong and loyal customer base.
Now the big question is how do you create a brand identity? It might feel like rocket science, but it’s actually quite straightforward if you know the basics. That’s why we are writing this article – to help you understand the nitty-gritty of how to create a brand identity.
How to Create a Brand Identity
- Conduct Market Research
- Identifying Your Target Audience
- Craft a Brand Story
- Define Your Brand’s Values, Mission & Vision
- Develop Brand Messaging
- Design Your Brand Elements
- Build an Online Brand Presence
- Document the Guidelines
Let’s dive in and discuss how to create a brand identity in more detail.
1. Conduct Market Research
Market research is the step where you identify your place in the market. This is where you need to find answers to questions like – Is there a demand for what you’re offering? What problems will you be able to solve with your brand? Who are your competitors? What’s the size and potential of your target market?
There are two types of market research that you can conduct to get started:
- Primary research, where you collect new data directly from your target audience by organizing interviews and focus groups or connecting with them on social media.
- Secondary research, where you analyze existing data by studying market reports, industry publications, government statistics, and your competitors’ strategies.
After successful market research, you’ll be equipped with valuable information that can help you develop a true and unique brand identity. Additionally, this information will guide you in every other step that we will discuss further.
2. Identifying Your Target Audience
Brand identities are designed to resonate with and appeal to the target audience. Thus to build a strong brand identity, you need to correctly identify and understand your target audience. This includes gathering information about their demographics, psychographics, behaviors, preferences, and pain points.
A common misconception is that your target audience is your existing customers. It’s not completely true because even though your existing customers may be part of your target audience, your ideal target audience will also include the potential customers who have not yet interacted with your business.
In short, your target audience refers to the people who are most likely to be interested in your business.
Now to accurately identify your target audience, you need to:
- Conduct market research (which we already did)
- Analyze your existing customers to identify common characteristics like location or lifestyle choices
- Use web analytics tools like Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, and Ahrefs to gain insights into your audience’s behavior & interests
- Create customer personas detailing a profile of your ideal customers
Once you have an understanding of who is your target audience and what their preferences are, you can create a brand identity that effectively resonates with them.
3. Craft a Brand Story
There’s a reason you started your business. That reason is your brand’s story. It’s a narrative that humanizes your brand and gives you an opportunity to connect with your target audience on an emotional level.
When you’re creating a brand identity, your brand’s story will help you define the overall personality of your brand. It will also help in distinguishing the tone, style, and voice of your brand’s communication.
But to achieve all this; you need to carefully craft your brand story. It needs to be real yet powerful, authentic yet compelling, and relatable yet unique. Here are some key elements you can include in your brand’s story:
- Purpose – Explain why your brand exists and what values it upholds.
- Unique Strengths – Highlight what sets your brand apart from every other business in the marketplace
- Journey and Milestones: Share how you started your brand’s journey and the significant milestones you have achieved.
- Customer Impact – Showcase the positive impact your brand has on the customers’ lives.
4. Define your Brand’s Values, Mission & Vision
A brand’s values help to guide its actions, a mission statement defines its purpose, and a vision statement outlines the long-term goals of a company. They are all important to your brand’s identity because they define the foundation and strategic direction of your company.
The last few steps, where you identify your target audience and craft a brand story, will help you in this step of defining your brand values, mission, and vision statement. You would be able to create a mission statement by reflecting on why you started your company and a vision statement by envisioning where you’re headed.
It can be a little complicated to figure out your brand values as it involves deep introspection and analysis of the core beliefs that will guide your company’s actions and decisions. But you can create them by evaluating your current company’s culture and the needs and expectations of your target audience.
5. Develop Brand Messaging
Your brand messaging is how you communicate (verbally and nonverbally) with your target audience. It includes the key messages, language, and tone that you use on various channels, including your website, social media, product descriptions, advertising campaigns, and other customer interactions.
The first step to developing brand messaging is to define your brand personality. It can be professional, friendly, playful, authoritative, or innovative, based on how your business is perceived by your target audience. This would help in deciding the tone and style of your brand’s communication, enabling you to craft a cohesive brand messaging guideline.
6. Design Your Brand Elements
A strong and memorable brand identity is represented through its brand elements. This includes your logo, color palette, typography, images, illustrations, product packaging, business cards, and other online and offline materials.
If you have design experience, you can use online design tools like Canva or any of its alternatives to create the brand elements. We also have some previous articles that explain the step-by-step process of creating these elements. These articles can offer valuable insights to help you navigate the design process effectively:
- How to choose your brand colors
- Types of logos you should know about before designing your brand identity
- How to design a logo
- 41+ free graphic design tools you can use to design your brand identity
In case you wish to delegate the task of designing the brand elements, you can read:
- How to hire a freelance graphic designer on a budget
- How to hire a graphic designer
- 10 best monthly graphic design services
7. Build an Online Brand Presence
Your online brand presence is defined by the representation of your brand across various digital platforms, including your website and social media. It helps in shaping and reinforcing your brand identity by molding the way your brand is perceived by its target audience.
It starts with creating and optimizing your website and is complemented by establishing a strong presence on social media platforms. But the important thing is consistency – you need to maintain consistency in your brand messaging, visuals, and the way you interact with your audience. This helps in building a cohesive and memorable brand identity.
8. Document the Guidelines
Last and perhaps most importantly, you need to document everything by creating a brand style guide. This guide serves as a comprehensive reference that outlines the guidelines for all aspects of your brand’s visual and verbal communication. It not only helps in the building but also maintains a consistent brand identity.
An ideal brand style guide would define your brand positioning with the specifications for your logo usage, color palette, typography, tone of voice, and any other brand elements. We have a full guide on how you can create your brand style guide from scratch. This guide will help you get started easily.
Summing Up: How to Create Brand Identity
Creating a brand identity from scratch requires careful analysis, planning, and execution. You need to do market research, understand your audience, craft a compelling story, define your brand’s messaging, and design various brand elements.
The strategies and tips we discussed in this article will surely help you develop a brand identity that resonates with your target audience and sets you apart from your competitors. But if all this feels overwhelming, you can sign up for our unlimited graphic design services. We will help you build a compelling brand identity with better graphic designs.
How to Create a Brand Identity From Scratch first appeared on Digifloat