A unique brand identity is one of the first things you need to think about if you want to set up a business. It’s especially important to do something different if you’re entering a competitive market where it’s essential to stand out. There are various ways to make your brand identity unique so that you can go up against your competition. Your brand could differentiate itself with its mission and brand values, with its tone of voice, or simply with stand-out graphics. But finding a way to do things differently can be tough. Even though it’s difficult, it’s important that you’re able to do it.
Do Plenty of Research
Good research is always at the heart of any unique brand identity. You need to know about the brands that are already out there and about your target audience. What are other brands already offering? What might your audience want that they’re not currently getting? These are just some of the questions you can answer during your research. You can search for existing secondary resources that tell you what you need to know and you can also conduct your own primary research to find out more. The more you learn, the more it can inform what you choose to do.
Decide What Your Brand Should Be
Once you’ve conducted your research, you can decide what you want your brand to be. It’s crucial to start defining your brand identity and thinking about what you want it to say. Defining your brand identity can include thinking about what your brand’s core values are and what your approach to your business is. For example, is your brand particularly concerned with sustainability or with providing quality customer service? You might also begin to think about your brand aesthetics and messaging. What will your brand sound and look like?
When defining your brand, some key things to consider are your value proposition, your mission, your core values, and your brand personality. Your value proposition is what you’re offering to your audience. How does it differentiate you from your competition? Your brand’s mission should be its vision and goals. Where do you want to take your brand? What does its future look like? Your core values are important to define because they can inform your choices in the future. Your audience wants to see you stick to your values, especially as they’re choosing brands that have values aligning with their own.
Find the Right Name
Picking a name for your brand has to be one of the hardest parts of forming its identity. Although it’s not impossible to change a brand name, it’s not exactly something you want to have to do later. So it’s best if you can find a name that you’re happy to stick with as your business grows. This tough job can be easier if you get some expert help. Reaching out to naming agencies is a smart move if you want to find a name that works for your brand. These specialist services will take care of all the research and creative work required to help you come up with a name that speaks to your audience.
Design a Logo
When you have a name ready to go, you can start thinking about a logo. It’s another key part of your brand’s identity, and one that will help to make your brand recognizable. What you might choose to do is have one main logo and a few variations of it. This is useful so you have different logos to use in different contexts and formats. One logo might be suitable to put on product packaging, while another might be used for social media or internal communications. As you design your logo, you might also be thinking about brand colors. Having colors specific to your brand will help you to design further graphics and other materials.
After designing a logo, there might be other visuals or graphics that you also want to work on. For example, you might want to begin working on graphics for your website or packaging designs. Creating a logo is a great starting point, helping to inform your other visuals. Whether you’re using photography, graphics or something else, think about the image that you want your brand to present. Consider defining some guidelines to help inform both current and future choices.
Think About Use of Language
For some people, choosing brand colors and finding a logo they’re happy with is the easy part. What might be more difficult is trying to define the type of language you want to use. But the words and tone you use when communicating your brand are just as important as what it looks like. You might want to start by choosing some terms that you feel define your brand. What kinds of words and phrases feel like they fit your brand, and what things would your brand definitely not use? Is it casual, formal, friendly, funny or something else?
Create Official Documents
As you’re defining your brand, it’s a good idea to have an official record of who your brand is. Branding documents and guidelines are really useful both internally and externally, if you ever work with outsourcers or freelancers who might need a guide to your branding. These documents might include things like a style guide, which can outline the colors you use, typefaces, logo options and when to use them, tone of voice, and more. Putting these documents together can also help you to see if there’s anything you’ve missed when putting your brand together.
Craft a Brand Story
Your unique brand isn’t just about the name and logo you use, or even your brand personality. One of the most important things in modern branding is brand storytelling. Telling a story about your brand creates a way for people to connect to it. There are various ways you can create a brand story that your audience can engage with. One option is to stick close to the truth and speak about why your brand came to be and its history. This is obviously a story that can evolve as your brand grows. Another option is to write a fictional story with a fictional brand ambassador, founder or mascot at its center. This is a fun way to create a bit of magic and mystery around your brand. Of course, it’s also important to tell the truth about your brand, what it is and how it came to be.
Monitor Your Brand
Creating a unique brand isn’t easy and you won’t necessarily get everything right the first time. That’s why it’s important to monitor your brand and how people are responding to it. When you keep track of how your brand is performing, it gives you chances to fix what might not be working or determine when and how you need to increase brand visibility. You can use a range of tools and methods to do this, from Google Analytics to surveys and social listening. Collecting data on your brand and what people are saying about it will help you make better decisions.
Once you’ve defined what your brand is, what it looks like and what its story is, you need to be consistent. It’s ok to tweak some things as you’re perfecting your brand, but you should be careful not to give mixed messages or fail to create a consistent image across different platforms and materials.
It takes time, effort and creativity to craft a unique brand. Working with professionals can give you the extra help you need to make it work.