Looking to connect more effectively with customers? Develop a memorable brand identity to humanize how your company is perceived by outsiders.
Whether you are launching a CPG brand or simply freelancing as a consultant, a brand identity will help you solidify your place in the market. You can distinguish yourself from the competition in the form of a logo, product packaging, and pitch decks that showcase your value-add. Equally important, think about your digital audience by focusing on social media and, of course, your company website.
You don’t need to hire a creative director or fancy ad agency to execute all the above. Start with the simple process below to translate communications that will engage your target audience. After all, no one knows your customer better than you.
Start with a deep assessment of what your company stands for and take inventory of all your brand communication thus far. Ask yourself these key questions:
- What is your brand’s voice? – What kind of tone or keywords resonate with your target audience?
- What is your brand’s look? – Create a palette of colors, photographs and imagery that conveys what your company is all about.
- What is your brand’s mission? – Write out (or revise) your mission statement and your vision as a founder. Look at each product, competitors, and the market to gain an understanding of where you are and where you should be.
Let your answers to the above serve as a roadmap and guide you throughout the rest of the creative process. Think progressively and with a fresh eye for innovation that will propel your brand forward. Your goal is to differentiate it from the crowds.
Styling your logo and tagline:
Now it’s time to strategize, brainstorm, ideate and produce. Start with synthesizing your brand into a logo (a symbol or emblem that represents your business) that pops and a tagline (a short, memorable phrase that conveys your business) that speaks to your audience. Work with your cofounder or other employees to create a bunch of options.
Let your own customers inspire you. You can launch polls on social media or e-newsletters to get their feedback on the finalists.
Be thorough, think long-term and avoid being tone deaf or politically incorrect. While brainstorming with colleagues or polling customers can make the process more innovative and imaginative, at the end, you as the visionary founder must have pride in the final look.
Styling your brand:
But how do you capture an entire brand in the smallest spaces, such as a logo or package? Think about selecting the right visual assets, like font, color, logo–down to the material you use for packaging. Be thorough and make sure everything not only aligns with your visuals but aligns with your values as well. The key is to be consistent and stay true to your core values as a company.
For instance, if you are a company focused on sustainability, using harmful or non-biodegradable boxes and wrappings will make you seem inauthentic as a brand.
Your brand identity must transcend beyond the package, from logos to brochures, trade show booths, and any in-store experiences. Your brand voice and brand look should be integrated across all these physical formats and properties.
Your employees must also convey and carry on your brand identity in all work-related tasks, especially when it comes to customer service. You and your team should have clarity on your brand and have the ability to effectively communicate it with your audience. To further solidify things, consider writing your very own Brand Guide that lays out your unique values, traits, and elements as a business.
Build a brand community:
Last but not least, build a brand that evokes emotion and inspires people to connect with not just your product/service–but each other as well. Make them connect as fans and advocates of your brand, be it on social media or via reviews on your company website. Consider forming an insiders’ club with perks and special deals for loyal customers.
Once you figure out your true brand identity and develop a deep emotional connection with your early audience, you can launch larger marketing and advertising campaigns to expand your reach to your desired clientele.