How to Build a Brand Identity that WOWS

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How to Build a Brand Identity that WOWS your clients

What is a brand identity? 

In its simplest terms, your brand identity is all the visual aspects of your brand.

It is what makes your brand distinguishable and immediately recognizable in an Instagram post, a business card, a poster, a mural or any branded designs.

But beyond just that, your brand identity is the visualization of what your brand stands for.

It perfectly represents the mission of your brand.

Take apple for example.

Apple is known for being leaders in the technology industry, they are user-friendly and appeal to everyone from teenagers to grandparents.

But they also stand for being progressive, promoting human rights, and pushing the envelope of what’s possible.

So what’s their brand identity?

In my opinion: clean, sleek, & eye catching.

Each of these three adjectives relate back to what they stand for. 

They are focusing on what’s important, are clear with their intentions, and without too many identifiers, they are able to appeal to their vast customer base.

Today, I want to go into details about how brands leverage their brand identity. So, let’s dive into the top 5 elements you need to consider when creating your brand identity.

How to Build a Brand Identity that WOWS

Logos & their Variations

This is going to be the most obvious element in your brand identity.

This is the centerpiece of your brand, it’s the first thing people think of when they think of a brand, and they often times new brands don’t ever get past it.

But, did you know there are many different elements when it comes to having an effective logo?

Of course you will have your primary logo, but, you will want to create alternative versions to suit different occasions.

Your primary logo will be the logo that will be used in the most applications. This version of your logo is the main logo that will represent your brand and is the most commonly used graphic.

The second version of your logo is your secondary logo. This is typically a simplified version of your logo that will be used in places where the orientation of your primary logo is not ideal.

Brand Identity - Logo

For example, you’re putting your logo on the front pocket of a tshirt, if your primary logo is extremely vertical or horizontal, it will force your tshirt to have a tiny logo. 

But, if you have a secondary logo that is more square, your logo will be more visible as you can make it larger!

Lastly, your submark logo. This is a stripped down graphic of the main logo.

Typically it does not include the full business name and is usually a graphical shape, drawing, or icon that represents your brand.

If you’re ever not sure what your submark should be, think about if you had an app, what would your icon be?

Each logo variation plays its own part and are critical to having a successful brand identity, and should not be forgotten.

How to Build a Brand Identity that WOWS

Colour

Now, let’s talk about colors. We’ve mentioned this before, but if you need a refresher, colour psychology is critical for how your ideal client receives your brand.

You are going to want to pick anywhere from 3 to 5 colors for your brand. But just make sure that they balance and complement each other.

Of these 3-5 colours, you’re going to use 2 to 3 of them as the primary colors for your brand. These are the colours that you will be using the most for your graphic design.

The additional colors should act as complementary colors to enhance or draw focus to elements.

Brand Identity - Colour

Take us for example, primarily we use different shades of blue as our color. But, in order to create balance on our Instagram feed & website we added in a very light blue-grey, and for our website we use a bright coral for our buttons to create contrast

To get started:

  1. find your primary colors by thinking of the shopper/client psychology
  2. Find a contrasting color to create urgency and draw attention when it’s urgent – but only when it’s urgent, because if everything is a priority, nothing is a priority.

How to Build a Brand Identity that WOWS

Fonts

Now let’s talk about fonts, for the sake of this article, we will use the term fonts, but if we were being technically correct, the proper phrase would be typefaces.

Moving on, just like colors, fonts have their own personality and elicit a emotional response from the viewer.

In typography, common phrases you’ll hear our headline, subhead, and body copy.

You will want to make sure that each font that you choose is not only appropriate for your brand but also legible and complementary of the other fonts you use.

I always start off with my headline font.

The headline font should be eye-catching, and compliment the complete brand identity.

When you are selecting a headline font, make sure that it has various weights, for example a thin, regular, and bold option, and make sure that it works well with the different applications you require.

If you usually use a thin headline font for social media, but you plan on creating custom shirts to wear when training your clients, you will need to use a thicker font or your risk your design wearing out.

Next in the priority of typography is the subhead.

A subhead is where you elaborate on your headline but you don’t go into so much detail that it requires extensive copy.

To choose a font for your sub head, I typically choose a slightly larger and bolder version of the body copy. This way it separates the subhead from the body, but it does not take away from the headline.

Now, with body copy the most important thing is that it is legible.

I tend to prefer fonts that are san serifs (example below) that are fairly neutral and allow the headlines and subheads to show the character.

Not sure what fonts are right for you or what fonts go well with one another? Here are a few of our favorite sources for font pairings

How to Build a Brand Identity that WOWS

icons & SHapes

This is where you’re able to start incorporating different graphic elements into your brand. 

This could be your sub mark from your logo, or an element that you have began incorporating that is synonymous with your brand. One of my favorite applications of this is Sportchek.

Within their logo, they have a red triangle under their brand name. But, recently they have began using that as an element in there graphic design separately from their logo.

This can be seen in their social media content as they have athletes interacting with the shape, it is also acting as a checkmark on their website, and also being used to highlight key elements of their promotions.

Since adding this graphic element to their logo, this treatment is easily recognizable for their shoppers

For us, we use the same blob shapes across our social media and in our internal documents. Using these Not only helps with creating a cohesive theme on social media but it expands our brand identity from just our logo.

How to Build a Brand Identity that WOWS

Templates

Lastly let’s talk about the templates. And I’m not just talking about Instagram templates on canva.

When we talk about templates we also are referring to simplifying your processes by creating templates. 

Some popular processes include:

  1. Onboarding new clients
  2. The we you write captions
  3. How you interact with people in the DMs
  4. And of course templates for your graphic design.

Having a templated approach to your customer experience will ensure that everybody who experiences your brand has a consistent experience and people will learn to know what to expect from your brand.

In terms of your social media graphics, there’s many ways that you can go about creating your content.

You can of course hire a professional who will handle your visual identity of your brand to ensure that it remains professional and in line with your goals, but there are also many avenues that allow you to take matters into your own hands, if you have the time and patience.

Social media templates are a fantastic way to ensure that your content is consistent, obviously, but it also saves you time that could be spent coaching your clients.

Common social media templates that people will use are:

  • work out templates
  • quote templates
  • testimonial templates
  • and frame templates to ensure that you’re still able to integrate your graphic design into your social media content if they are photos.

In order for your brand identity to be incredibly successful, you need to analyze your company and it’s positioning in the market, understand your business goals and who your customers are and know what message you want your clients or shoppers to take away from your branded assets.

Once you have deep understanding of what you are looking to achieve, it’s time to execute and build your brand identity.

How to Build a Brand Identity that WOWS

what's next?

Not sure where to go next? Still not sure how to build a brand identity that wows your future clients? 

Let DoubleUnderscore take the guesswork out of designing your online brand. Click the button below to complete a Brand Breakdown for a free consultation from the team at DoubleUnderscore

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