From Logo Design to Storytelling: How Your Brand Identity Paves the Way for Success
Let's dive into brand strategy, audience targeting, and the future of your brand to help your organization stand out in the market.
Whether you want to believe it or not, your first impression makes a lasting impact. Brands are the same way — your first impression matters and people’s initial perception will affect how they interact with your brand moving forward. It’s imperative that the foundation of your brand is thoughtfully and strategically developed. So, let’s dive into your first handshake with your consumer.
The Power of a Memorable Brand Identity
Failing to create a captivating brand identity can result in a lack of recognition and differentiation. Building a brand identity is a crucial first step in a company’s evolution. It should be regularly revisited as changes are happening across an organization (and in culture). It’s daunting, yet exciting. It’s high stakes, while also being “the fun part” of seeing your brand evolve and/or come to life. There is pressure to develop a brand identity that accurately and strategically represents your company’s values, while also ensuring that it speaks to your target audience. If done well, your company can have a unique and distinct brand identity, while gaining a competitive advantage in the market. A strong brand creates a community of ambassadors, equipping loyal customers to tell your story.
There are a couple of reasons why you may be looking to create a brand identity.
- You are launching a new company, organization, hotel, restaurant, product or service.
- Your great company needs a brand that reflects its present and future direction. Not the past.
We recently worked with premiere meat purveyor, Meats by Linz, to refresh their visual brand identity as their internal team was realigning strategically and planting a vision for their future.
Essential Components for a Powerful Brand Identity
Your brand identity is the execution of who you are and how you are perceived. Each step in the process is a building block for the foundation of your brand. From start to finish, this includes:
- Brand Foundation: Vision, Core Truths, Unique Selling Proposition(s), and Brand Promise
- Target Personas
Brand Visual Identity
- Color Palette
- Photo styles/treatment
- Additional brand elements
- Brand Voice, Tone, and Messaging
- The Future of Your Brand
The Proven Way
There are a variety of approaches to creating a strong brand identity, not all of them being equally effective. It can be tempting to take a present-day, tunnel-vision approach that leaves you dated in just a few years. Or creating a brand so aspirational that your location, product, or service doesn’t actually meet the brand being conveyed, nor does it speak to its target audience.
Start with research. First, interviewing and investigating the deep details of who and what your brand is and where you want to go. Next, surveying the market. Diving into competitive analysis, helping us define who you’re up against, what they’re doing, who they’re speaking to, and how you can tell a never-been-told story to an audience who is waiting and ready to listen.
“A brand is always answering two questions.
The first one internally facing: What do we believe?
The second, externally: How do we behave?– Brian Collins
You must remain authentic to yourself, your core values, and what you stand for. If you’re not, people will sniff you out. But your brand must maintain cultural congruence — remaining relevant to the times, always evolving to inspire people at large. The answers to these two curiosities must always be aligned.”
Like Collins lays out, we look to answer both of those questions: “Who are we”? And “what have we set out to do in this cultural moment?”, ensuring that your brand foundation is strong to stand on. Lots of people can create beautiful things, but beautiful things backed by data and a concrete strategy is going to get you the ROI that you are looking for.
The Bones of It!
“If the bones are good, the rest don’t matter“– Maren Morris
Define Your Brand’s Purpose/Vision and Values
This is the foundation on which your brand is built. These statements and core values are your why and while they may not be word-for-word external facing, the essence of your brand should speak to this.
We worked with the Northwest Indiana REALTORS Association in redefining their purpose and foundation while also considering the history that brought them to their success today.
Understand Your Target Audience
Oftentimes your target audience is more dynamic than you think! Yes, there’s your primary target consumer, but thinking about who that person interacts with, and the community that you are a part of is something and someone to be considered when strategically positioning your brand. On top of that, when thinking about these people, they are more than two-dimensional data points on a spreadsheet. They are living beings with goals, motivations, and aspirations — how are you speaking to them?
Designing Your Visual Identity
What we like to call, “the fun part!” and maybe, as a designer, I’m biased.
Many people think a brand is a logo, it is so much more than that! In the development of your visual identity, we start with multiple moodboards to gauge the aesthetic direction your team is gravitating towards and from there take a closer look at color, type, and how all those elements complement and interact in a logo. We will also consider the tone and energy for your brand’s accompanying imagery, additional brand elements, graphics, and more.
Voice, Tone, and Messaging
This is how your story is told. Your strategy and target audience will inform your voice and messaging — giving you keywords, a defined tone, and primary pillars to speak to. It is crucial that this is carefully executed across all platforms to create consistency and familiarity within your brand.
The Future of Your Brand
Inevitably markets will shift, trends will change, and culture will be focused on new platforms, which is why your brand identity should be timeless, human-inspired, and adaptable! (Read more about brand adaptability in this blog! When people are at the core of your brand identity and you’re paying attention to the voice of your consumer, you’re able to stay relevant, relatable, and impactful.
We had so much fun brainstorming and executing this campaign for ROTI, when they came to us with plans to launch a new app. We had the opportunity to push their brand in a way they hadn’t done before.
Hospitality, Travel, and DMOs, Oh my!
Throughout the years, WeCreate has worked with a myriad of clients — from hotels and resorts to spirits and smoothies, from government entities to your local dentist’s office — we’ve seen it all! What I have found is that our specialty lies in the unique, ever-evolving industries of travel, hospitality, and economic development. Through experience I have developed an informed understanding of the distinct needs and challenges faced in these industries, positioning myself, and our team, as experts when it comes to telling your story and creating a visual identity to represent your brand in a way that uniquely speaks to your consumer.
But, Is It Really Worth It?
Could you sit around a table with your business partners and investors and discuss your values? Could you ask your sister-in-law’s cousin who majored in art to develop your logo? Yes and honestly, yes. BUT, our present day is saturated with brands that look, sound, and feel the same — it’s through an intentional, strategic, and expert approach that you find that your brand identity is the foundation of your company actualized, and it will establish customer loyalty, recognition, and an agency partner will ensure a high ROI.
Don’t just stop at logo design. Partnering with an agency ensures that your brand can go with you as you grow, and decipher exactly what that future can and should look like. The best work happens when vision and projected growth align.
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