Starting a business – let alone growing one – isn’t as easy as it used to be. Every niche is full of competition, which makes it harder than ever to stand out. But if you understand how to create your brand identity, you’ll have no problem attracting the attention you want.
Creating A Strong Brand Identity
When it comes to brand identity, what do you think comes to peoples’ minds first?
Chances are, it’s all of the above. After all, visual elements are often the most memorable.
But brand identity is more than the visuals that represent your company. So while your logo and web design are crucial, they alone don’t embody the big picture behind your brand.
We’ll take a look at how to choose your brand name, slogan, and voice, but before that, take some time to reflect and fully understand your brand. Our process for reflection has worked for our clients and us. Read more about it here.
Choosing Your Name
The name of your business lays the foundation for everything you do. But it’s also one of the trickiest steps in the brand identity development process.
It’s not enough to have something 100% unique and reflect your company or its value offering. It also has to…
- Follow trademark laws
- Be short, pronounceable, and easy to spell
- Be something you can use in a URL
And that’s just a few considerations to keep in mind.
On the other hand, a bad name is something that is…
- Subject to abbreviation
- Unclear or complex
Additionally, great brand names convey abstract concepts or feelings; they don’t simply describe the company’s value offering.
It seems like a tall order, but the payoff is well worth your time and effort if you keep these factors in mind.
Creating Your Slogan
As you learn how to create your brand identity, you’ll find that your slogan (or tagline) is an excellent place to highlight your values in addition to your service offering.
Ideally, slogans should meet one or more of the following points:
- Explain your product or service
- Denote a key aspect of your company
- Express your positioning
- Make you more memorable
Of course, not every slogan hits all four, but that doesn’t mean it’s terrible. After all, Nike’s tagline, “Just Do It,” is incredibly famous but doesn’t explain its product or service, nor does it state its positioning.
Alternatively, many companies use descriptors in place of slogans. Descriptors are simple one-line descriptions of their service or product offering. They are beneficial for startups and newer businesses that are still unknown.
Whether you choose to keep it simple with a descriptor or want to try your luck with a more clever tagline like Nike’s, just make sure your audience will remember it and associate it with you.
Finding Your Voice
Your brand voice refers to how you write your brand’s messaging. A strong brand voice is loudest when it matches your brand identity.
Take American motorcycle manufacturer Harley Davidson, for example. It generously uses adjectives with connotations to freedom and movement.
If Harley Davidson suddenly changed its language tomorrow, its audience would immediately notice the inconsistency, which could lead to lower sales.
So as you learn how to create your brand identity, treat voice as the personality your brand would have if it were human. For example:
- Are you friendly and open? Professional or laid back? Serious or playful?
- What type of writing would fit this personality best? Short, punchy sentences? Or something more straight-laced?
- Is humour something that would fit your brand?
As you establish a definite voice for your company, consider making a Tone and Voice guide. Like branding style guides (which we discuss later), this document provides a framework for internal and external pirates who need to write or speak on your company’s behalf.
This document can be as complex or generic as you want. For example, some businesses provide specific language guidelines for email responses or phone conversations. Others may just cover the broad strokes. What you decide to do will depend on your particular company.