Over the next coming weeks, Entyce will be giving you regular tips on how to approach your brand identity effectively. These will provide you with some vital pointers to think about before creating a new brand or rebranding an existing one.
When it comes to creating a new identity for a client, what are the methods you use to position them above the competition?
Who or what is the brand for?
A successful brand identity works to set an organisation’s product or service apart from its competition but it only achieves this by communicating its own distinct ethos and service offering to a specific target audience. Rather than concentrating on what the competition may or may not be doing, you must work on delivering what the target audience wants and needs.
You must therefore identify who the ideal target market actually is. Who is it that will buy the product or service and what benefits do they hope to receive? Once you have ascertained these details, you can start to form a brand identity that places the organisation directly in the mind of the buyer, communicating that this is the right product offering for them.
Forming a brand identity fuses creativity with strategy. You want to succinctly communicate an organisation’s product offering, ethos and culture directly to the buying public. Creating an image that conveys this is not straightforward and you must gain inspiration from the world around you. It is valuable to assess current trends, packaging, advertising, creative blogs and websites to generate excitement about the images you like and dislike. Don’t try to recreate the work of others as this is bound to fail, use it to inspire you and help you to create something unique and powerful in its own way.
Explore all possibilities
When developing a brand identity, the approach you adopt will differ greatly depending on the organisation, its requirements and the industry in which it operates. It is important to gain a comprehensive understanding of the company’s culture, ethos and values, as well as what it actually sells. You can then explore the possibilities that would encapsulate the entirety of the organisation. Often companies wish to re-brand their existing image or bring it up-to-date. This brings with it other challenges, as the brief may be restrictive in terms of colour and icon usage. If there limitations to the project, ensure these are clear from the outset.
Icons are not a necessity when it comes to branding. Text-based brand images can be just as effective. Fonts and typefaces should also be extensively explored as they can change the way an image is portrayed.
Consistency is key
To ensure a brand identity is a success, it must be used consistently across the entire marketing and communications portfolio. Therefore, when designing a brand identity, it is imperative you consider where the image will appear: corporate stationery, brochures, digital media, signage, van livery and more. If the brand is not used consistently, the target audience will become confused and disinterested.
Keep it simple
There is no need to create brands that are complex or complicated. Images should be understandable and lead prospective customers to a decisive choice. Speed is of the essence – people do not have the time to decipher coded messages!
Creating a legible and concise set of brand guidelines is good practice when developing a brand. The guidelines should be easy to follow and to implement. Try to reduce the restrictions on the use of the brand, as it will then become an added complexity to an already busy working environment. Remember, the production of brand guidelines its in itself a significant project and one which requires time to develop effectively.