The core principle of design is to simplify and tell a brand’s story in a way that connects emotionally with the customer. To understand this better -
Guess the name of the brand by looking (carefully) at the below image
(Src:imgur official site)
Yes, it's Coca Cola!
And if you guessed it right then their marketing department surely deserves a pat on the back, as they have created a strong brand identity.
Ultimately, if your brand has a strong & concise brand identity, you are better able to:
- Communicate with the world and differentiate yourselves from your competitors
- Build loyalty amongst existing customers
- Influence the buying decisions of your customers
- Create a brand experience that encourages people to engage with you
- Concisely convey your brand’s message & philosophy
Brand identity when individually looked at acts as marketing activities/tactics, but together they produce a recognisable strategic toolkit that defines your brand to not just yourself or your employees but to the customer and other external parties alike.
Having a customer-centric approach is important and a major priority. This will, in turn, help you shape your brand with a clear and concise brand identity that is easily recognisable, just like as that of Coca-Cola.
What are the steps to create a recognisable brand identity?
Now, if your brand is in its early stages or preparing to rebrand and not sure where to start, follow these steps - to create a recognisable brand identity with an objective to be seamless and build a stronger brand identity that sets you up for success!
|1. Create and understand your brand strategy|
|2. Understand the key emotional drivers|
|3. Figuring out your “Brand Persona”|
|4. The “Branding idea”|
|5. Importance of Brand Architecture|
|6. Design your Brand|
1. Create and understand your brand strategy
To set yourself up for success, and before you dive into your brand identity, it’s pivotal to complete your research and strategy as you need to understand your brand’s core values, it’s brand messaging architecture, brand voice, i.e your positioning, tagline, brand stories, etc. as your visual design will work simultaneously with those elements.
2. Understand the key emotional drivers
For Coca Cola, their emotional factor revolves around “Open Happiness” the tagline they used for the longest time until 2009, and their brand to this day stays true to it.
The most important thing that your consumer should believe or feel when they see the design is defined as your brand’s promise. Your brand promise is your business’ commitment to delivering quality rich services and products to your customer – every time they make a purchase from you or use your services. To understand better about your brand promise, it is very important to consider every person that comes into contact with your business, as well as their expectations of your business.
3. Figuring out your “Brand Persona”
Your brand personality always relates to the traits that you want your business to be known for. Examples of brands with strong personalities include; Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Nike, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Tesla, etc.
Your brand identity is basically acting as the “face” of the brand, that interacts with the entire world. Whatever you create should accurately communicate who you are.
However, one common assumption about brand identity is that if your identity doesn’t resonate with your consumer, it won’t be effective. This doesn’t necessarily mean your brand’s customers will choose your logo colour; it means that you will make more effective design choices once you understand their needs, wants, and values.
Related Read - Why is it Important to Have a Memorable Brand Identity?
4. The “Branding Idea”
A "Brand Idea" is a thought that is captured in a simple but effective phrase that expresses the essence of your brand. It is what defines the brand and in return acts as the central driving concept that the brand architecture is constructed from. Your brand story needs to build relatability, trustworthiness and credibility as it shares the journey of your brand. Brand stories is what creates a human connection between the business and the consumer, allowing the consumer to relate to the values of the brand
5. Importance of Brand Architecture
To help the audience relate to a brand, brand architecture is extremely important. It organises brands, products and services to help audience access and relate to a brand.
Brand architecture that’s thoroughly established acts as an important guide for brand extensions, sub-brands and development of new products. It will help the audience with a road map for Brand Identity development and design and remind consumers of the value proposition for the entire brand family providing the maximum amount of brand value, by fully leveraging both corporate and sub-brands.
6. Design Your Brand!
The best stories are the ones you can visualise when someone even speaks about it. As it makes you feel if you’re there, experiencing the events firsthand. Storytellers can always create worlds and characters that draw us in and make us live it. We immerse, we get involved, and we develop a relationship with the characters and story as it unfolds.
Brands are no different in the power they have to create a flow with regards to their voice, tone, and temperament. The end goal is to create a completely distinctive and consistent verbal and visual guideline that will guide all aspects of your brand’s communication and make the audience relate to it.
- Beginning with the logo, that will connect with your consumers
- To the colour palette you choose
- To the typography used
All these depict the tone and voice you're trying to portray to your audience.
Once all this is taken care of, the visual language should be implemented to everything to create a standardised branding, be it in your brand stationery to your marketing collaterals, the language uniformity should be visible through it all.
For eg: Coca Cola's brand message has always been about happiness, joy, experiences, etc. and is addressed through a uniform tone of voice – Friendliness.
The Coca-Cola branding celebrates the simplicity of its product range as well as reinforcing its overall ‘functional’ image. Coca-Cola, therefore, is a perfect example of brand identity done right.
Once all the above points have been infused and the brand fundamentals are set in place, you need to put everything together to better convey those identified qualities in your marketing.