How to develop a unique & memorable brand identity in 2020
While 2020’s global situation is far from 20/20, it may be the year that turns things around for you. While the year may be tough, but there is a chance for you to take your business to the next level. You may find yourself with more time on your hands this year. Whatever you have ever wanted to do, whatever you did not have time for, this is the year to do all of it. If you want to develop a unique brand identity then, it is high time you do so.
There are only a few memorable brands out there that have dominated the market, that people recognize these brands easily. “Kleenex” for example is only a company that manufactures tissue papers, but now people use the word Kleenex to refer to tissue paper. That’s how powerful brand identity works.
So, if you want to be next Kleenex in business or anywhere close, you might find this post helpful.
What is Brand Identity?
In simple words, brand identity is the ” feel ” of your business. What do customers feel when they interact with your products? To create a unique brand identity you need to follow a set of principles. You can call it a “brand guide”. Forming a brand identity is important because that’s how customers will remember you.
In the automobile industry, there are similar cars rolled out by different brands. In 2008, Toyota released Toyota IQ, and inspired by the same, Aston Martin released Cygnet. However, Aston Martin is a luxury car brand, so Cygnet had similar features as Toyota IQ, but it cost three times more. Aston Martin’s brand is tied to luxury cars, while Toyota brand is associated with quality cars at affordable prices for everyone.
Big brand names like Aston Martin, Toyota, and Kleenex, weren’t built overnight. It took years to develop a brand identity, but these companies have stuck to their ” brand guide ” consistently. We are going to mention a few companies with strong brand names.
Although the brand has received much backlash recently, that does not deny the fact that it is the world’s largest restaurant chain by revenue. The first McDonald restaurant was founded by Richard and Maurice McDonald in 1940. It was a hamburger stand, owing to its success, the duo opened a restaurant. McDonald’s is a pioneer of the “modern fast food restaurant”, and is one of the biggest in the industry. Their branding has been a “fast food restaurant”, that sells burgers and french fries. The two golden arches logo has been so deeply ingrained in the mind of the users that as soon as they see it they know what they are going to it.
The Coca-cola that you pop out and drink because you think it is refreshing was meant to be a medicinal syrup. In 1886 pharmacist John Stith Pemberton created the formula of a drink that was meant to relieve headache. His bookkeeper Frank M. Robinson, named the drink Coca-cola, as the drink had Coca leaves and Kola nuts. Robinson marketed the drink, later in 1889 Asa Griggs Candler bought the formula as well as the brand, and the rest is history. Candler was the first man to use merchandising as an advertising tool. Moreover, he created Coca-Cola’s first ad, that read “Coca Cola. Delicious! Refreshing! Exhilarating! Invigorating!”. The brand still clings to the value of that tagline. Coca-Cola adopted a consistent brand identity through a century and continues to do so.
We talked about old brands, that have around for many decades. Let us talk about a new brand with a powerful identity -Aerie. It is a sister store of American Eagle and it was established in 2006. Aerie is an apparel store for females of all ages, shapes, and sizes. The brand Aerie preaches body positivity and inclusivity. It is totally different from brands like Victoria’s Secret that set an unachievable standard for women. But Aerie embraces, tummy rolls, stretch marks, and all things women. That’s why the brand has become such a big hit with popular ambassadors like Iskra Lawrence.
The brand image that Asana has in the project management world is similar to what McDonald’s has in the fast-food world. It was able to achieve that strong brand identity because of being one of a kind. Why would a project management tool be named Asana? Asana in sanskrit means a yoga pose. Asanas in yoga are supposed to drive energy into the body and help focus. The team at Asana found that interacting on Facebook hampered their productivity. So they built a project management tool to make things easier. The mission statement of Asana is “to help humanity thrive by enabling the world’s teams to work together effortlessly”. The company has consistently followed its brand guidelines and has become a force to reckoned with!
How to create a brand identity?
Want to create a compelling brand identity like the brands mentioned above? Here is our guide to making an impact as a brand in 2020.
Know your audience
If you want to win, then you need knowledge. As Sir Francis Bacon said, ” Knowledge is power”. Knowing your audience is the first step in creating a brand identity. A research of your potential customers will show you their needs and pain points, you can bank on these details and steer your business in its direction.
You can’t target a project management tool on teens, and you can’t target a chapstick on men ( no matter how sexist it may sound). So, knowing your target audience, and optimizing your product according to their needs is the first step in the process. Aerie targets women, and preaches body positivity, Thumbs up, and Mountain Dew target men/ women who love adventure. These brands know who they want to target, do you?
Know your competition
No matter how cliche and barbaric it may sound like Michael Corleone said in The Godfather “Keep your friends close and enemies closer”. For you it means, you need to know the competition.
- What are the top brands in your category?
- What marketing techniques do they use?
- What works for them?
- What are the popular trends everyone is following?
It is wise to know what your competitors are doing. But do not get carried away by knowing your competition. An important rule of creating a powerful brand identity is “Do not follow”. If you want to be unique come up with new revolutionary out of the box ideas, and be a trailblazer, not a copy cat. McDonald’s took the principle of White Castle and put a new spin to it, you can do that. But copying competitors decreases your credibility.
Design a brand guideline
There are two important aspects of brand guidelines and how you should design it- The physical and the principle. The physical aspect is the logo, the tagline, the form, the packaging, the color palette, while the principal part is all about your brand ethics.
Let us first dive into the physical part of a brand guideline –
- Logo – People confuse branding with logo. But a logo is a symbol that connects your brand with the people. The golden arches of McDonald’s are legendary, the half-eaten Apple is a symbol of class. All these logos speak for their business. So, to get started, you also need to create a one of a kind logo, that will stand out. Hire an experienced graphic designer to do it.
- Tagline – Choose a tagline or a slogan that reflects your brand. McDonald’s has ” I am lovin’ it”, Nike has “Just Do it!”, Apple has “Think Different”. While choosing a brand slogan keep in mind to avoid negative words, that could throw off the customers.
- Color Palette – When it comes to the material goods, the better it looks the more it sells. So, choose a color palette that is attractive and will look good on your products. The color palette should reflect your brand ideology and must be used everywhere- starting from website to business cards. Uniform use of color palette will build a strong impression on customers.
- Exciting Forms – Forms include everything physical that you have to decide for the brand. From that aesthetic color palette to consistently using the logo everywhere. Repetition and consistency is the key to being recognized. For example, There are TV adverts, that leave a lasting impression, that we know what brand it is. The John Lewis Christmas adverts are interesting examples of forms, and how it is used. Decide on forms, like what should the package look like? what color should the product be available in? etc.
After going over the physical parts of the brand guideline, here are the principles-
- Brand Value – Brand value is what your business offers, or you can call it the value proposition. You let the customers know what you are ready to offer, that your competitors aren’t. What is it you offer that makes your business stand out? Draw a difference between your business and your competitors. That’s how you move the needle to your brand value.
- Mission statement – A mission statement roughly states what your business is all about. Do you know what attracts customers? A good back story. Share your business story, and why you wanted to start it. Let the audience know the goals and the purpose of your business. It will add personality to your business. It is about core values that you will stick by when creating products. Plum Goodness is a skincare brand that does not use paraben in its products, it is 100% paraben-free and natural. So, what is your story going to be?
- Personality- Identity and personality are pretty similar. Personality is the tone you want your business to follow. Are you going to be full of spunk like Nike, or are you going to be elegant like Armani? It depends on what kind of products you sell, and to whom you sell.
- Analytics – Your guideline should have an analytical part where you study your brand and keep revising it. SWOT analysis is the testing of your brand’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Keep analyzing these four parts, and keep adapting according to it.
Create a Voice
When we talk about the personality of your business, it means so much more. If you want to make a kick-ass brand then you need a strong voice. The voice you create for your brand should be understandable by the audience. It means you can’t use an uptight tone for a laid back brand like Nike or Noise.
- Language – Use language that suits your brand. Make sure that you follow the language and tone uniformly throughout your company. You can’t mix it up. Integrate the relevant language to every part of your brand. That’s how you bring a brand to life.
- Convey emotions – A strong brand identity is formed when you establish an emotional connection with customers. Why do you think so many women are wearing Aerie? It is because they feel accepted by the brand. So, your duty is to establish an emotional connection with the audience.
Social Media 2020
We are talking about creating a brand identity in 2020 and beyond. While all the above steps are helpful, this step is the most relevant part. It will teach you how to leverage Social Media to create a brand identity in 2020.
- Decide on one brand name for social media. Do not switch up your names on different social media platforms such as travel daily for Facebook, and travel.adventure for Instagram. You should have similar names on all platforms so you can be easily found.
- Add business details on your social media profile so you can be easily accessible to potential clients.
- Post regularly on all platforms. But do your research as to which one will give you more results and focus on it.
- Republish your content everywhere. If you have created a lovely product video, then publish it on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, to reach maximum people.
It is 2020, where good content means a great brand. Focus on making good content for social media and keep posting. Boost your online presence through interesting content. You can create lively videos for your brand with the help of OFFEO’s online video maker. You do not have to download the app or pay for it, simply use it on your web browser, and choose from the thousands of templates. Whether you want to advertise a product or design a logo, OFFEO Online Video Maker can make the job easier for you, create professional-looking videos without any prior experience.