What is a Brand Identity?
Isn't it confusing?..Brand, branding, brand identity, visual identity, logo design, brand logo....
... and similar words are widely used by brand designers, strategists, marketers, and even business magazines. Sometimes different words describe the same meaning. Other times different meaning has the same word.
As a brand strategist and identity designer, I want to dispel confusion for my clients, to be crystal clear on what I do, and where my expertise ends.
What is a brand?
Brand is a reputation of a company, product or service.
A brand is what people think and say about you when you are not around. It is their gut feeling whether they like product, service, company, or not. People tend to have similar relations with the brand as if it was a real person. That's why when in a brand creation process creators talk about brand personality, characteristics, tone of voice, visual look & feel.
Furthermore, brand personality influenced by your values, marketing, products, and customer services, online presence shapes what others have to say about your brand.
Yes, brand identity, includes, your mark or a logo, a name, business card, website... and all the other visual juicy stuff. But don't forget about the whole brand experience!
By controlling your actions in every touch point with your customer you have better chances to influence their opinion about your brand.
While branding is an effort to influence brand experiences in the best positive way. You are out of control what others might say about you, but you can make sure clients gets the best outcome from interactions with your brand.
What is a brand identity design?
Brand Identity is a visual representation of the company.
Brand identity is a set of visual elements that accompanies the brand logo to create a cohesive visual representation known as brand identity design. It includes: logo, color palette, typography, icons, patterns, image style direction, grid layout systems, business card, letterhead, website, email signature, online presence, branded car design, office interior, signage.... All these elements play like a well-directed orchestra if at any given design logo would be hidden client would still know it your brand.
A brand style guide (also called a Brand Book) is a collection set of rules that forms the identity system and examples of identity design in use. It helps a diverse team of professionals (designers, animators, illustrators, marketers, creatives...) to maintain a cohesive brand identity design.
What is a logo?
A logo is only an identifying symbol for a brand to be recognized.
Too often companies think that by creating a logo - they already have a brand. Yes, a logo is the strongest point of recognition but still behind it, there should be something to be recognized in the first place. Brand with its full personality is a way to go. Nike brand is not a swoosh, nor the brand typography. When we see Nike we remember everything we know about Nike brand, all the empowering advertising, and their high-quality shoes that really empower us to awaken athlete within us. Logo does not need to represent what you do, it is an identifier.
What do Identity Designers do?
Create the logo and visual design supporting brand recognition.
Brand Identity designers create visual elements for your brand to be recognized in a millisecond without even seeing a logo. Consistent visual elements increase your chances to be remembered and to stand out in the crowded market. It includes: logo design, color palette, typography set, image style direction, overall look, and feel. Brand identity design is just a fraction of the brand-building pieces, but it influences people's perception of the brand by being appropriate and consistent, relatable with the target audience. In order to create the right identity, designers are using strategy.
What are the benefits of hiring an Independent Brand Identity Designer?
Maybe you are in the first stage of your business. Or you are the one who has been running for years, and are still not sure is it worth investing in a brand identity design?
It depends on what is your underlying reasons for why you need (or think you need) to update brand identity design? If your business is running, bringing you satisfying revenue, then you are on the right track then-new identity might not give you tangible results.
But if you aim to attract the different target audiences, because you've outgrown the current one. Or you are attracting the wrong clients and that causes a low sale closing rate. Even it is possible that you simply dislike your identity design system and it is lacking flexibility – it is probably worth it. Especially if you work in industries where aesthetics plays an important role and you aim to attract a specific type of person.
Great Brand Identity design creates value:
→ Attract the right audience
Different types of people tend to like different types of brands, designs, and styles. People like and trust companies with matching identity designs.
→ Cohesive Brand personality
Identity systems make it easier for you to remain cohesive & consistent. Starting from logo systems and ending with color and fonts systems.
→ Recognizable without the logo
Great Brand Identity design aims to become iconic identifying symbol for your brand, like your logo is. it can be recognized even if the logo is covered.
→ Regain confidence in business
New Brand Identity can even revive your or team's belief in your own business and its ability to achieve goals that seemed to be impossible.