branding

Developing your unique brand identity in 2021

As an entrepreneur or business owner, you have probably heard how important it is to establish a unique personal brand for your business. Creating a brand may seem simple, but to truly be successful a brand needs its own identity that sets it apart from others. Developing a successful brand identity is the first step to building a successful business. Read on for the top 5 key elements you need to develop your unique brand identity. 

What’s in a brand? 

Let’s take a moment to define what even is a “brand.” One way to think of a brand is to think of it as your business’s personality. The business is the person, the brand is the personality that attracts people to the business.  

When thinking of your brand as the personality, or attributes of a person, these areas come to mind: 

  • Name
  • Image / Appearance 
  • How they communicate 
  • What they stand for / message / values 
  • Who they associate with 

A successful brand identity will have a unique image that stands out from the rest. It will communicate and engage with its core audience effectively and will have values that align with their audience’s values. When you start viewing your business’s brand as its personality, it becomes easier to identify the elements needed to attract customers. Just think, what qualities do successful people have? How can you translate those qualities to a business? 

5 Key elements you need to develop your unique brand identity

  1. Have a clear brand purpose and positioning 

The very first step in establishing your brand identity is to determine your business’s purpose and positioning aka why it’s important. What makes your business different from all the others? Why does the world need your business? Who is your target audience? What issue will your business solve? Answering these questions will help you establish your brand’s purpose and positioning. 

  1. Conduct thorough market research

Conducting market and customer research is one way to help you discover your brand’s purpose and positioning. For beginners to market research, there are many online resources to help you get started. 

From simply talking to people in your target audience, conducting phone interviews, or utilizing online survey tools, these methods can help you get a better idea of how your brand is perceived by others and what your target audience is looking for in a brand. 

  1. Design a memorable logo and color palette

Essential to your brand’s “personality” is their style. Logos, color palettes, and brand images are that style. They are your brand’s outer image, the face the world sees. 

Think of any iconic brand and you probably first think of their logo and colors. Red and white Coca-Cola. Apple’s sleek, bitten apple. McDonald’s golden yellow arches. Google’s simple text in red, yellow, blue, and green letters. Disney’s unique font and magical castle. 

Brand recognition is largely visual. In our fast paced, digital world images are becoming more important than ever, so a quality logo design is key to developing a successful brand identity. 

When designing a logo, keep it simple and uncluttered. Think back to those well-known logos. Most are not complicated, just unique. A simple logo will also make it easier to scale between mediums and products from digital banners to flyers, merchandise, or billboards. 

Keep the color palette simple too. Most brands stick to one to three primary colors in their palette. You can look into color psychology to choose colors that will appeal to your target audience or better convey your brand’s message, emotion, and tone. 

You don’t have to break the bank either with your logo design. There are many resources online that can help you create a professional looking logo for a low cost or even for free. 

You might be interested: 10 Free online resources for Latinas and other women small business

  1. Use language to connect and advertise on social media

Communication is key. How you communicate is also just as important. Use language that matches your brand’s personality. If you’re a hip and trendy brand, you can be more conversational and laid back. If you’re a professional or academic brand, use more polished language. Using the right language will help you connect better with your target audience and establish a more organic connection. 

Another way to build a deeper connection with your audience is through story-telling. People love stories, especially emotional or inspiring stories. Tell your brand’s story! Speak to your customers’ emotions. Engage with them on social media and utilize your digital platforms to create interactive opportunities. Advertising and social media presence are crucial avenues for getting your brand’s message and purpose across to larger audiences, connecting with current customers, and drawing in new potential customers. 

  1. Stay consistent 

One of the major markers of a successful brand identity is brand recognition. Staying consistent with your image, message, language, and purpose all contribute to your brand recognition. If you are inconsistent with your branding, customers may have trouble remembering your brand, especially when they are constantly bombarded by advertising everyday. You always want to stand out in your customer’s mind, and to achieve that consistency is key. 

Back to the analogy of a business as a person, if a brand is constantly changing their hair color or style every time you see them, you might have trouble recognizing them or you may start to think of them as inconsistent or unreliable. 

People want brands that they can trust. They want familiar. Stay consistent with your look, message, and when you post or engage online. This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun or change things up from time to time. Successful brands evolve over time to stay fresh. But core aspects of the brand should stay fairly consistent.

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