Step-by-Step Guide to Ensure You Have a Powerful Brand Identity

By August 14, 2018 Branding

Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.

Jeff BezosAmazon, Founder

Building a powerful brand identity means you need to have a cohesive narrative through every touchpoint of your business.

That means your brand should convey the same story whether it’s being encountered at a trade show, on social media, or they walk through your front door. Branding is all about standing out, and making an impression. An impression that lasts, and keeps people talking, even when you’ve left the room! At PMG we work to help you visually represent your brand.

What Is a Brand Identity?

This definition can be a bit misunderstood. Is it your logo? Your color palette? To us, it’s the total composite of elements that shape how your brand is perceived. Some brand identities are tied to the practical elements like design, packaging, etc. Some even move into the realm of the senses: how it sounds, tastes, feels, and even smells.

For the purposes of this post, we’re focusing on the visual element of a brand identity (aka your brand’s visual language). This includes:

  • Logo & Iconography
  • Color palette
  • Typography
  • Design system
  • Photography/graphics

Logo & Iconography

Brand icons are the visual storyteller for a company, and almost every successful brand has one, think: Golden Arches, Swoosh, Bullseye, or a Peacock. These icons are viewed and interpreted immediately without need for interpretation. Sometimes your business name automatically lends itself to using a symbol or icon to be representative in the logo design. What elements are necessary to communicate your message? Do you need a literal icon or picture? What about an abstract shape? Or just the wordmark?

Color Palette

Colors are powerful, and the right combination of colors can elevate your brand and speak volumes without even saying a word. But did you know that there is a psychology to colors? Before you decide that you want hot pink in your brand, consider if these adjectives line up with the brand experience you’ve already established.

Red: passionate, active, exciting, bold, energy, youthful, physical, pioneering, leader, willpower, confidence, ambition, power
Pink: love, calm, respect, warmth, long-term, feminine, intuitive, care, assertive, sensitive, nurturing, possibilities, unconditional.
Purple: deep, creativity, unconventional, original, stimulation, individual, wealth, modesty, compassion, distinguished, respectable, fantasy
Navy: trust, order, loyalty, sincere, authority, communication, confidence, peace, integrity, control, responsible, success, calm, masculine
Green: balance, growth, restore, sanctuary, equilibrium, positivity, nature, generous, clarity, prosperity, good judgement, safety, stable
Blue: spirit, perspective, content, control, rescue, determination, self-sufficient, modern, goals, aware, purpose, open ambition
Orange: instinct, warmth, gut-reaction, optimistic, spontaneity, extrovert, social, new ideas, freedom, impulse, motivation
Brown: stable, reliable, approachable, genuine, organic, resilience, humble, strength, earthiness, toughness, seriousness
Yellow: enlightening, abundance, caution, clarity, warmth, optimism, cheerful, friendly, good times, energy, happiness
Black: sophistication, power, formality, strength, prestige, mystery, drama, security, grief, luxury, secrecy, glamour
White: freshness, hope, goodness, light, purity, cleanliness, simplicity, coolness, purity, virtue, peace

Match color to your brand’s desired mood & personality. Give your designer some of your favorite three to five colors to start building your brand’s color palette.

Typography

Effective logos speak to your ideal customer without having to work too hard. The best logos are simple, memorable, timeless, and versatile. Consider where your logo will be used. Sometimes the “logotype” or “wordmark” is all you need, which is where typeface (font) comes in.

Typography should be informed by the shape(s) of the logo. You’d think that this would be a simple choice, but typography is just as emotional as anything else related to your brand. It needs to communicate the brand persona effectively.

Think about which type of font communicates your desired goals. Simple and elegant? Old style and rough looking? Personal and handwritten? Modern and techy?

Photography/Graphics

Having a collection of high resolution photos is essential for your business. They can be used in a variety of formats including on your website, and social media. It’s helpful if your graphic designer understands when, where, and why you will use photos in your branding. Here are some questions to consider:

  • What types of images create the desired feeling for your brand?
  • What types of images do your favorite brands use?
  • What types of images do your closest competitors use?
  • What types of images draw the attention of your Ideal Customer?

Keys to Good brand Identity

There’s a lot of elements that go into your brand’s visual identity. It’s more than a logo, or a color palette. It requires a well-thought out and executed plan. When you’re working with a designer, you might not always be sure how to interpret the proofs you get back. We know you’re considering a lot when you’re deciding on your brand’s visual identity.

Here are some questions you should ask yourself about the visual components of your brand:

  • Is it distinct? Do you stands out among competitors? Will it catch your audience’s attention?
  • Is it memorable? Consider some of the top brands today, like Apple and Starbucks.
  • Is it scalable and flexible? This is very important to us at PMG because a scalable and flexible logo can adapt with various materials.

There’s a lot of elements that go into your brand’s visual identity. It’s more than a logo, or a color palette. It requires a well-thought out and executed plan. When you’re working with a designer, you might not always be sure how to interpret the proofs you get back. We know you’re considering a lot when you’re deciding on your brand’s visual identity.

 

Here are some questions you should ask yourself about the visual components of your brand:

  • Is it distinct? Do you stands out among competitors? Will it catch your audience’s attention?
  • Is it memorable? Consider some of the top brands today, like Apple and Starbucks.
  • Is it scalable and flexible? This is very important to us at PMG because a scalable and flexible logo can adapt with various materials.

Your brand identity is more than a logo. It’s a way to differentiate yourself from your competition and establish your brand at every touchpoint of your customers’ experience. The sum total of your visual identity is how your brand looks, feels, and speaks. At PMG, our graphic designers are experts at listening and exploring with you what your brand identity should be.

Ensure that when you leave the room, people are still talking about your brand. Contact us for a free consultation, today! Let’s get those tongues wagging!

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