How to Create a Brand Identity System That Works
The concept of a brand is everything but simple.
To build the brand successfully, you need to create a clear plan and take into account even the smallest details, with the brand identity system being one of the crucial elements in that regard.
Brand identity is the way a business presents itself to the audience and how it wants to be perceived by its consumers.
Its objective is to evoke emotions in customers and make them closely related to the brand.
Essentially, it tells people about your mission and the values you represent.
However, it is not easy to come up with the perfect strategy in this field, and you will need to invest much time into the analysis to be able to design a brand identity system that works.
In this article, we will show you how to do it.
Why You Need to Create a Brand Identity System
When designers and marketers think about brand identity systems, they usually take into account only an official logo design.
What they do not realise is that the word ‘system' is an essential part of the entire concept.
“Brand identity systems involve various elements which need to suit each other perfectly and make a meaningful unit. The brand logo is nothing more than the starting point in this process,”
explained Faye Phillips, a marketer at AU Best Essays.
If you can build a good identity system, it will boost brand awareness and make your products or services unique and more appealing.
The brand itself will then have a chance to become widely known for its values and the corresponding visual appearance.
This is extremely important because the research proved that more than 90% of consumers said that they are more likely to buy from an authentic brand than from a false name.
How to Establish a Perfect Brand Identity System
By building a brand identity system, you can expect to expand the base of loyal consumers.
However, there is much homework to do before you see the first results of your design activities.
First of all, you must conduct a thorough analysis of your business.
Start with your strengths and weaknesses.
For instance, are you selling premium or low-quality items?
If you are into premium business, the quality is your strength but the price is probably a weakness, and you will have to build the brand identity system around these features.
Secondly, you have to understand an average buyer's persona and create the corresponding strategy.
Namely, more than two-thirds of consumers cite shared values as the primary reason they have a relationship with a brand.
You need to keep this in mind and adjust the strategy to fit the beliefs of your target audience.
Here is what you need to know about target customers:
Age: Different periods of life bring people different interests, so you need to know the age of your average buyer.
Gender: Don't forget that men come from Mars and ladies from Venus.
Location: Each territory has its peculiarities, so make sure to know how to approach people from any given area.
Income: The purchasing power always influences our shopping choices, so you should build the brand identity by having this feature in mind, too.
Education: The level of education also changes the way people make decisions. Are your buyers rational or make emotional purchases?
Once you get to learn all this, you can start designing the elements of the brand identity system.
Let's check out all of these elements one by one.
Although it is not the only aspect of the brand identity system, a logo is by far the most significant.
It is the brand's ID and the one thing people should always be able to recognise.
That is why you need to give your best while designing a logo and make the visual that precisely reflects the values of your brand.
The primary brand mark is the logo that you will use on most occasions.
It should reveal your primary colours and send a clear message about your business.
Keep in mind that this logo is supposed to follow your brand for a long time, meaning that it needs to be universal.
Some of the best original brand marks are almost timeless, and they can adapt to different environments.
This is how you get to the secondary brand mark, which is your second logo.
It is an alternative version of the first logo that can fit into different surroundings.
It can have different colours, positions, text, or any other detail.
However, it should not confuse your buyers, and it must be evident that it is just the alternative model of the same old logo – just like on this Nike example below:
Most people underestimate the importance of typography in brand identity systems.
However, the fonts you use to address target audiences will play a significant role in the overall success of your strategy.
This is why you need to choose the font which works well with other elements of brand identity, especially within the logo.
Do you want to be boring like the Times New Roman?
Alternatively, maybe you want to be extravagant like the Mistral?
Our suggestion is to develop your font and make it unique but readable.
This way, you can stand out from the crowd and prove that your brand is worth more than competitors.
Colours reveal the character of your brand.
Are you serious and reliable?
Perhaps you are fresh and exciting or full of positive energy?
Your target audience should recognise these qualities immediately after seeing your brand visuals.
Talented designers know this very well, and they exploit the impact that colours have on our brains to manipulate the buyers' decision making.
Each colour has its meaning, and you should take advantage of this fact to approach your average consumer.
For instance, red is the colour of passion and desire, which inspires people to take some action (just remember what Coca-Cola is doing in that regard).
On the other hand, blue is the colour of authority and reliability, which is why many industry giants embraced it in their brand identity systems (Samsung, Ford, Facebook, and many others).
Besides the leading choice, it is necessary to add other colours to the brand and make a beautiful combination out of it.
For this reason, you should learn about complementary colours and the way you need to combine them.
Did you know: A “signature colour” for your brand boosts brand recognition by 80%.
Let your inspiration flourish but always keep in mind the basic principles of colour psychology.
The style of your brand images can make a decisive impact among buyers who cannot determine which brand is the best for them.
You can use retro style, hi-tech solutions, artistic approach, and many other sorts of styling options.
Your photos can distinguish from other brands by their themes, shades, or graphic elements.
Such differentiation is especially significant when it comes to new products and innovative ideas.
However, even if you want to sell a more traditional version of your brand, image style can give it a boost if executed correctly.
No matter how productive and creative your graphic design team might be, you will not always be able to launch new brand visuals.
On the contrary, consistency is essential if you want to build a long-term brand identity system.
For this reason, you need to design templates with precisely determined layouts.
These should include whitespace rules, grids, margins, fonts, and all other details relevant to the brand identity.
Brand Identity Guidelines
Speaking of rules and templates, each brand identity system should rely on company guidelines.
Even if your team is small, now and then there will be staff changes, and you will not have enough time to explain the basics of brand identity to all employees.
This is the reason to take some time and create firm brand identity guidelines.
It is a general strategy that all marketers and designers need to follow in their work.
It should explain all segments of the brand identity system that we mentioned here: logo, colours, fonts, image styles, and templates.
Using this model of coordination, you make sure that new design ideas naturally complement the existing brand identity solutions.
Most designers and marketers cannot truly grasp the meaning of the brand identity system.
They usually confuse it with brand image and cover only small portions of this concept in their work.
However, it is crucial to make a comprehensive and sustainable strategy before designing your brand identity system.
In this article, we explained to you why this marketing concept is so influential and how to build it gradually.
Keep our instructions in mind and feel free to let us know in the comments if you need additional information about any one of our tips.