It is very important for any company to create a certain image in the minds of consumers. For a brand to be recognized, it is not enough to make a good product or spend a lot of money on advertising.
The combination of elements, namely the brand name, the colors used, the logo, should work to identify the company and evoke associations that are relevant to the manufacturer’s intention.
Brand identity definition
Identity – corporate ID, brand ID, corporate identity – is a set of elements that forms the image and perception of the brand. A good brand ID always matches the brand’s values and communicates its main ideas. A well-thought-out brand ID creates an emotional connection with consumers through recognizable images, associated with the company’s products. The first impression of the company and the general perception is formed through corporate identity.
A brand identity is a set of attributes that make a brand recognizable visually, tactilely or through other perceptual channels.
Often brand identity is equated with such concepts as corporate identity, brand, branding. This is incorrect because:
- Brand is an abstract concept. It includes associations and intangible images that people keep in their minds after contact with the brand. The concept of a brand should be understood as the level of perception, trust and relationship between the company and customers.
- Branding is a marketing process aimed at creating a unique brand, its continuous development and promotion. In the process of branding, specialists purposefully form a certain image or value that will increase the attractiveness of the brand for customers.
- Corporate style is a part of corporate ID, which is mainly aimed at visual recognition of the brand.
Basic elements of brand ID
The main elements of the identity include the shape, font and color palette.
It can be either classic geometric shape like a square or a circle, or non-standard one. Creating a logo begins with defining the basic shape. In the future, it will be used in advertising materials and on visual media. Based on the activities of the company and the nature of the brand the shape option is chosen. And mission of the company, its relationship with customers, the features of the activity is usually conveyed through the shape.
Font type makes a huge difference to a brand – it attracts attention. With the right font you can both increase the uniqueness of the brand and vice versa.
Basic rules for choosing a font:
- it is important that the font is legible at all sizes and colors, and that the text looks good on all types of media.
- The font should correlate with the company’s activities. As an example, luxurious typefaces will cause dissonance if used by an agricultural equipment company, but they will be quite natural for a beauty company.
- When using multiple fonts, it is important that they match. The fragmentation of fonts will disrupt the perception of information.
A good identity should not have too many fonts. Ideally, one or two match options.
- Color palette
Color is the first thing that human eye catches when looking at a brand logo, advertisement or brand packaging. In the identity, each color is given its own meaning. For example:
- green is associated with environmental friendliness, reliability;
- yellow creates a feeling of joy, happiness and pleasure;
- purple shows exclusivity and premium character;
- pink conveys care, tenderness and softness.
Usually, 2-3 colors that match each other are chosen for the color scheme: one bright shade and two more calm ones. But this is not an axiom and there may be more colors.
The choice of each element, its meaning and the desired message is described in the detailed brand book. This is necessary to simplify the use of the identity in the future and prevent misuse.
Brand identity carrier
Identity elements are placed on all branded carriers created by the company. In particular, these are:
- Logo is considered as the brand basis, as it is present on almost all carriers. A good logo is easily recognizable, stands out from competitors and looks clear even in black and white.
- Package. When developing an identity, you should initially consider the shape of the packaging and how the elements will be used.
- Company letterhead. The letterheads use the logo, corporate fonts and, if possible, brand colors.
- Business Cards. This attribute also uses all the basic elements of an identity, since a business card is often associate as the first contact with a brand.
- Emails. Using brand ID in emails helps to distinguish the message from other correspondence. But you need to think carefully about the layout processes so that the elements are correctly displayed on different devices and in different browsers.
Popular types of Corporate ID
There are several main types of identity that are used most often.
- Traditional identity
This is a classic corporate ID. All the details of the basic elements are carefully designed and do not change when used. A guideline is created for each individual element. It specifies how the elements should be used.
This option is suitable for companies that already have established relationships with consumers and some market share. The release of a product in packaging with non-standard design can negatively affect the company’s activities or its profits.
- Dynamic identity
In the dynamic version allows several variations of the logo. Color and style elements are of primary importance. As a rule, there are no clear rules for use. The brand book may also be missing. Dynamic identity gives more freedom to specialists who develop identity carriers. The absence of strict regulations allows to adjust the visual to a specific channel of communication with the client.
- Polymorphic logo
This version of the logo is most often used in dynamic identities. Depending on the placement, the logo may change, but it retains a recognizable look. For example, there is the main logo of the parent organization and slightly modified logos for branches.
Stages of identity development
The identity development process can be divided into four main stages:
Definition of a global idea. Here they carefully study the history of the company, its strategy, mission, values, principles of work, immediate and long-term plans. Perform competitor analysis. Develop a brand positioning plan. As a result, they formulate what visual images should be in order to fully reflect the ideology of the company.
Visual development. They create systems of identifiers that will help in achieving the goals of the company. At this stage, they think over the forms, colors, fonts. Each element is accompanied by an explanation of why it was chosen and what its meaning is.
Implementation of identifiers. They form the brand identity: create a logo, compose slogans, develop a corporate identity taking into account the media. As a result, a brand book is prepared – a book that describes in detail the mission of the company, the rules and methods for using identity elements, media options.
Evaluation and control. The final step is to evaluate the effectiveness of the identity, control compliance with the set standards.
As a result of the development, the brand should receive an expressive and effective “packaging” that will increase the company’s recognition, increase audience loyalty and help stand out from the competition.
Creating a high-quality identity requires a significant investment of time, effort and money. A small business in its infancy can get by with a single logo. But if the company plans to create a recognizable image and attract the attention of customers, as it develops, it is worth thinking about a full-fledged identity.
In addition, a quality brand ID will reduce the cost of promoting new products, increase the effectiveness of advertising campaigns and help increase sales.