Some startups have a specific vision for their brand image, usually trying to imitate a bigger brand, and some small businesses want their brand identity to look “cool” ensuring that their image is hip and successful. Both are good ideas but not the right ideas.
The problem as a startup or small business is that you may not know what image you’re supposed to project, or what your brand identity really is.
To solve you can do develop a brand strategy, but not every business will take this option so what do most start-ups and small businesses do? They base their whole brand design on simple and quick information ie. copy another brand, do what might seem like the hip thing to do or do what they think is right based purely on their own perspective.
Using the idea of “cool”, “imitation” or your own ego as the basis for your Brand Identity Design is a mistake because the brief is based on materialism as oppose to true business values, market research and your target audience. Ultimately it leads to bad communication as a brand and you’ll be looking to re-brand again in a year’s time when you realise it.
So, what should your brand design look like?
I’ve found that success with brand identity design comes when you manage to include these 5 over-arching elements into your brand design.
Your Brand Identity needs to be modern
Think about it.
Even you as a customer wouldn’t want to necessarily buy something that’s old or outdated. If you did then it means that you’re investing in something that’s out of times, possibly redundant and unintelligent because it’s not the latest thing representative of the now and it’s not what you need today.
Consumers want the latest, newest things as it’s imposed as the best, most intelligent asset to invest in, even if it’s a service and not a product that they’re buying.
Now I’m not saying that your brand identity has to be futuristic but it has to negate the past and represent the now through contemporary design.
Even if your business revolves around antiques, a modern take on it appeals to everyone, rather than an out-dated look which appeals to no one. Some of the oldest brands in the world use heritage and the idea of vintage style as a USP but still make the effort to look new. This is how they stay in business.
What makes a modern brand identity?
Modern: of, relating to, or characteristic of the present or the immediate past
The term modern is easy to define verbally but not so easy to define visually or emotionally.
Some think that a “modern” space is defined through minimalism. Minimal colours, lines and shapes to the point of a sleek timeless style which is almost futuristic.
Some think that modern reflects ideas like modern art where bright vivid colours and ideas make up emotional responses.
And some think that retro look can be modern, one filled with
Style and tone can make a brand identity modern but I’m afraid you’ll have to figure out what your style is as it’ll relate specifically to your business and brand but overall the key to a modern brand identity design is in the execution.
A good designer, using modern tools, exercising research and implementing design principles is what will create a modern brand identity for your business.
A modern brand identity is as much about having it done professionally as it is about anything else.
2. Your Brand Identity needs to look professional.
A professional brand identity design could be considered as one that was well constructed technically, and where the professional practice was delivered to create design communication that displays and functions professionally. After all, if your logo design doesn’t look professional then your business won’t but it’s not all about style and design execution.
A professional brand identity design needs to look professional but also communicate you as a professional within your trade or service, and the idea of a professional image differs from business to business, sector to sector and from person to opinion.
The idea of a professional image for an international business consultancy may differ to that of a local florist. And the local florist’s image of professionalism will likely differ to that of the local doctors surg
So, how can you develop a professional brand identity design that works for your
The way to develop a professional brand identity design for any business regardless of size, stature or sector is to project an image of expertise but also deliver an image that confirms customers expectations.
Whether you’re a business consultancy or florist, make your brand identity design professional by delivering what your brand identity says about your business.
Create an idea, present an image, communicate with it and reinforce it with action. Studying your audience and the competitive landscape will help you develop an idea of what your brand is, who it’s trying to reach and then in turn how it should look, appeal to customers, set up expectations for them and confirm those expectations.
A “professional” brand identity design is created when your branding makes you look like you know what you’re doing.
3. Your brand identity must be a symbol of Quality
Quality is not a
There’s high quality and low quality, mid-range and high-range, cheap and expensive, cost-effective and luxury, and the list goes on.
What sort of quality is your brand?
Don’t get snobbish with your answer
Some people want to spend less and some want to spend more. Some want top quality and some just want anything that will work. Some multi-billion pound brands sell their products for a single pound each and some for a million pound each.
How high-quality your brand is, is not the point but defining your level of quality is. Despite the differences between what customers want, desire or are willing to pay for, they all share a common requirement of obtaining a minimum level of quality with their purchase.
If someone pays £50,000,000 for a car then they’re expecting to get excellence in one form or another. If someone pays £5000 for a car then they know they are buying something which may be deemed as lower quality but that doesn’t mean that they want a car that doesn’t work. For £5000 they still expect the car to run. It has to have a minimum level of acceptable quality for the customer.
A good brand identity design should exuberate a level of expected quality from the brand to define who should be interested in the brand.
In doing so your brand identity can position your brand in the marketplace and
4. Your Brand Identity must be Trustworthy
You wouldn’t buy something from someone you don’t trust would you?
Why? Because you don’t trust them. You don’t trust them enough to hand over your hard earned cash to because you don’t trust them to fulfil their end of the bargain.
Without a minimum level of trust of some sort, no sale is made.
A good way to start building trust from the outset is to build an image of trust with your brand identity design beca
Trust is ultimately built through experience, character and action so it’s your brand values along with the 3 points above that should be used to build trust with your brand identity design.
5. Your brand design should be original
Originality can be a dangerous thing,
Originality doesn’t get you lost in the marketplace, instead, it helps you to create your own market and space but quite often the attempt to be original comes from desperation and dishonesty and that’s when it falls flat on its face.
To create a true original brand and identity design you just need to do two things:
Research & be honest
Don’t try to be original. Do the research into your brand, competitors and customers to really develop an overarching brand and identity that is honest because honesty in it’s truest form is originality.
The whole point of
The answer to any and all good design is always good
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