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What is brand identity creation?

Brand identity is the collection of all the elements that your company creates to convey the desired image to your customer.

It’s what makes you instantly recognizable to current or potential customers and partners. Your branding and visual identity will be associated by customers with products and services that you offer and forge a lasting connection with them. For that reason, a strong brand identity delivers value for your organization by improving customer loyalty and establishing trust.

Brand identity creation, therefore, is the process of developing and communicating this identity in a way that suits your business’s overall definition.

When undergoing the process of brand ideation, or partnering with a brand creation agency, it’s important to think about what it is that you want to define your brand, what do you want the perception to be and what are your differentiators.

This is helpful not just in the initial process of brand identity creation, but also on an ongoing basis, helping you to stay true to founding principles as you grow and scale.

What elements does brand strategy include?

The first key element to any brand strategy is brand discovery. This is the stage of the process in which you define who you really are as a business, what you stand for and your place within the market.

This step will help you to determine other aspects of your brand strategy, such as establishing guiding values, tone of voice and overall brand positioning.

For digital products, and organizations operating in the digital space, brand strategy is crucial in order to stand out. Obviously, eCommerce and digital marketplaces are crowded, so a clearly defined brand identity will help you cut through the noise to give your customers what they need.

Understanding what it is your brand does, and for who, is the bedrock of a successful digital brand strategy. It allows you to craft your brand promise (what potential customers can expect when they interact with your brand) and position yourself correctly to deliver on that promise every time.

These key elements - audience research, brand promise, brand values, brand positioning - can all be defined by an in-depth brand discovery stage.

What is brand discovery?

Brand discovery is the first step in brand identity creation. It’s an audit that evaluates brand image, communications and consumer perception through an in-depth research process.

The aim of this research is to develop a strong understanding of what makes your brand tick.

The process of brand discovery begins with workshops. These brand discovery workshops are designed to gather crucial information about your business that will enable the development of a successful brand strategy.

At 237SOFT, we provide a comprehensive brand discovery process. Not only will we help evaluate your current brand strategy, but we’ll dig deep into future business goals and gain all the information we can to build a successful brand strategy.

These workshops will result in a project specific plan and suggestions for how our brand identity creation team can execute that plan to perfection.

The role of digital branding

The internet is now an essential tool for businesses and individuals. People are spending more time than ever online, so the role of digital branding has never been more important.

Digital branding can be defined as a brand management technique that combines internet branding and digital marketing to develop a brand over a range of digital venues, including internet-based relationships, device-based applications or media content.

The purpose of digital branding is to empower organizations to capitalize on digital assets to connect with new and existing stakeholders. With so many businesses now online, it’s not easy to succeed at creating this lasting impression.

A successful digital brand strategy prizes cohesion across all digital channels. Partnering with the right branding agency, who can work on a strategy from ideation to execution, can avoid this disconnect and project a consistent and authentic brand image that builds reputation and loyalty in your target market.

Different types of branding

Branding is an umbrella term that covers a range of different marketing activities. The same applies to digital branding, and different companies will be best served by different approaches, depending on your business objectives and the industry you operate in.

There are seven different types of branding:

    • Product Branding - the most common type of branding, in which a specific product or service is promoted in different markets, with words, colors and images used to differentiate one product from another.
  • Corporate Branding - Corporate branding includes every activity used to establish and maintain a brand identity, from the pricing of your products to the target audience and how you interact with all your stakeholders. For example, a luxury brand will maintain exclusivity with higher price points.
  • Service Branding - This is all about the relationship between you and your customer or service user. How you interact with your stakeholders through all communication channels constitutes a vital part of your business: excellent service equals excellent reputation.
  • Personal Branding - A successful online profile can enable business leaders to generate a following and land new clients. Elon Musk of Tesla is a good example of this. He has a strong personal brand which translates into benefits for his company.
  • Geographic Branding - Geographic branding is used to boost brand identity by capitalizing on a geographical association, such as winemakers from the Champagne region of France.
  • Cultural Branding - Cultural branding attempts to emphasize shared values between customers and companies based on where you live or were born. Italy is famous for great food, and Dolmio leverages its Italian heritage to appeal to global markets.
  • Retail Branding - Even though eCommerce is on an upward trend, the branding of brick-and-mortar retail stores is still important. They have an impact on how customers perceive your brand - and that goes for warehouses as well as high street stores.

Examples of digital branding

Whether you’re a disruptive start-up, established SME or a billion-dollar behemoth, you can take advantage of the benefits of digital branding to grow your business.

A key aspect of digital brand strategy is differentiation, which will feed into your reputation and signify what you offer that your competitors don’t. A great example of this is T-Mobile’s branding strategy in America.

Seeking to distance itself from the typical brand image associated with its rivals Verizon and AT&T, T-Mobile focused its message at a younger, more urban demographic, with bold coloring. They also take on prospective customers’ early cancellation fees for leaving other providers.

Another example is the men’s personal grooming company, DollarShaveClub, which successfully launched its brand with a viral marketing video that established a fun, unique approach to what was previously a self-serious industry.

However you approach digital branding, you need to develop a marketing strategy that suits your target audience.

Developing your digital brand strategy

As we mentioned above, the first step to developing a successful digital branding strategy is discovery. Using market research and workshops, you first need to establish who your audience is, what differentiates you from other organizations that serve the same audience and how best to communicate that.

Whatever your digital product, you need to decide on its appearance, the tone of voice of the content that surrounds it, and the entire branding ecosystem it fits into.

The right digital branding partner will assist you through the discovery process to establish the identity you want to project, and will work to draft moodboards and create a visual brand identity.

When everything is decided, you can create a style guide to inform future branding activities and make sure your digital marketing activities are consistent with the overall identity of your brand.

 

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