Eye candy: Nailing your business brand identity

Lisa Cugnetto
@lisacugnetto

Your brand’s identity is its visual calling card – so make it an appealing one. ShortPress gets an expert take on what you need to nail yours.

Defining brand identity

“I would define ‘brand identity’ as the term used to describe the components which make up the face, voice, style, personality and psychology behind a brand, and the desired chemistry of them all together,” says Nick Walsh, creative director of Web Wolves, an independent creative branding agency which specialises in brand identity, strategy, design and websites for small businesses and professionals.

“This usually consists of the visual identity: the brand name, logo design, company colours and typefaces; the tone of voice; and the strategy of the brand. Generally, a brand’s identity is structured and designed around how they wish to be perceived by the consumer.”

Why it matters

Many businesses underestimate the importance of brand identity – when it’s actually the strongest visual representations of their brand.

“Brand identity is a crucial component behind the success of any business or product. It will ultimately determine how people will interact and relate to a brand.

“If a person discovers a brand and likes what they perceive the brand to stand for, they might become a customer or client for life.

“An employee will have a greater sense of loyalty towards a brand they believe in and are proud to be a part of. If a brand has a false sense or lack of identity, who is going to relate to that? That’s why it is so critical to get right,” explains Walsh.

If a person discovers a brand and likes what they perceive the brand to stand for, they might become a customer or client for life.

The process

Walsh believes that great brand identity starts with a belief (which is essentially part of an overarching brand strategy). Then there’s an interesting name and clever logo to complement it.

“A brilliant design aesthetic overall is key,” he says. “If it’s easily recognisable or memorable, then people will be more likely to remember it.”

Walsh suggests business owners ask themselves these questions before they set about creating their branding identity:

What makes you special, and sets your business apart from your competition?

What is the purpose, cause or belief behind your business?

Why does it exist? Why do you do what you do?’

“The answer is not ‘money’,” he says. “If you don’t know, then think long and hard about the values around why it could exist. It’s important to create a belief that you want to get behind. Especially, if it’s a business you want to sustain for the foreseeable future.”

A brilliant design aesthetic overall is key. If it’s easily recognisable or memorable, then people will be more likely to remember it.

Next steps

“Get creative. Start brainstorming with family or friends. Have an idea, strategy, and vision for the brand. A mission statement is sometimes a good starting point.

“Get the ball rolling in the right direction of where you want things to go for your business. When you have this in place, get the creative professionals involved – we know what we are doing,” says Walsh on where to start and why professional help won’t go astray.

“Try and have fun and believe in what you do,” says Walsh. “Building a brand’s identity isn’t about selling its products or services it’s about selling an idea or belief. Once you’ve got that down, the rest should follow.”

Lisa Cugnetto

Lisa Cugnetto is a Sydney-based freelance writer, editor and content producer. While she writes across all manner of subjects, she enjoys business, arts, travel, lifestyle and popular culture best. 

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