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Discover How to Build a Brand Identity & Why It’s Important

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What is brand identity?

Here at Elle and Elle, we’re dedicated to kicking surface level brands to the curb. Whether you’re a client or a colleague, you’ve probably heard us rant about how much we dislike brands that refuse to go deep. We care a lot about creating brands that have a purpose, a mission, and a goal that are worthwhile. They’re our favorite kinds of businesses to work with and they’re typically very successful. What’s one of the major things linking their brand to success? 

They have clarity and strategy when it comes to their brand identity. The fact is, whether you know it or not, your brand has an identity. Your brand identity is a compilation of all the things that make your business uniquely yours. 

A brand identity consists of visual components like the logo, font, colors, and design direction. But it also goes much deeper than the visuals. The foundational things like your business values, position, personality and long term goals are also a huge part of your brand identity. 

When we see people only focus on the visual aspect of branding identity, our stomachs squirm. Because while we are designers and are gifted in creating eye-catching visuals for your business, we’re also strategic. We know that those visual elements don’t matter at all if they aren’t rooted in the foundational parts of your brand.  

Why is brand identity important?

While it may be tempting to only focus on the visual direction for your brand and assume your brand identity is complete, this is the exact decision that will keep your business splashing around in the shallow end. Each aspect of your brand identity is important, from the font you choose to the values and strategy that shape your company. So, why is brand identity important? 

Because your brand identity is more than just what you see, it’s also what you feel.

If you’re looking to grow, make a true impact in the market, and serve your customers in a transformational way, you have to go deeper. 

A holistic brand identity is a great place to start. Once you begin digging into the values, personality and longterm goals that your brand has, you’ll end the process with a far more strategic and clear road map that helps you understand what sets your brand apart and what your clients love about you. 

A strong, cohesive brand identity not only helps customers recognize you, it helps them remember you. Why is brand identity important? It’s a mixture of elements, strategies, and personality traits that helps your clients understand that you’re more than just a service provider. That you’re also a problem solver with a personality. It tells a valuable story that will connect with your audience if you do it the right way. 

How to Build a brand identity. 

  1. Start With A Brand Strategy Session

Now that we’ve discussed why your brand identity is important, let’s move onto how to build a brand identity that has plenty of depth and will resonate with your dream client. Your brand strategy sessions should address two major components of your brand identity: Here’s how you build a brand identity. Focus on

  • Your values, desires and goals, market position 
  • Your audience, how to connect with them

Like we’ve mentioned before, if you have a brand, you have a brand identity. The question is whether or not your brand identity is strategic, cohesive and embraces the depths of your business. It essentially comes down to whether your brand identity is helping you, because it’s strategic and aligned with your values and goals, or if it’s hurting you by being quickly thrown together and inconsistent. 

You should always start with strategy when it comes to forming your band identity. The values, desires, goals and market position of your company are the foundational building blocks that your business brand identity will be built on. As entrepreneurs, we all started our businesses for a reason. But sometimes those reasons are locked deep inside our minds and it takes another person asking us questions or even a good old fashioned brain dump to help put language to our passion. You don’t know how to build a brand identity? 

Start by making a list of your values. These play a big part in your brand identity because they help define who you are and why you’re different. Ask yourself a few of these questions to get the ball rolling. 

  • Why did you start your business in the first place? 
  • What big problem do you solve? 
  • What rules do you run your business by? 

Once you’ve uncovered your values, it’s important to think about your market positioning. Ask yourself a few questions and answer honestly to begin establishing your market position. 

  • What do you want your brand to be known for? 
  • What’s the one thing you offer clients that no one else can? 
  • What client feedback do you hear consistently? 

If you want to stand out in your market, you should consider your audience. Thinking about the people you’re selling to is very important when it comes to creating a strategic, holistic brand identity. While you shouldn’t form your brand identity solely based on your target audience, you should keep them in mind. Consider who your audience is. Then think about unique ways that your company can connect with them. 

When working through a brand strategy session, ask yourself a few of these questions. 

  • What do you have in common with your target audience? 
  • Why did you choose them? 
  • Why will they/do they like you? 
  • What feels surface level here and how can I go deeper in my answers?
  • Who is my target audience?
  • How do I want to relate to them?
  • What problems are they facing that I can solve? 
  1. From there, create core idea statement 

The core idea of your business should include your target audience and how you’ll help them. It should give a high level description of the pain points that your customer base is struggling with and discuss the solution you provide for them. It should also include the emotions associated with your brand. This is a big piece of how to build a brand identity. There are a few ways to come up with this list. 

Imagine one of your clients is at a party and your business gets brought up. When your client is telling their friends about their experience with you, what emotions do you want them to communicate? For example, when we created Elle and Elle, a vital portion of our design business centers around not only creating a community for female entrepreneurs, but making sure that they felt seen, heard and supported as they worked with us. Our hope and the emotion that we associate with our brand are supported, encouraged, and empowered. What are the emotions that you want associated with your brand? 

Ask yourself: 

  • What are my clients’ pain points?  
  • What solutions do you provide for them?
  • What emotion do I want to be associated with my brand? 
  1. Visual Identity phase: 

Now that we’ve gone deep into the foundations of your business, we can move onto the visual identity portion of your business. We all know the importance of a strong visual identity. Not only does it stop our customers mid-scroll and help them remember us, it also creates credibility and authority with your target audience.

A strong visual identity can help your clients fall in love with all the foundational pieces of your brand. When it comes to the visuals in your brand, consider working through this list below. All the elements should be cohesive. The goal is that a new client can look at all of these things individually and together and see how they not only work together, but also stand alone. 

  • Logo
  • Typography elements
  • Brand colors
  • Emotions
  • Mood board
  • Color palette

Creating a brand identity is one of the foundational steps in your marketing strategy. Making sure that your brand identity is not only indicative of who you are but is also appealing to your business is a big piece of the overall entrepreneurial puzzle. While creating a brand identity is fun, exciting and an experiment in self exploration, it can also be difficult to do alone. If you’re looking for professional guidance for your brand identity, we’re here to help. 

Check out our branding services packages and shoot us a message if you’re ready to invest in strategy, identity, and community with Elle and Elle Design Co. 

Discover How to Build a Brand Identity & Why It’s Important

May 10, 2024