10 Aug Building a brand identity – it’s more than just a logo
In the age of digitalisation, having a strong brand identity is now more crucial to success of a business than ever before. From the background colour of a logo, to the tone of voice in a post like this one, every aspect about the way your business communicates is part of its brand, and must be carefully considered.
The evolution of branding
When you think about any global business, the logo is likely the first thing that comes to mind. It acts as an instantly recognisable visual representation of your brand. This is why we often have clients come to us asking for a new logo, when what they really want is a new brand identity. Branding in the 21st century is about much more that just one visual symbol. It’s no longer just a symbol of ownership – like cattle marked by the farmer they belong to – it encompasses the message you want to convey to your customers about your business. That’s not to say a logo isn’t important. Often a branding project begins with a logo design, which is then developed into a full brand identity.
Creating a brand identity
A client will almost always have a brief and their own ideas when approaching a branding project. While they are the ultimate decision-maker, it is down to marketers and designers to ensure that their final choice is as informed as possible. A good design and marketing team will conduct extensive research, looking at what works in the industry, and ask what message the client wants to convey to their audience. As our Director Steve puts it, “the customer’s customer is always right.”
With that in mind, there are many visual elements to consider when designing a brand. Our Senior Designer Nat explains: “Subtle differences in design can have a huge impact on customers. Factors like colour, typography and letter spacing all play a role in what people think about the brand”.
Fast food chains are some of the greatest examples. McDonalds, Burger King and In-N-Out Burger all use red and yellow in their logos – red stimulates hunger and appetite, while yellow triggers feelings of happiness and friendliness. The science behind it is complicated, but when customers see these coloured logos their behaviour is thought to be unconsciously influenced by the colours.
The keys to successful branding
A brand identity done well conveys a message about the brand to its customers and, as Nat explains, “ensuring this message remains consistent across all platforms is key to building a strong brand identity”.
As is the case with major brands already mentioned, once a logo is established it usually remains a constant throughout the company’s history. It might undergo subtle design changes over the years and be adapted to fit new digital platforms, but the overall look rarely changes. That’s why changing trends are not a major influencing factor when it comes to the design elements; brand identity should be created with longevity in mind.
There are however, trends in other aspects of brand identity that should be acknowledged. The introduction of social media undoubtedly had a significant effect on businesses, as it gave them a new way and less formal way to communicate with their customers. Most recently, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been another shift in the way they speak to their audiences – with many choosing to adopt a more personal and empathetic tone of voice.
There has also been a shift towards communication in more visual and interactive ways: “Websites were previously very static and linear” says Nat, “but many now incorporate more visual elements, animation and interactive links”. In an age where we’re used to getting all of our information quickly, companies have been forced to adapt to new ways of conveying their message.
So, while having a visually pleasing logo is undoubtedly important, there’s much more to consider. The design of a logo is only one part of a brand identity. It’s important to get all the elements right to ensure the message represents your business.
To find out more about our branding services.