What is a Brand Identity and Why Do You Need One?
Branding is a little bit like string theory. Most people have heard of it, have a basic sense of what it’s all about, and understand that it can be complicated. Also, most of us struggle to explain either one without reducing them to much simpler terms. So, we talk about string theory as “physics” and branding as “logos” even though we know that the real explanations would involve a little bit more.
While most of us won’t ever be called on to deliver our thoughts on the possibility of multiple looping dimensions, we do live with the consequences of our branding decisions every day. It turns out that branding doesn’t have to be as complex as we make it out to be, anyway.
Because the answers we need are right there – and because the stakes are so high – we wanted to take this time to explain what a brand identity is and why your business needs one. Let’s jump right in…
Branding is About Emotion, Consistency, and Trust
Your logo is part of your brand, but your brand is bigger than one single piece of art. In fact, your brand is really the sum of what the public feels about your business or organization.
When you see a logo for a popular pizza chain, for instance, you have an emotional reaction. You like them or you don’t. Maybe you remember (even subconsciously) the time you visited them with a date, or the underwhelming experience you had after a long day. These are all examples of branding and they don’t have much to do with logos. The visual part of the brand just reminds you what you already feel.
Although we’ve already touched on the emotional element, it’s important to note that what we’re really getting at is trust. Your favorite brands are the ones you count on to deliver a positive experience again and again. That’s true whether you’re thinking in terms of paper clips or five-star vacations. You’re looking for a consistent brand that will provide you with something you want or need.
The Elements of a Brand That Matter Most
While business owners tend to think of branding in visual terms, there are several elements to an identity that help to shape it. Only some of them can be seen.
For example, each brand has a “voice” that comes through in advertisements, social updates, and even interactions with employees. It’s the personality of the company that shines through. Likewise, the environment in which the brand operates (geographically and online) says something. Are you on the upper East side or in the heart of Brooklyn? Do clients find you on LinkedIn or through Twitter? None of these is mutually exclusive, but they paint a different story.
Perhaps the most important element of branding – and the easiest to miss – is behavior. What kind of conclusions can the public draw from your actions? What sort of branding story does interaction with yourself or your team tell? These are all pieces of your brand that can be reinforced with the right visual, or simply overpower it.
The First Step to Building a Strong Brand
This brings us back to the question of visuals. The easiest way to build a strong brand is to start with the right logo, typography, color scheme, and overall visual strategy.
When these details are well thought out and spot on, they help you to cultivate the right emotional impressions again and again. They set the tone for the relationship you have with customers when they first see your logo, and then remind them of your excellence with each new experience or interaction.
This only works if it’s handled in an intentional way, and if the logo and experience are all consistent. In other words, visuals make a perfect starting point, but they shouldn’t be the beginning and end of your brand strategy.
Want to Get Your Branding Off on the Right Foot?
Your million-dollar branding effort starts with the right logo. If you want something that sets your business apart and leaves you room to grow – without breaking your marketing budget – our team is here to help. At Logo Design NYC, we have a fast, convenient, and affordable program for developing unique brands. You can get started now by filling in our pre-design questionnaire. Then, in just a few days we will send you designs for your new logo that we can approve or alter based on your feedback.
The visual identity that your business needs as simple as investing in one of our custom logo design packages, so let’s start working together now!