1.5 Building an identity
Finally, after knowing your market and target audience, you can now move on to building your brand identity.
It’s been proven that brands with distinct identities attract many, as their messaging resonates with the intended audience. When you have a great product, people buy it; but when you have a great message, people embody it.
Just take a look at brands like Fashion Nova from the US, Love, Bonito from Singapore and Boohoo from the UK. They each have a clear idea of who their consumers are in the market – and how to best talk to them.
Here are 3 attributes that you can start with:
Of course, your brand name should be the first thing to start with. If we’re being honest, this is the fun part of creating your brand’s identity. If you’re being honest, you’d admit that you already have a brand name or two in your mind. Before you go and register it, here are a few key considerations:
- Avoid names that are hard to spell or pronounce – no matter how cool it is.
- Avoid names that are similar to an existing brand of any kind. This is to avoid confusion – and also to avoid any potential lawsuits.
- Avoid generic names. When you have a name like ‘Fun Fashion’ or ‘Great Style’, you’d find that it’s hard to rank for SEO. In simpler terms, it’s harder for people to find your brand website.
Once you have a brand name, do remember to…
- Set up a business URL: Even if you’re not planning to sell online, you still need a website that contains all of your information. Register before it’s taken by someone else!
- Sign up for all social media accounts: Again, create an account even if there are no posts yet. This is so you can retain the name online… you don’t want to end up with random numbers behind your brand name.
Optional: Create a Tagline
This part is entirely up to you, but a tagline does add more flair to your brand. Nike’s famous ‘Just Do It’ is a classic example. If you plan to create a tagline, remember that less is always more.
Brand personality & visual identity
Just like a business model, your brand personality – some call it the brand pillar – is the essence of what your brand represents. It has the power to affect consumer decision making, which is a huge part of customer loyalty.
Your brand personality is the tone of your brand’s voice. It’s the words you use to respond to customers. It’s your promise to the world. Put simply, it’s how you want your customers to describe your brand.
In return, this directly impacts your visual identity. Any visuals you produce for your brand counts, and it’s important that you evoke a feeling your brand personality is.
To start, you can first think of a few words that describe your brand. From there, you can expand into the colour palette, typography, graphical elements and logo usage. Create a mood board if it helps you to get creative.
Once you’ve selected, it’s important that you stick to the branding for consistency’s sake. This applies on every level – it is the people you hire, the visuals you display online and who you work with.
- Design of products
- Website layout
- Social media captions
- Visual merchandising
- Store layout flow
- Employees’ service to consumers
Unique Selling Point (USPs)
This section is closely related to ‘identify your niche’ but on a brand level. How do you differentiate yourself from brands that offer the same products as you?
It could be your delivery services, your brand history or even how your website looks like.