Branding 101: Designing Your Brand Part 4

STEP FOUR: YOUR IDENTITY SYSTEM

The ‘identity system’ for your brand is the image you’re conveying to your customers. Mostly, it entails the visual design elements that you use consistently in all of your marketing to convey your brand message. The logo is one of them and arguably the most important, but there are others to consider as well.

These visual elements are used in:

• Marketing materials including books, pamphlets, flyers, websites, etc.
• Products and packaging
• Signs
• Communications such as email newsletters
• Clothing worn by employees, if applicable
• Stationery or any other office supplies you use

In other words, these visual elements should be included in everything your company does wherever possible. You may also include audio, such as a jingle or a tone like the Windows startup sound, a smell, touch or anything else that can communicate your brand.

Test each of these visual elements against your unique proposition and the promise your brand makes to your customers. Ask yourself whether they convey the message you want people to get when they encounter them. Your intuition can tell you if something is off, but it’s also good to ask colleagues and test your market. Again, you can get ideas from your competitors or brands you know and use.

The same basic guidelines apply to all of your branding design elements. Keep them simple and relevant. Make sure they communicate immediately with your market.

Wrapping Up Our 4-Part Series on Branding

You now understand the basics of branding and have a step-by-step guide to defining your brand and the design elements that will get it recognized.

Remember that branding is not simple. A good brand, logo, and identity take a great deal of time experimenting and refining your ideas until they’re perfect.

But this is no small consideration. Brand is everything. Devote the time and resources you need to creating a brand that’s powerful and effective.

Did You Miss It?

Part 1: Designing Your Brand
Part 2: Designing Your Brand Pt 2
Part 3: Designing Your Brand Pt 3

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