Brand identity is the key to success for any company. Everything from the brand name, logo design, slogan or even mobile marketing campaigns of a company need to be aimed at building a strong brand identity. In this article, we give you 5 Ideas to Create a Brand Identity for Startups.
Brands like McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Apple or Nike have created a strong one throughout their history. On the other hand, brands that didn’t manage to create one are not even nearly as successful as those. To create a brand identity, you need to have a full understanding of what it is in the first place.
If you ever wonder what a brand identity is, don’t look it up in dictionaries. Instead, think of Coca-Cola and record whatever associations you have with it. Your associations are most likely to be similar to this: a sweet soda that you share with friends or during a family dinner, and its red logo with attractive font design.
Your main goal, as a startup, is not reaching the Coca-Cola level by any means, but don’t forget that once Coca-Cola was a startup itself. It is one of the most significant examples of a solidly built brand identity. Now let’s break down the example of Coca-Cola and check the ideas on how to create a brand identity for startups using a real-life example.
Establish Features that Make Your Brand Stand Out
The base of your startup brand identity should be the features that make it unique in the market. Those features can be the product’s look, usefulness, taste, price or anything for that matter. For example, Coca-Cola is distinctive for its flavor that no other soda drink has come close to replicating.
To understand what makes your product special, you need to take two steps.
Research the Market
Researching the market will help you see what your advantages are. Conduct a detailed examination of what features your competitors offer. You will then get an overview of the situation.
When you understand what your competition offers, there are two possible scenarios. First, the research will highlight what makes you different in the market. Second, it will show what your competitors miss.
In both cases, you will have a clue about what special features you can offer to your customers. Keep in mind that your special offer is going to be the ultimate association with your brand name. Therefore, it has to be something worth going for.
Know Your Customers’ Needs
Interaction with customers is essential at any point in business development. However, startups need it more in the period of establishing a brand identity. When you’ve identified what makes you stand out , you need to make sure it is relevant to your customers’ needs.
One of the most efficient ways to understand customers’ needs is conducting surveys. There are multiple ways of conducting surveys, ranging from online to face to face. It is better to use online resources to conduct a survey since it would also spread the word about your product.
Another way of interaction with customers is conducting focus groups. This may be a little more precise than surveys. The key for a useful focus group is having a wide variety of demographics (i.e. age, sex, gender, ethnicity) and asking the right questions.
Come Up with a Creative Slogan
The next essential component for building a brand identity is the slogan. The slogan should represent value rather than being a plain text. It has a huge role in setting a brand image in the customer’s mind. Let’s go back to Coca-Cola’s example again.
The assimilation with Coca-Cola included a dinner with family or friends. The reason here is that most of the brand’s slogans were meant to spread happiness, love, and sharing (e.g. “Share a Coke,” “Open Happiness” or “The Coke Side of the World”).
This is an excellent example of using slogans that represent values such as friendship, family, love, and happiness. These are meant to stick to the customer’s mind and create assimilation with values.
Besides this, the slogans need to be relevant to their target audience, otherwise, they won’t work. Different types of audiences will interpret slogans differently. This is another lesson to learn from Coca-Cola, which always refreshes its slogans based on location and audience. You can check out more on how to create an effective slogan here.
Pay Attention to Your Logo
The brand image starts with its logo. Not many realize that the logo is not merely an image put together with a couple of letters and symbols. It is the face of the company, the brand representation that makes it different from others.
The hardest part of designing a logo is connecting it with the philosophy of the brand. As opposed to a slogan, a logo doesn’t speak with words. Thus, every detail in the logo is equally important to every word in the slogan.
There are three things to consider for creating a successful logo.
Choosing a nice combination of colors guarantees half of the logo’s success. Human brain associates colors with ideas, feelings and other kinds of notions. Based on what ideology you want to be associated with, the colors can be different.
Although Coca-Cola is a dark-colored drink, lots of people associate it with the color red because of its logo. It is a perfect example of an effective logo with only two colors, red and white. The red color here represents passion, love, energy, power, and white is for youth, peace, and humanity.
Research what colors match with your ideology and try your best to base your logo on those colors. The colors can also match with the product or service that you offer.
Incorporating the logo with a symbol helps to communicate the company’s message better. It is a key component in building a brand identity. The symbol in the logo must be unique and easy to interpret.
It is not a good idea to go crazy with the design of the symbol. It will only make the logo look overcomplicated. Make it simple and straightforward.
The text font of the logo speaks about the character of the brand. Think about what your brand character is and try to match the font with it. For example, if you sell casual clothes, you can use fonts that look like handwriting to emphasize the elegance of your brand.
When none of the existing ones go with your logo, you can invent a new font for you too. Coca-Cola uses a unique type of font for the brand name, which proves to work fine.
Use Any Opportunity to Promote Your Brand
The next one on your checklist should be the promotion of your product or brand. There is no point to a well-thought-out slogan and logo if you are not going to advertise your brand.
Advertisements give startups a broader room to get creative in establishing a brand identity. The association of Coca-Cola with friendship or family is due to the content of their advertisements. Currently, you can achieve the same, spending less money.
Startups today have a lot of opportunities to promote their products. The only problem is that they can’t afford expensive advertisement channels. Fortunately for them, Social Media and the advancement of technologies has made startup promotion much more accessible now.
People are always on their mobile devices, so the main target of startups should be mobile marketing. You can find some of the most effective ways to promote your product on a budget here.
Define Your Brand Strategy
The brand strategy is the hardest and most important part. It is the vision of the company regarding what they have and what they aim to achieve. You need to have a clear brand strategy even before you start your business.
A brand strategy helps determine company needs and wants as well as what it stands for. The standout features (logo, slogan, etc.) need to be part of the brand strategy.
There is a three-step process to take to define the brand strategy. Before jumping into those steps, keep in mind that you need to take your time and be patient about it. It requires a lot of time and stressful work to do.
Step 1: Analyze Your Competition
Research the market to see who your competition is, what they have and how they have achieved it. This includes going through their advertisements, packaging, pricing, quality and etc. You will always need market research to grow.
Once you’ve conducted a thorough examination of your competitors, you will have a clue on what their strategy is. This gives you two advantages. First, you know what your strategy should look like. Second, knowing their strategies puts you a step ahead of them in terms of future planning.
Step 2: Analyze Yourself
Think of your company’s vision, mission, and values. This gives an outline of your company, its advantages, and disadvantages over the competition. Compare the results with your competition and creating a brand strategy will be much easier.
This means that you might need to update your existing brand strategy. There is nothing to worry about since it is more than fine to do that. It does nothing but improves your company.
Step 3: Move into Action
Once you’ve identified what your competition does and what you do, rely on marketing to implement your brand strategy.
Pay attention to every detail on your advertisements. Keep in mind that packaging, presentation, logo, and slogan need to go hand in hand with your brand strategy. They all represent your brand identity. We hope these 5 Ideas to Create a Brand Identity for Startups have been helpful, and be sure to leave your comments below.
Artyom Matevosyan is a mobile marketing enthusiast and content writer at SendSMS LLC
Also published on Medium.