Consistency is the gold standard of building a strong brand identity. It doesn't matter if you are a solo service professional pushing to build a personal brand or a company working towards building an authentic brand, the rules are the same. Visual consistency makes you look professional and also speeds client engagement across media channels.
Gone are the days when professionals pay less attention to their brand identities. Professional services brands are offering themselves daily, into the hands of the clients. This has led to the growth of the need to offer more than just your products/services. I don't know if anyone has told you this, but if you don't build your brand consciously, people will build it for you unconsciously. It's either one way or the other.
Being socially responsible, environmentally conscious, while being profitable should become the new business model for all professional services brands who care for growth.
Your brand identity will help your company achieve these goals.
While a brand is an intangible asset, brand identity, which includes all tangible expression from your logo to website, upholds that value that will make you socially responsible, environmentally conscious and profitable.
Brand identity is the collection of all brand elements that your company creates to portray the right image of itself to the clients (existing and prospective).
Your brand identity is a strategic business tool, so there are standard objectives (Dos)they should be able to help your firm achieve.
5 Basic Objectives for Building a Strong Brand Identity
Below are some of the basic objectives you should bear in mind during your next branding or rebranding project so you can build a strong brand identity.
#1. Build Awareness: With your brand identity, more people should know that your brand exists. There's an experiment I usually run with my clients either during brand review or actual (re)branding project. I call it the originality test. I will ask them to remove the name on their logo and replace it with that of a competitor. The idea is to see if the logo will still retain the personality of the firm even without the company name.
The challenge is that there is too much copying these days. So how will your company stand out from a million of others if you too have joined in the "copy me, I copy you" wagon? Your brand identity (logo, colour, fonts, signage, website, presentation slides, brochure layout, etc) should get your target audience familiar with culture, personality and values of your firm, not that of someone else.
#2. Increase Recognition: First impression matters, they say. When someone interacts (comes in contact) with your brand for the first time, is there a possibility that he/she will know the brand at a subsequent encounter? Will the person remember your firm as your firm, as one that looks like the other firm down the street?
There should be that feeling of, "I have seen this somewhere", and even more. Help your prospects help you!
#3. Communicate Uniqueness: Your brand identity should have connection with just you alone. Your logo and the other aspects of your brand identity should be unlike that of any other firm.
You remember the originality test I talked about in #1 above? Have that in mind. In fact, try that, either now or later.
With the volume of competition that firms face in the services industries, it's never been more important to stand out and develop uniqueness.
#4. Communicate Quality: Likes attract likes.
If you want to get people with high value to buy your products/services, your brand identity should communicate high level of value. Your identity should have the reputation of quality before the eyes of the audience you serve.
Every detail counts!
Your identity should be clean, crisp clean, refined and show every detail that attention has been given to it.
How is how it works in the minds of buyers. "If they can pay attention to these materials, they can pay attention to my needs.".
#5. Communicate Competitive Difference: Your first impression will be that this is same thing as being unique, but it is not. By communicating your competitive difference, I mean how does your brand identity succeed in communicating the way you are different from others. What are your meaningful points of difference, and how did or does your brand identity help in communicating them? In an article where I shared more than 20 ways to find your differentiators, I highlighted that any differentiator or a set of it that you choose for your firm must fulfill 3 criteria. They must be credible, meaningful to your audience and provable. How does your brand identity achieve these?
Key Take Aways
Through the discussion, we have succeeded in having an overview of the 5 objective goals your brand identity should be targeted to achieve.
A clear and strong brand identity system is the basis for all creative, design and marketing work that you, or anyone else does for your firm. Without it, you run the risk of spending a lot of time and money on projects that will not advance you towards your business goals and could confuse your clients in the process. I can assure you that that is not a good strategy.
I welcome your feedback.
How Elinae Can Help
We have worked with companies for whom we created brand identity systems that portray their right image and achieved the goals we shared above. We can do the same for you too, with our Branding program.