How to Develop a Unique Brand Identity In 2021 [Guide]

Masooma Memon

Written by:
Masooma Memon

Wondering how you can develop a unique and memorable brand identity?

In this guide, you’ll find everything you need when it comes to refining your brand image and improving your visual identity.

Here’s what what we’re covering:

  • The importance of branding and why you need a solid, pre-planned corporate identity.
  • Creating a visual brand identity design including picking the right design elements, color palette, and a lot more to leave a strong image on your customer.
  • Examples of memorable brand identities and how they’ve impressed their audience.

Let’s get straight into it:

 

Table of Contents

What is Brand Identity?

Why is Brand Identity Important?

How to Develop Your Brand Identity In 7 Simple Steps

3 Examples With Strong Brand Identity

 

What is Brand Identity?

Your brand identity is how your audience sees you.

Think of it like this: when you meet someone new, you’re likely to develop an impression about them. Then, you interact with that person and your impression of them further deepens.

In a sense, you develop an idea of their personality. Admittedly, all your future interactions with this person will depend on this impression and personality assessment that you did.

Your brand identity is much the same. It’s your brand’s personality that reflects in the way your business is positioned, communicates with its audience, and its visual identity.

But a strong brand identity doesn't develop overnight. Instead, it’s carefully planned and marketed with what is known as a brand strategy. A brand strategy involves extensive competitor and audience research, and lets you differentiate yourself and better understand your brand purpose.

Below, you'll find a list of steps that you need to take as part of developing your brand strategy and, ultimately, your brand identity. But first, let’s address an important question.

 

Why is Brand Identity Important?

There are three main reasons why having a powerful brand identity is so important. We've illustrated these in the infographic below. Keep scrolling to read more about each benefit in detail.

Create your own infographic with Visme!Try It for Free

 

1. Build trust and familiarity among your target audience.

Over half, or 59% of consumers to be specific, prefer buying new products from brands they’re familiar with.

You too? Me too! Because why would you buy from someone you don’t know when you can buy from someone you know.

From a business lens, this is where strong brand positioning and brand messaging come into play.

A unique voice improves brand recognition by catching your audience’s attention on various marketing channels, for instance, on social media. This way, you’re likely to attract new customers by having a distinct brand identity.

 

2. Stand out in a sea of competitors.

There are a ton of online clothing stores, but who are you likely going to buy from? The most probable answer: the one that has a strong brand identity.

I once messaged Frank And Oak, a clothing store, inquiring about something. I wasn’t even buying from them at the time. But their instant reply to my query (read: fast customer support as part of their brand identity) knocked the socks off me.

The result? I’m their fan and I’m giving them a shoutout today!

Your brand identity tends to be on full display in the way you communicate with your potential customers, the color scheme and the rest of the visual aspects, the values you stand for, and the rest of the brand identity caboodle.

Now, if you have a unique brand identity, you’re likely going to leave a memorable impression in your target audience’s mind. By doing so, you end up beating your competition.

 

3. Plant seeds of customer loyalty.

Just as I’m loyal to Frank And Oak because of their strong brand values, you can become your customers’ favorite by maintaining a consistent brand.

Such values, consistent visual identity, and so on can also help you give your customers a unique brand experience.

And, in case you didn’t know, people will kill for a good experience. Well, not exactly kill, but they’d pay 16% more for better customer experience.

These happy customers are quick to spread the word too, therefore, helping you get new customers. See what’s happening here? You’re building a successful brand with the help of a strong brand identity.

Ready to get to work building a memorable brand identity? Let’s hit it.

 

How to Create Your Brand Identity in 7 Simple Steps

Whether you’re rebranding or building a brand identity from the scratch, the steps below will guide you through the entire process.

A lot about creating a great brand identity boils down to knowing your core values, audience and competitors. It also involves creating a visual identity and a style guide for consistency.

So, let’s give you the soup to nuts guide to develop a strong brand identity:

 

Step #1: Understand the purpose behind your brand.

Why? Because knowing your purpose helps you understand your core values, mission statement, and value proposition.

You can’t tell what makes you unique or why folks should buy from you if you aren’t clear about all these things.

Hence, a good starting point is grabbing your planner and answering the following:

  • Why is your business, well, in business?
  • What makes you different?
  • Why should your target audience care about you?

Use these answers to plan your tagline, brand voice, brand message, and more.

For instance, for Frank And Oak, quick customer service is a way to set themselves apart from others in their industry.

Similarly, with POP Fit, their unique value standing comes from their focus on inclusivity. Look at this poster from their website.

Their brand identity is on point so much so that you can tell it’s an inclusive brand in one look.

One important point: don’t just mentally tell yourself what’s different about your business. Write it down. You’ll need to share this information with your team and include it in your style guide to create a consistent brand voice.

 

Step #2: Research your audience and competitors.

In step two, you’ll need to put on your researcher’s hat and conduct two types of research:

1. Audience research.

To create a brand identity that’s memorable, you’ll want to know as much about your target audience as possible. This way, you can create a brand that resonates with them.

For instance, if you’re selling to entrepreneurs, you’ll want to know exactly who your target is: is it solopreneurs who juggle several tasks in a day or an established entrepreneur who manages teams?

Based on who your audience is, you can create a brand voice that speaks directly to them.

When researching your audience, ask the following questions:

  • Who is your ideal buyer and what do they do?
  • What are their goals, pain points, interests and motivations?
  • Where is your target audience likely to hang out?
  • Why and when are they buying?
  • What’s their budget?

If you aren’t new to the space, it helps to talk to your audience. Host surveys and polls, listen to their conversations on social media and talk to your community to ask what they like about you and what they like about your competitors.

Put all your findings in the survey template below so you have the info front and center as you plan your brand identity.

Customize this survey template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Here are some questions to ask your audience:

  • How likely are you to recommend our business to others?
  • What’s the one thing that you think makes us stand out from the competition?
  • Who else did you consider before choosing us?
  • How has your experience been with us?
  • If you could change one thing about us, what would it be?

You can also ask them about their future expectations from you.

2. Competitor research.

Your work here is simple: study your competitors. Find out what it is that makes them different? Why do customers buy from them?

Don’t just visit their website. Go on to analyze their social media, email marketing campaigns, events, webinars, and so on.

Study the following about your competitors:

  • Their tagline, slogan, brand mission, and value proposition.
  • The marketing channels they use.
  • What their customers say about them.
  • Their voice and tone when they communicate.
  • The visuals they use and whether their visual identity is consistent.

The goal isn’t to copy them. The goal is to analyze competitors to understand how you can position your brand differently.

As with audience research, compile your findings in an easy-to-analyze competitive analysis template (like the one below) for your convenience.

Customize this infographic template and make it your own!Edit and Download

 

Step #3: Audit your brand identity design.

Once you’ve studied your core values and brand purpose, potential customers and competitors, evaluate your present brand identity.

Feel free to skip this step if you’re new and only just creating your brand identity. For those planning a rebrand, this step is an absolute must.

Ask yourself:

  • Is your brand consistent both online as well as offline?
  • Does your brand resonate with your audience?
  • Is your brand visually consistent (the same across all marketing channels)?
  • Is your brand messaging, behavior, and voice consistent?

You can also conduct a SWOT analysis or Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats analysis that gives you an eagle eye analysis of your internal and external factors.

Here is an example of a SWOT infographic template you can use.

Customize this infographic template and make it your own!Edit and Download

 

Step #4: Develop your brand voice and messaging.

Now that you’ve done market research and have all the know-how, it’s time to start creating.

Begin working on your brand voice. Is it humorous and professional? Is it friendly and expert? Or is your voice tongue-in-cheek like Gucci’s?

This is the voice you’ll use as you talk to your target audience and customers. Whether you’re emailing new customers, writing a social media caption or putting together your website copy, you need to stick to a consistent brand voice.

This consistency in voice leaves a memorable impression on your audience.

Here’s an example of a unique brand voice: Innocent Drinks. They’ve an informal and friendly voice that’s consistent across all their marketing channels, be it their web copy, social media channels, YouTube videos or product copy.

You also need to give thought to your brand message. It shows what you stand for.

Say you’re all about eco-friendly products. All your messages, therefore, should keep this to the fore. You don’t want to send mixed signals to your audience by, let’s say, supporting another brand that doesn’t care about the environment.

Oh and before we move on: no matter what your brand voice, remember to be conversational. You want to talk to your customer so they feel valued.

So, repeat after me: “My brand is not a robotic, corporate business. It’s by humans, for humans.” And, there you have it, a brand identity that resonates and talks to your audience.

 

Step #5: Create your visual identity.

Now’s the part where you’ll get to work on all the visual elements that define your brand. These include your logo, color palette, typography and so on.

Let’s address each of the design elements that will make the face of your brand:

1. Design your logo.

Your logo defines your brand personality. Think of Twitter’s logo of a bird. It clearly shows what the social media platform stands for: freedom and quick messages that fly at a bird’s speed. Isn’t this what the network allows you to do?

What’s more, logos tell stories. Did you know that the arrow pointing from the A in Amazon to the Z indicates that you can get everything, from A to Z, on Amazon?

Nike’s Swoosh has a similar story. It comes from Greek mythology where Nike is the winged Goddess of Victory. The swoosh itself is the Goddess’s wing that stands for speed, motivation and power.

Starting work on your logo? Here’s a complete guide on logo design plus 50 logo color schemes to give you a head start.

You can also watch this video on logo design.

 

2. Select your color palette.

Selecting brand colors is essential for maintaining a uniform visual identity. Your packaging, website colors, social media graphics and everything else will follow these brand colors. So choose wisely.

Ideally, it’s best to start working on your color scheme by diving into color psychology. Each color leaves a certain impact on your audience. Know why Facebook and Twitter have blue in their brand colors? Because the color inspires trust and loyalty.

Make sure you pick one primary color and other secondary colors that complement it. And, keep the hex codes and Pantone numbers handy for consistency in using those colors for digital and print purposes, respectively.

3. Finalize your brand visual elements.

Will you be using circles or squares in your design? Or do you prefer illustrations like Mailchimp uses as part of their visual branding?

As with colors, there’s also a certain effect that design elements leave on your audience. Rounded design elements, for instance, are linked with life and health. Sharp shapes, however, denote danger. And angular shapes are known for triggering fear.

4. Work on your typography.

The fonts you use have a personality too. They reflect a mood and leave a lasting impact.

In short, fonts speak a visual language. It’s why horror movies usually make use of bleeding typography. Similarly, a cursive font is feminine.

Choose between 1-3 fonts and settle on the typeface (the formatting: bold, italic, regular and so on) as well. Here’s a handy infographic on the anatomy of typography alongside the details you’ll need before you get work.

When selecting, however, make sure your brand fonts are easy to read. After all, you don’t want potential customers to squint to try and understand your tagline.

 

Step #6: Be consistent with your brand identity.

You’re done with most of the heavy lifting by now.

Moving forward, your job is to market your brand identity. How? Share your logo. Design all marketing materials using your brand fonts, colors and design elements. In fact, the infographics you design should also be on-brand.

At the same time, make sure you stick with your core value and brand message and talk to your customers using your unique brand voice.

One good way to maintain consistency in branding is by creating a brand style guide to share with your team. You can also create templates informing your team about your ideal audience, your voice, what you stand for and your value proposition.

Here’s a brand style guide infographic template you can customize.

Customize this infographic template and make it your own!Edit and Download

You can always create separate templates for each of these. Or, you can combine these into an infographic.

The best part is that it doesn’t take long to design all these templates and infographics. With the pool of infographic templates that Visme offers, it takes minutes to create branding templates.

Want another tip to stay on brand round the clock? Create a brand kit.

By using Visme as your design tool, you can create a brand kit that saves all your visual brand details, including fonts, logos, color scheme and more.

 

Step #7: Monitor your brand identity.

Remember what I said about a brand identity being carefully cultivated? Now this step talks about that. You don’t only need to create a brand identity and consider the work done.

Instead, building an appealing brand identity that wins customers is a constant process — one that requires listening to your audience’s thoughts about your identity.

This way, you can learn how well your brand personality resonates with your target audience and what you can do to improve your brand identity.

Some performance metrics to track include customer reviews, social media discussions, brand mentions and comments about what people are saying behind your back. If you find that there’s something that several people are constantly talking about, consider working on it.

For example, Zappos is known for its great customer service. The right move to take to further consolidate that brand identity: keep improving the customer service.

 

3 Examples With Strong Brand Identity

Now that you have the framework to creating a strong brand identity, let’s walk you through some more examples of brands with strong brand images:

 

1. Coca-Cola

Did Coca-Cola’s signature red logo with a ribbon just pop up in your mind?

It’s because Coca-Cola’s brand identity is this strong. Not only that, the brand also reminds of togetherness, family and friends, gatherings and happiness.

Why? Because that’s what Coca-Cola stands for, and that’s the brand strategy they market on all their marketing channels including billboards, social ads and the rad ‘Share a Coke’ campaign.

 

2. Apple

When talking about a strong brand image, it’s impossible not to talk about Apple with its ever famous focus on minimalism.

Apple is all about lifestyle, status and secrecy. No wonder they keep news on their latest products under wraps. Here’s a peek from their website.

 

3. Frank Body

Although this is a relatively new brand in comparison to the two giants we fan-girled over, Frank Body has made a strong image in a short time.

They’re all about natural skincare, a light-hearted, fun brand voice, and taking care of yourself. Their web copy is living proof.

 

Start Developing Your Brand Identity

And that’s all folks. With the steps to developing a unique brand identity laid out, I’m positive your overwhelm is in check now. Want to make the branding process all the more fun?

Sign up for Visme today and start visualizing findings from your research work and creating a brand kit to stay on brand.

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About the Author

Masooma Memon is a pizza-loving freelance writer by day and a novel nerd by night. She crafts research-backed, actionable blog posts for SaaS and marketing brands who aim to employ quality content to educate and engage with their audience.

42 responses to “How to Develop a Unique Brand Identity In 2021 [Guide]”

  1. I’m good with my blog being on brand and the colors, but I think I might need to work on my pinterest graphics being on brand too. haha

  2. I’m planning on starting a new blog in the next month and I’ll definitely be referring back to this when I do!

  3. Carolyn says:

    BOOKMARKING THIS! What a helpful article! Reading it has made me realize that I have sooooo much work to do when it comes to branding. I’m totally guilty of being on bored with that trendy script font that’s totally going to go out of style. I definitely have a lot of thinking to do!

  4. As a new blogger, I found this very helpful. I pinned for later reference!

  5. Kacey says:

    This is an excellent article! The infographics are awesome and all of this is so important for any brand to keep in mind!

  6. Willow says:

    Wow, so many things that I didn’t think of when I came up with my brand identity! I do have to say that it worked out anyway, because I am happy with it!

  7. Nice post. One question – Are all your infographics on the blog created using Visme?

  8. Corinne says:

    I loved reading this post, I agree about the trendy fonts. Right now, it seems everyone is using “Brusher” for all their Pins, logos, etc. I’m exhausted even looking at it because I’ve seen it so often now. I try to avoid it at all costs now.

  9. Alex says:

    For choosing font combinations (also color schemes), you can try http://logomak.com/

  10. Ezra says:

    Hi Orana, thanks for the great article, super helpful for anyone getting started with a new brand. What I liked about Tailor Brands is that you can design your logo the same way you would at Logojoy but then they take you to their branding suite where you have tons of tools that save you time with everything brand related.

  11. Hi Orana,

    Thanks for the list. It’s been very useful to me and my friends who are going to start their businesses.

  12. London Logo Designs says:

    I’ll be follow your tips regarding branding or designing because i’ve never ever found this type of post on this platfrom blog.visme much impressive.

  13. Mike says:

    Orana, 100% agree with you. Awesome post!

    Logos create familiarity and promote brand loyalty. Without the logo, your products become commodities, and any company could produce them. When people get to know and love your logo, they’ll see your logo as a badge of honor or stamp of approval and know that the product will exceed their expectations. The second reason that a unique logo is important is that it helps attract new customers. People are naturally drawn to design elements, and depending on your audience, your logo can draw them in.

    Small businesses had to shell out hundreds for a graphic designer to create a professional logo they could feel proud of. Now, this isn’t the case anymore! In fact, there are tons of free logo makers available online that can churn out surprisingly great results. Of course, they are perfect, but that’s a good start.

    Best,
    Mike

    • orana says:

      Hi Mike,
      Thanks so much for your wonderful comment!
      I agree with you, logos are like the brand’s most important personality trait.

      I’ve recently come across a logo maker called DesignEvo that really packs a punch when it comes to designing custom logos. You can even download them as .svg for added customization.

  14. Daniel Bilzis says:

    Hii Orana,

    Thank you for amazing tips, such an excellent article! very helpful things.

  15. branding company singapore says:

    Nice post. Your post is very informative. I learned a lot. Thanks for sharing this useful post about brand identity.

  16. mraj says:

    awesome website and article so useful

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