A COMPLETE GUIDE TO CREATING A BRAND IDENTITY

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When you think about the two words “brand identity,” a lot of different sub-topics probably come to mind. Some of these sub-topics might include things like mission statements, core values, color palettes, logos, imagery, and so on. With so many different sub-topics to think about, creating a brand identity can appear quite overwhelming. Yet, the good news is it doesn’t have to be this way. In the following post, we’re going to break down the giant (but seriously important!) concept of brand identity one step at a time.


THINK ABOUT IT THIS WAY

I like to think of creating a “brand identity,” like an author would when creating a character in a book. In order for readers to gain a full understanding of who this character is, the author needs to describe them both internally and externally. When you think about it, this description is ultimately what allows us to connect with a character. It gives us the power to determine whether or not we can relate to them, what we like about them, what we don’t like, and why.

The same goes for creating a brand identity. In order to give people a full picture of our brand, we have to authentically represent it both internally and externally.

Today, we’re going to focus on how-to build a brand identity internally. In the following list, we’ll go through each step for creating an internal brand identity including coming up with a mission statement, vision statement, essence, personality, and positioning statement.


HOW TO CREATE AN INTERNAL BRAND IDENTITY

(1) MISSION STATEMENT

What is a mission statement? A good mission statement clearly defines who you are, and what you value.

A mission statement should be: Exciting | Concise | Definitive.

You can create a mission statement by answering the following questions:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What products or services do you provide?
  • What makes you unique?

3 examples of seriously stellar mission statements:

  • Patagonia: Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.
  • Ann Taylor: to inspire and connect with women to put their best selves forward every day.
  • Naked Juice: Making the whole planet feel better. One bottle at a time.

(2) VISION STATEMENT

What is a vision statement? A good vision statement provides a clear destination for where you plan to take your business. It defines what you do, and more importantly, what you want to become.

A vision statement should be: Clear | Concise | Vivid | Inspiring | Written in the present tense.

You can create a vision statement by answering the following questions:

  • Where do you see your company five-ten years from now?
  • What does this future look like?

3 examples of seriously stellar vision statements:

  1. Avon: To be the company that best understands and satisfies the product, service and self-fulfillment needs of women-globally.
  2. Microsoft: Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
  3. Facebook: To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.
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(3) BRAND ESSENCE

What is brand essence? Brand essence describes the heart and soul of a brand in a few words. It is a brand’s fundamental nature or quality.

Your brand essence should be: Constant | Only a few words | Emotional | Unique.

You can create a brand essence by answering the following questions:

  • How do you want people to feel when they encounter your brand?

3 examples of seriously stellar brand essence:

  1. Nike: Inspirational.
  2. Disney: Magical.
  3. Guinness: Connected.

(4) BRAND PERSONALITY

What is a brand personality? A brand personality is a set of human characteristics associated with a specific brand. A well-developed brand personality will allow the target audience to connect with your brand on a personal level.

Your brand personality should be: Consistent | Just a few words | Descriptive.

You can create a brand personality by answering the following questions:

  • What 3 personality traits would you use to describe your brand?
  • In what order of importance do they each fall?

3 examples of seriously stellar brand personalities:

  1. Dove: Ethical, simple, pure.
  2. Victoria’s Secret: Seductive, passionate, desirable.
  3. Rolex: Powerful, determined, dominant.

(5) POSITIONING STATEMENT

What is a positioning statement? An expressive statement that describes how a brand fills a particular consumer need in a way that’s unique when compared to competitors.

Your positioning statement should be written like this: For (your target audience) (brand name) is a (category name) which provides (main benefit) unlike (primary competitor) which provides (competitors main benefit).

You can create a positioning statement by answering the following questions:

  • Who are you talking to (who is your target audience)?
  • What is your brand name?
  • What category does your brand fall into?
  • What consumer need does your brand fill?
  • What are the nearest competitive alternatives?

3 examples of seriously stellar positioning statements:

  1. Body Shop: For people seeking wellness, the Body Shop offers the most natural bath and cosmetic products because we are the most environmentally friendly cosmetics company.
  2. Home Depot: For do-it-yourselfers, Home Depot offers the best prices because we are the largest building supply company.
  3. Listerine: For adults concerned about oral hygiene, Listerine is the one brand of mouthwash that not only stops bad breath but also helps prevent gum disease.

Also important to note is that creating brand identity is like dealing with a living, breathing organism. That being said, your brand identity might need to evolve as it grows and interacts with consumers. When doing this, just make sure to keep in mind the core brand identity principles you’ve set. This will allow you to maintain familiarity and consistency so that your customers remember you.


OK, THAT WAS INTENSE

I know that was a lot of information to handle, but deciding to invest your time in creating a thorough brand identity is something I can promise you won’t regret.

PLUS, I’ve created something to help you: My FREE Brand Identity Workbook: Part 1. After completing 5 pages of questions regarding your brand, you’ll have a created a fully comprehensive internal brand identity without even knowing it! This workbook is available for a limited time in the ELL Creative Community Resource Library. Click below and snag it now →

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Until next time boss babes!

XO -ELL