Grow Your (Digital) Business: The First Step Towards Building a Brand Identity

What is a brand identity?

Recognizable visual and textual objects like I mentioned in the introduction help consumers with associating a product or service to a specific company. And that is exactly what brand identity is for companies: a way to differentiate yourself as a company from other companies and to let your company stand out in the minds of the consumer.

  1. Who are you as a company?
  2. What is your Tone of Voice?
  3. Who are your customers and how can you reach them?

Who are you as a company?

The first step is the foundation of your company and it is inspired by Simon Sinek and his Golden Circle. He has an amazing TED Talk which is a must see for anyone who wants to build a sustainable company. You can find the TED talk through this link: https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action

The Golden Circle, by Simon Sinek
The Golden Circle, by Simon Sinek
  1. Why are you doing what you are doing?
  2. How are you doing this?
  3. What are you using to achieve this?

Our Golden Circle

For The Shared Collective, we also started with the Golden Circle as an initial brainstorm. What is the Shared Collective exactly? Why are we doing this, and what is our purpose? By using the Golden Circle model as a template for realizing the purpose of The Shared Collective, we got the following:

  1. Why are we starting The Shared Collective? We started The Shared Collective because want to help out people. By publicly sharing knowledge, we can all learn from each other and become a little better every day.
  2. How are you planning on achieving this goal? We try to help people by sharing our knowledge with anyone who wants to hear it. And since we work as professional content creators, marketeers, product designers, UX designers and software developers, we want to use our expertise in these areas to help out people who would like to gain experience in these fields.
  3. What are you using to achieve your goal? — We are using the power of accessible online platforms and social media to share our thoughts and knowledge with the world. One of these ways is by writing articles on Medium that anyone can read. We pay some extra love and attention to people/businesses with an interest of growing their business and developing a digital identity that is ready for the digital era.
Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

What is your Tone of Voice?

This is another important question to ask yourself. Your Tone of Voice (ToV) is the way you present your company to the public and the tone you use to do this with. Well-established companies such as Nike, or Apple have a really distinct ToV. Remarkably is that you can actually notice that they implement their ToV throughout all their marketing and branding. The benefit of this, is that their ad campaigns are therefore easily recognizable by their audience.

Tone of Voice & Brand Identity

Relating the Tone of Voice to the brand identity of your company and the why of your company, you might want to adapt your ToV. Be mindful in how you can reflect your ToV in the brand identity of your company: who is your audience, what would they like to hear? And would be an engaging way of getting to them?

A style guide for your business

As I mentioned before, a company’s brand identity can be represented by a logo, company colours, a quote or even a picture. But also in this case, the content of your brand identity and what types of elements you (should) use are highly dependent on the customers. As well as the promotional elements that you include. A common way of binding this all together is through guidelines and ‘rules’ that help you embody your company in any medium. We call this a style guide. This style guide can include for example:

  • The company’s colour codes and guides on when and where to use them;
  • Different types of logo’s for different occasions (e.g. web, print, social media);
  • A list of fonts to use for (playful) publications and/or in corporate settings, along with the font size, font weights, and guides on how to use them;
  • (Stock) Pictures to use on posters, your website, and socials;
  • Templates for consistent text and picture positioning for social media posts;
  • Templates for giving presentations;
  • Visual elements that should/could be used and also in which settings;

Case study: brand identity of The Shared Collective

In this example, I will walk you through our initial style guide that represents the brand identity of The Shared Collective. Our style guide contains several elements with some Lorem Ipsum as placeholder text to give a general feeling on how a style guide can look like.

The Shared Collective style guide

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