Steps to effective brand identity design

Whatever your business size, mission or product, a corporate identity is critical, especially in today’s highly competitive environment. Shelves are crowded and customers have more options than ever before.

To stand out from the crowd, a company needs to be unique and recognizable by customers. A strong brand defines who you are and what you offer your customers, partners and public. A strong brand sets you apart from your competition, and is the secret of success for most companies.

Nielsen’s Global New Product Innovation Survey discovered that nearly 59% of people prefer to buy new products from brands familiar to them, and 21% say they are ready to purchase a product if it comes from a brand they like.

An effective corporate identity will make you easily recognizable through your design, actions, and communications. But creating a brand is not merely about designing a logo with smart aesthetics. There are some essential steps every business has to go through for successful branding creation.

Review & define the company’s mission, values & personality

Defining your business plan, mission statement, corporate values is the foundation of the branding process. They doesn’t need to be final; they can be modified during the creative process but it’s essential to have some directions at the start.

It is also important to characterize the company. Articulating and understanding the company’s personality gives the designer something to work with. If the client is unable to provide a description characterizing their company, designers can ask for a list of 4–5 keywords describing their business, or at least what they want a company to be.

Find out what your stakeholders think of you

Brand design is not a pure art. Concentrating only on aesthetics or the client’s preferences is not enough. Designers need to dive deeper to understand the brand.

Conduct surveys, ask questions, set up interviews and have general discussions with stakeholders. Gain an understanding of how customers, employees, investors, dealers, etc. view your organization or company. If you disagree with their perception or feel like you are sending the wrong message, your corporate identity can help change it.

Research and study the competition

With stiff competition in the marketplace, you need to know what your competitors are up to. Study both successful companies and not-so-successful ones. Examine their websites and advertising; visit their social media pages, read their reviews. Analyze their designs and communication. This will help you decide what is working and what is not. It’ll also help you to know what should be avoided in your design.

Define or re-define your vision for the future

Your corporate identity should embrace your goals for the next 5 to 10 years as well as the present. Work with the findings of your research and re-think your mission. Try identifying how your business will create value over the next five years. Include employees, leaders and partners in your discussion, evaluate the capabilities of your company, pinpoint areas where you can create value, and define the audience you want to address.

All this groundwork will provide a firm foundation on which to build a unique brand identity. At Interics Designs, a brand strategy and graphic design agency in India, we believe that corporate/brand identity is the most important aspect and one of the main pillars of an effective marketing strategy.

Brand Evaluation and Research, Corporate/ Brand Positioning, Brand Architecture, Identity Design Creation, Corporate/ Brand Identity Launch & Standardization across media, Corporate Identity Manual Creation (CIM) — our Corporate Identity Programmed provides comprehensive services that extend to creative development of your identity across stationery (letter-heads, business cards, etc.); marketing materials (catalogues, promotional flyers, e-publications, emails, websites); products and packaging; signage (for your office, outlets, vehicles, etc.); even spatial branding in offices, factories, stores, etc.

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