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How to Create and Maintain a Great Brand Identity and Design

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Overview

In today’s competitive marketplace, having a strong brand identity and design is more important than ever. From logos and typography to color choices and imagery, every element of a brand’s visual identity can contribute to its overall impact and perception by customers.

In this latest insight, our branding experts explore the principles of brand identity and design, offering insights for businesses looking to create or refine their own visual identities. 

Whether you are just starting to build or looking to improve your brand, this is the perfect resource for gaining a deeper understanding of the role of brand design in creating a memorable and impactful brand.

What is the difference between brand identity & design?

Brand identity includes visual and verbal elements a company uses to communicate its brand, including its name, logo, slogan, and design style.

Brand design is the overall perception that a company wants to create in the minds of its customers and stakeholders.

Why is brand identity & design important?

The power of mesmerizing brand identity and design can transform your company into a magnet that draws customers in with trust and authority, makes a bold statement in a bustling marketplace, and creates a heartfelt bond with your audience. 

  • Establishes trust and authority. 

A clear identity and well-designed brand significantly enhance customer trust by creating a sense of reliability, credibility, and recognition. In addition, its ability to instil authority can increase customer loyalty and sales. Watch as your customers become loyal brand advocates and sales soar.

  • Grabs attention. 

Robust and consistent brand identity and designs effectively convey its values and message to its target audience. Brand design can capture attention through the use of various visual and tactical elements, such as

  • Strong color choices and contrasts
  • Unique typography and font choices
  • Clear, memorable logos
  • Effective use of imagery and graphics
  • Consistency across all touchpoints and materials
  • Differentiation from competitors

By carefully crafting and integrating these key points, a brand can create a visual identity and design that is attention-grabbing and memorable. 

  • Builds a connection.

Brand design can evoke emotions and create a connection with consumers, so much so that 64% of women and 68% of men have felt an emotional connection with a brand. Through visual elements such as colors, typography, imagery, messaging, and tone, a brand can convey its values, personality, unique proposition, and core values to customers in a way that resonates with them. 

A strong brand elicits feelings and creates a lasting connection with its audience, leaving a lasting impression.

Brand identity example for Avectas created by Madcraft

The brand design process

Both new brands and companies wishing to revitalize or reimagine their brand can benefit from utilizing the brand design process.

  • Research & analysis 

Research and analysis are critical components of the brand design process as they provide insight into the target audience, competitors, industry trends, user behavior, preferences, and pain points. This information is crucial for a brand to stand out in a crowded marketplace and resonate with the audience. Therefore, this stage of the design process focuses on research, strategic planning, customer experience (CX), and user experience (UX)

  • Target audience research: By developing customer personas, brands can outline demographics, psychographics, and the behavioral patterns of a target audience which aids in creating a brand that resonates with those customers. Even if you rebrand, your target audience may shift, so it’s essential to examine the existing customer base by creating customer personas. 
  • Market and competitor research: Looking at your competition is beneficial to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors and uncover their brand positioning. Conducting this research will help you understand how to stand out in the market (and avoid making the same mistakes as competitors have in the past). 
  • Industry insights: Identifying trends, challenges, and opportunities within the industry aid in creating an impactful identity and relevant and up-to-date design.
  • Brand Analysis: For existing brands, this type of analysis is a part of a brand strategy that can define how well your brand is performing, the strengths and weaknesses of the existing brand, and how the brand can be improved. 
  • Defining a brand strategy

A brand strategy is the foundation for all future brand decisions and sets the direction for the entire branding process. You must be able to define the following clearly: 

  • Brand’s purpose: Clarifying your brand’s values, personality, and mission. This will help determine the reason for the brand’s existence and what it hopes to achieve; this can include increasing revenue, building trust, or becoming a thought leader in the industry. 
  • Target audience: Identify the needs, preferences, and values of the target audience to ensure the brand speaks to them in a relevant way. This information can be gathered from the research and analysis stage. 
  • Brand values: Establish the values that you want the brand stands for, such as innovation, sustainability, or customer service. 
  • Brand message: Create a concise and compelling message that communicates the brand’s purpose and values to the target audience. An effective brand message will improve your brand reach and recognition.
  • Brand personality: Determine the brand’s personality, such as friendly, professional, or quirky, to help create a consistent tone of voice across all communications.
  • Brand positioning statement: What makes your brand unique? What sets you apart from your competitors? Sum up the brand’s unique selling proposition (USP) and what sets it apart from competitors in a brand positioning statement.
  • Measurable brand goals: Identify the specific and measurable goals the brand hopes to achieve, such as increasing website traffic or growing market share.
  • Brand’s visual identity: A branding team can create a style guide that defines the visual elements of the brand, such as logo, colors, and typography, as well as verbal elements, including tone of voice and messaging. 

If you’re searching for the perfect brand strategy, look no further, our Madcraft brand design specialists are happy to craft a strategy that is uniquely right for your business.  

  • Creating a brand identity 

A brand identity focuses on the visual execution of your brand strategy. It must be a strong, memorable, and compelling brand identity that resonates with your target audience and sets you apart in the market. 

  • Choose visual elements: Decide on a color palette, typography, imagery, and logo design that reflects your brand’s personality and values.
  • Develop brand guidelines: Elevate your visual and messaging elements to new heights with brand guidelines that ensure a cohesive and consistent brand image across all touchpoints.
  • Test and refine: Test your brand identity with customers and continually refine it based on feedback and performance.

A brand identity can change over time — so it is crucial to be conscious about maintaining a positive customer perception even through rebrands

What elements do brand identity include?

  • Logo

The logo is a visual representation of a company’s values, mission, and identity. From products and packaging to websites, social platforms, and other collateral materials, your logo is the first thing your stakeholders see. Thus, an effective logo should be a simple, memorable, and recognizable symbol that can be easily associated with a brand. 

  • Color

Color selection is a critical component of brand design, influencing up to 80% of a customer’s purchasing decision. Colors in brand identity and design evoke different emotions and moods in the consumer. For example, blue is often associated with trust and professionalism whereas red is associated with optimism and energy. 

  • Typography 

Typography involves using typefaces, font styles, sizes, and arrangements to create visual appeal, legibility, and consistency across various brand materials. Typography should be legible and easy to read on all mediums, from websites to business cards to any collateral materials. Utilizing the appropriate typography on your brand design can enhance conversions

  • Shapes

Shapes can convey different meanings, from simplicity and elegance to excitement and energy. For example, a circle shape may symbolize unity and wholeness, while a triangle may symbolize stability and direction. Shapes should also be used consistently and in a way that is recognizable and memorable so that they can help to establish the brand’s identity in the minds of its audience.

  • Iconography

Iconography is the use of symbols, logos, and graphics in brand design. In branding, icons are often used as a way to simplify complex ideas or concepts and make them more accessible to the target audience.  For example, a brand may use an icon of a house to represent the concept of home or an icon of a shopping cart to represent the concept of purchasing.

  • Animation and motion 

Motion graphics and video can bring brand messaging to life and create an immersive brand experience. In addition, animation can simplify complex ideas and make them more accessible to a wider audience.

However, it is important to ensure that the animation and motion design aligns with the brand’s overall aesthetic and messaging and is used in an appropriate and tasteful way.

  • Layout 

The arrangement and composition of visual elements in branding matter greatly. The placement of the visual elements aims to convey a message and establish a clear visual hierarchy. Factors such as balance, alignment, and consistency are essential considerations in brand identity layout.

Brand design example for Wriggle created by Madcraft on laptop screen

What elements do brand identity include?

We’ve combined our expertise and years of experience to create a roadmap for brand design success. Our best practices will guide you every step of the way. 

  • Understand your target audience: Make sure your design aligns with the brand’s personality, messaging, and values that resonate with the target audience. Various research methods such as personas, competitors, and market research can help you better understand what your customers perceive of your brand. 
  • Create a brand strategy: Building the foundation of your brand strategy is the first step of the branding process. A well-thought-out strategy guides your marketing and advertising efforts, ensuring that all campaigns align with your overall brand goals and messages.
  • Establish a brand identity: Creating the visual aspects of your brand is vital because it’s the first thing your audience sees when they are introduced to your brand. A well-established brand identity increases brand awareness, adds value to a business, and makes it more attractive to potential buyers or investors.
  • Testing and redefining: Examine the brand identity and design with a sample target audience to gather valuable feedback and adjust accordingly. Continuously test and iterate until the design resonates with the target audience. The key to success is to never stop iterating and always be open to feedback.

By creating a visually appealing and consistent brand identity and design, you can effectively communicate the brand’s core values and unique value proposition to the target audience, meeting their needs and aspirations. A well-designed brand can influence stakeholder decisions, establish trust, loyalty, and recognition, and set a brand apart from its competitors.

Get ready to turn heads and make a lasting impression with your brand! Our Madcraft branding experts are here to craft unique and professional designs that will set your brand apart and make a big impact.

Key points

  • Brand identity is the visual execution of the brand, whereas brand design is the overall perception that a company wants to create in the minds of its customers and stakeholders.
  • Developing a brand strategy sets the foundation for all brand and marketing efforts. It is a roadmap that structures your brand identity and helps you align all other branding decisions.
  • Continuously testing and redefining your brand identity and design is recommended to ensure it resonates with your target audience. It is important to note that your audience’s perception of your branding may change over time, even in the event of a rebrand. Thus, continuously testing and refining can help you maintain a positive perception among your stakeholders.

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