A brand identity is a system of elements designed to work together to keep your brand focused and clear. When done right, it provides consistency and purpose to your marketing. Without it, you run the risk of appearing fragmented, or worse, being irrelevant. Developing a brand identity is one of the many services we offer our clients here at ANDERSON. We use a systematic and collaborative approach to developing a brand identity, keeping our clients involved every step of the way.
The whole process begins by conducting an in-depth creative discovery session with our clients. We go through a comprehensive series of exercises in order to learn as much as we can about the business. This working session includes all the appropriate stakeholders and covers a wide range of topics, from goals and aspirations, to audience segments and competition. This step is critical. The more information we get upfront, the more thoughtful we can be with recommendations moving forward. After the discovery session, the ANDERSON team will take the information back to the office and get to work.
At this point, the ANDERSON team takes a close look at the internal characteristics of the brand. To define a brand, we evaluate the goals and purpose, as well as distinguishing qualities of how our clients operate. This phase is made up of three key elements: values, vision and mission.
- Values are the fundamental truths about our client’s business that act as a set of guiding principles.
- The vision is an aspirational statement of purpose and long-term goals. An example of a well-crafted vision statement is the World Wildlife Fund’s: “Our vision is to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature.”
- The mission is a tactical statement for that defines how the vision will be achieved. We can see the difference between these two types of statements by again looking to the World Wildlife Fund as an example. Their mission statement is: “to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth.”
The results of the Brand Definition phase help align our client’s internal team and set the foundation for subsequent work.
During the Brand Position phase, we look at external factors that will shape the brand identity. We learn as much as we can about the target audience and use various insights to guide how we should speak to them. We study the competition and begin to identify opportunities to differentiate the brand. This phase is comprised of two distinct elements: the positioning statement and the positioning line.
- The positioning statement is the overall value proposition. It’s a clear and concise expression that explains how our client’s product or service solves the target’s audience’s problem in a unique way. For example, Volvo’s positioning statement is “Volvo is the automobile that provides peace-of-mind to drivers concerned about the safety of themselves and their passengers.” It speaks directly to the audience and states why they should consider a Volvo instead of any other vehicle.
- The positioning line is a concise summary of the ideas expressed in the positioning statement. This line can usually be used as a consumer-facing tagline. Some of the most recognizable taglines include Nike’s “Just Do It” and McDonalds’ “I’m Lovin’ It”. They are short, memorable, and help differentiate the respective brands.
This phase is made up of two categories and covers what the brand sounds like and what the brand looks like.
Voice & Tone
- A brand’s voice and tone make up the personality with which the brand communicates. This can usually be shown in context of headlines and other types of copy.
Look & Feel
- The look and feel is the visual language of the brand, which includes color, typography, photography and illustration style, and any other distinguishing visuals that are specific to the brand. The Brand Expression usually shows an overall approach to specific media, for example, a print ad, banner ad or outdoor board.
Putting It All Together
After all these foundational elements are approved, we develop a comprehensive document to share with our clients. This brand identity book helps communicate the brand internally, and acts as a guide for all future marketing efforts to communicate the brand externally.
A recent example of a client that ANDERSON helped to establish a brand identity for is the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild. Check out their website to see various examples of our work in action.
Looking to establish or refresh or the brand identity of your business? We want to talk! Connect with us directly via email at email@example.com and visit our website to read more about our team and processes.