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How to Create and Design a Brand Identity for Your Small Business

What is a Brand Identity?

Your brand is how your business is perceived by your customers and potential customers. A brand identity is all of the visual elements of your business— your logo design and company colors (if you have specific colors). It’s what makes you stand out amongst your competition and how your customers recognize your business.

Creating a strong brand identity may seem simple, but a lot of thought should go into it. While the visual elements are going to be a major part of your brand identity, you’ll also need to draw on abstract elements as well.

The Abstract Elements of Your Brand

Even though the visual elements are what make up your brand identity, it can be hard to figure out exactly what those are if you don’t know the abstract elements of your brand. To come up with this, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why did I create this company?
  • What beliefs drive this company?
  • How am I different from my competitors?
  • If my company were a person, what kind of personality would it have and how would it communicate?
  • What three words would I use to describe my company, and what three words would I want my customers to use?

Answering these questions can be difficult, so it’s important to take the appropriate amount of time to think about the answers. After all, it’s how you want everyone to perceive your company!

The Visual Elements of Your Brand

Once you’re able to answer all of the above questions, it’s time to start working on the visual elements.

Before you start creating your logo, you must first understand each type of logo design and choose the one that best represents your company. The different types of logo designs are:

  • Pictorial mark (graphic-based, either a recognizable image or an abstract one)
  • Wordmark/Lettermark (word image or monogram)
  • Combination mark (combination of pictures and words/letters)
  • Mascot logo (illustrated character)

Color

When you’ve decided which type of logo fits best with your company, you can look towards other elements of design, such as color. The psychology of color explains what thoughts and emotions are typically associated with a certain color, and this can affect how people view your company.

Typography

If you’re using a wordmark/lettermark or combination mark logo, typography is something else you’ll need to consider. Typography is the type of font you use for letters or words. Some popular font families include:

  • Serif (Times New Roman) and Sans serif (Helvetica)
  • Script (cursive fonts)
  • Display (different customized elements)

Logo Placement for Brand Awareness

After designing your logo, it’s time to put it… well, everywhere! The most obvious places to put your logo are on your products, your packaging, and on your business cards. However, there are a few other places where you can place your logo.

Website, Social Media, and Email Design

In today’s digital world, the majority of all companies have a strong online presence. This means that they’re active on social media and they have a business website. Your logo should be set as the profile picture on all of your social media business pages, and should also be one of the first things visitors see when they go to your website.

If you send emails to your customers, your logo should also be visible on each and every email. The very top of your email is ideal, especially if the email is pretty long. Otherwise, the bottom of a short email will work too.

Storefront and Company Cars

Obviously, your logo and company name should be on the front of your store if you operate from a physical location. If you’re an ecommerce company, then your business website operates as your store. You should also place your logo on any vehicles you may use for business purposes.

Merchandise and Promotional Items

Your logo can be placed on fun items as well. Many businesses offer promotional items alongside their usual inventory to help promote brand awareness. You can have mugs, tumblers, keychains, hats, and T-shirts created for your brand so your customers can enjoy special brand items. For even more brand customization, you can get hang tags for clothing as opposed to the basic clothing tags.

Even though brand identity is a small aspect of your business, it’s a very important one. It’s how you define your company and how you present yourself to your target audience.

Written by Marcus Richards

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