Its foolish to create a brand identity that does not resonate with your brand or customers. You have to find a middle ground that can connect with your customers and brand both. What's the point of creating an identity that your customers cannot understand? Everything that you are doing for your business is actually for your customers, right? Start with researching about your customers, things that they like and how they can feel connected with your brand. Work on developing the personas that explain their hobbies, values, likes and of course dislikes as well.
Once you think you have complete understanding of your consumers, its time you jump to the competitive research. How the companies in your organization are positioning themselves in terms of personalities, visual elements and themes. Finally, do not forget about interviewing people that are loyal customers to your competitors, they know how to get the customers right to you.
Once you think you are all done with the research phase, all the fun begins here. It’s the stage where you can translate everything that you have learned into the actual visuals. Here is a snap of everything that you would need for the common brand assets.
While you are at the mission of developing your brand assets make sure you are not leaving the handle of 3Cs as they are the most important. Clarity, Consistency and Commitment.
There is always a story a reason why a person has started his/ her business. Think about it, make a draft and read it again and again to ensure you have come to the final point. It should not necessarily be your real story only; it can include the whys of your brand. You have to make sure you are covering the following questions.
Remember your brand story is not an elevator pitch, its something bigger and larger than that. It should relate to the people and explain the reason for its existence.
Your identity can change with time and it will be changing, however there will be some point that will stay with you forever. Once you are done with your initial stage, research and refine it based on the feedback of your customer. Do not hesitate before testing the new strategies and tactics and see what can work best for you and your brand. For example, for your social media, you can try A/B testing with the different taglines on your homepage and then see which story goes with your brand the best. As your brand grows, so too will the importance of measuring the impact of your branding efforts.
One of the many things that you as a small business owner must avoid is the foolish myths that people generally believe in. People often misguide the new business owners by saying branding works only when you are at the growing stage. Similarly, some people believe these branding expenses are impossible therefore one should not spend much on it as they do not yield much result. Last but not the least, branding is too complex for the kind of business I operate in. Pay no heed to such talks, trust me there is nothing better that you can do than creating a long-lasting brand identity for your business.