You’re ready to visually brand your startup, or you’ve come to the conclusion that your current logo no longer connects with your customer after months of research, so you allocate a part of your budget to develop a new logo. To save cost, you may decide to design the logo internally or hire a freelancer. You may also decide to invest more in your brand and hire an experienced creative agency. Whichever design process you chose, make sure your logo comes with a brand identity.

What is a Brand Identity?

A logo does not make a brand identity; a brand identity is the overall look and feel of your brand in visual form. It is the application of your logo with complementary colors, fonts, imagery and graphical elements. A brand identity will come with fully realized marketing pieces to facilitate the launch of your new logo and establish a foundation for future marketing projects. Without a well thought out brand identity you may find it difficult to consistently represent your brand to your audience.

What are the Components of a Brand Identity?

A brand identity will include an array of marketing pieces used at customer touch points. In the past, these pieces were exclusively print — business cards, letterhead, envelopes, presentation folders and thank you cards are just a few examples. In today’s digital world with many more digital customer touch points, brand identities may include social media headers, slideshow templates and email signatures.

What are the Benefits of Having a Brand Identity?

A logo project is incomplete without applying it to your marketing. Eventually, you’re going to have to unbox your logo and put it on something for people to see, like your website or a brochure. A complementary brand identity will not only make your brand cohesive, it will begin the process of introducing your logo and brand personality to your audience.

What Should Your Brand Identity Look Like?

Your business is unique and so are your brand identity needs. When you talk to your designer or creative agency, consider your customer touch points and budget. Are your main customer interactions online? If so, consider replacing letterhead and envelope designs for social media elements. Do you have the budget to print a thousand full color envelopes? If not, consider gray-scale printing, one-color printing or mailing labels for your envelopes. If you run an eCommerce business, you may consider replacing stationary designs for shipping box and packing slip designs that your customers interact with more often. If you run a professional service business, you may consider replacing a brochure design with a PowerPoint template design for more effective presentations. In other words, your brand identity should support your level of customer engagement and budgetary needs.

Conclusion

Your logo will rarely be seen in a vacuum, and will almost always live next to other elements of your brand. Designing both your logo and brand identity at the same time will not only build a better looking brand, it will save you precious resources by establishing a foundation to reference for future marketing designs.

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