Advertising & Marketing

Quick & Easy Steps to Create a Brand Identity for Your Small Business

You can’t create a signature brand look overnight. But what if you have to? Sometimes time and money are in short supply and you might think this means learning how to make your own brand identify has got to wait until next quarter, next year, or the next uptick in sales.  However, creating a brand identity will help focus your decisions and ensure your marketing and advertising go the distance, delivering maximum ROI in the short-term and well beyond. If you’ve got to figure out how to create your own brand identify, and fast, read on. 

What Is Brand Identity?

Your brand has many components and brand identity is a must-have in order to introduce yourself to your target audience and continue dialogue through ongoing promotions and marketing. Brand identity is not your brand image, brand culture, or brand personality. See below to differentiate brand identify from the other components of branding: 

  • Brand identity is how you want your business to be perceived. You have control over this. Yay!
  • Brand image is how your business is actually perceived, e.g., your current reputation.
  • Brand culture is your company’s set of core values, e.g., quality, eco-friendly, handmade.
  • Brand personality is a set of human characteristics attached to your company, e.g., irreverent, playful, serious, reliable.

Why Is Brand Identity Important?

Even if you don’t have time to dig deep into all aspects of your small business brand, defining and creating a brand identity helps ensure your outreach to customers and prospects is clear, effective, and builds long-lasting brand recognition.  

What Are the Components of Brand Identity?

If you’re wondering how to make your own brand identity, focus on these four components you can define on your own, with your team, or by brainstorming with a few customers: Mission, value proposition, visual identity, and brand recognition. 

1. Define Mission

This is the part of your brand identity that defines goals, objectives, and approach. This does not have to be detailed though you can dive as deep as you’d like. For instance:  

  • Spa Resort: Provide eco-friendly oasis where guests can relax, heal, and renew.
  • Vehicle Repair: Identify and solve mechanical problems with full transparency and detailed communication with every customer.
  • Tax Preparation: Apply current and thorough knowledge of tax laws and landscape to protect clients and optimize financial results.

2. Identify Value Proposition

Your unique value proposition is what sets you apart from your competitors. It’s a statement of how your offer benefits your customers, how you will meet the needs of your customers, and what makes your offer unique. Every marketing campaign you run should align with your unique value proposition. 

  • Quick Serve Restaurant: Friendly, fresh, fast, convenient.
  • Appliance Repair: Free consultations and one-and-done repairs by seasoned professionals.
  • Coffee Shop: Welcoming, hand crafted, locally grown

3. Create Visual Identity

The fun part: How to style your brand identity! Your small business brand’s visual identity includes your logo and color palette.  

  • Color: Define your color palette specifically (use PMS color chart). The emotional response your customer has to your logo colors is partially subliminal. Minor changes in shade can interfere with your customer’s ability to absorb and recognize your logo. Tip: For more on color choices and branding, look at our blog, Website & Logo Design Tips for Small Business.
  • Font: Pick a font that’s easy to read or if complicated, is intentionally so. Some logos are designed to look like graffiti and are intended to require a second glance (and a longer engagment).
  • “I Spy” Your Small Business: Make it easy for customers to spot you amidst the online and offline noise. Maintain logo consistency across all channels including your website, email, social media, and your brick-and-mortar location.

4. Increase Brand Recognition

And now…it’s time…to be seen! Use the brand identity you’ve created to promote your small business on all marketing channels including your website, social media, signage, collateral, direct mail pieces, and promotional items. Speaking of the latter, engage customers and keep your name in circulation by handing out branded gifts to clients and prospects.  

Apply Brand Identity to Promotional Products

Following are a few tips on how to style your brand identity on customized gifts for maximum impact:  

  • Limit text for more visual impact from a distance.
  • If you’re imprinting text within a smaller space, use block letters for maximum legibility.
  • Use contrasting colors for your promotional product and your logo imprint, e.g., yellow and black, yellow and red, or white and green.

Promotional Products to Spread Brand Identity Fast

Once you’ve created a brand identity consider these promotional products to get your name in the game: 

Engraved Alpha Soft Touch Pen with Stylus®: Our top-selling pen, super stylish and ready to spread your brand identity. 

Medium Jute-Patterned Non-Woven Tote: Share your brand style on a trendy tote that makes a statement.  

17 oz. Stainless Steel Noe Camp Mug with Lid: Whether a gift with purchase or a customer appreciation gift, this travel mug promises to keep your brand identity in daily circulation.   

Check out all our promotional drinkware, branded bags and totes, and customized pens to find the gift that matches your brand identity and budget.  

Now that you’ve mastered how to make your own brand identity, promote your small business on every corner, platform, and occasion! 

Karleen Wise Andersen

From marketing tips to product recommendations, I’m here to help small businesses be their best.

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