Branding Services: A Guide to Crafting Your Brand Identity
Your brand identity is not just a logo and colour scheme, it’s the first and lasting impression you leave on your customers.
Brand identity represents the essence of a company, product, or service, and is how customers will distinguish one brand from another. A strong brand identity helps to create a memorable and consistent image in the minds of consumers, which leads to recognition and loyalty.
Many elements make up a brand identity, including logo, colour palette, typography, imagery, voice, values, messaging, personality and more. Each of these elements is individual but needs to work coherently to create a perception that is not only memorable but resonates with your target audience.
No one understands your brand better than you, but employing a brand services agency allows businesses to tap into a wealth of knowledge and experiences that might not be available in-house. In this article, we are going to dive into the depth of brand identity and how branding services might be crucial for you, or you can skip to the bit you need:
Understanding Your Brand & Identity
Understanding your brand is the cornerstone of building a strong brand identity. It serves as the foundation upon which all other aspects of your marketing and communication efforts are built. By comprehending your brand’s core values, mission, target audience, and unique selling proposition, you can create a cohesive, compelling, and consistent message that resonates with your audience.
Your brand’s mission, values and target audience is what will form the base of your brand identity. Your mission should outline your company’s reason for existence, what it stands for, and how you will make a lasting impact. Your values define your brand purpose, guide your decisions, and how you communicate with stakeholders. Your target audience is the people you want to reach and resonate with, understanding their behaviours, attitudes and preferences can inform your messaging and brand identity.
Understanding these elements is key to creating a brand identity that is authentic, meaningful and relevant to your target audience.
Why do you need a brand identity?
A strong brand identity is not about making your brand/packaging look as good as it can (obviously that helps), it’s about communicating a story effectively, that resonates with the target. Your identity is an incredibly powerful tool that can enhance your communication, perception, and connection with stakeholders in many ways.
Brand identity differentiates you in an otherwise saturated market, a well-defined brand helps customers to recognise, connect, and ultimately choose a brand over others.
A strong brand identity also means that customers recognise you and build relationships with you. The long-term goal of developing a cohesive brand identity is to consistently convey the same message across different (unique) activities whilst staying true to your values.
The ideal situation would be for audiences to recognise your brand and hold a positive perception of the colours, typography, design, logo, tone and messaging without actually seeing your brand name.
Let’s do a test, below are snippet images from popular brands’ identities, see if you can name them all from the limited information we provide you (see answers at the bottom on the article):
1. Can you tell what brands store this is?
2. What brand uses this van?
3. This logo has been cut in half, can you tell whose it is?
4. We have removed the name from this logo, do you know what brand it is?
5. What brand comes to mind when you read this slogan?
6. Can you tell what this brand is just from the typography?
Building a brand identity is a difficult task, maintaining it is another job in itself. That’s where branding services come in to take away some of the stress and heavy lifting. Now that we have got a grip on what makes a strong brand identity, let’s look at how branding services can help your brand come to life.
How can branding services help to develop your brand identity?
Branding services can be incredibly helpful for any company, organisation, product or service looking to discover or rediscover its brand identity. Some agencies specialise in certain areas, whilst others cover the whole spectrum. We’ve compiled a list below exploring some of the most common branding services you’re likely to come across:
1. Market research and analysis: Branding services can help businesses understand their target audience, competitors, and market trends. This information is vital for creating a brand that resonates with the intended audience and differentiates the business from its competitors.
2. Brand strategy development: A branding service agency can assist businesses in defining their brand’s mission, vision, values, and positioning. This involves identifying the unique selling points, crafting a compelling brand story, and developing a long-term branding strategy that aligns with the company’s objectives and goals.
3. Visual identity design: Branding services can create a cohesive visual identity for a brand, including logo design, colour schemes, typography, and other design elements. This visual identity helps to establish a consistent look and feel across all marketing materials and touchpoints, making the brand more recognisable and memorable.
4. Brand messaging and tone of voice: Branding services can help businesses develop clear and consistent brand messaging and tone of voice. This includes crafting taglines, slogans, and key messaging that effectively communicate the brand’s essence and resonate with the target audience.
5. Brand guidelines: By creating a comprehensive brand guideline, branding services can ensure that the brand’s visual and verbal elements remain consistent across all channels and touchpoints. This document serves as a reference for employees, partners, and suppliers, ensuring that the brand is represented accurately and consistently.
6. Marketing collateral design: Branding services can design various marketing materials, such as brochures, packaging, social media graphics, and website designs, that align with the brand’s identity and effectively communicate the brand’s message to its target audience.
7. Ongoing brand management: Branding services can provide ongoing support and guidance, ensuring that the brand identity evolves and adapts to changing market conditions and customer preferences while maintaining consistency and staying true to the brand’s core values.
The above list is by no means the limit of what a branding agency can offer you, nor is it all necessary. Each business is different, meaning that unique requirements, processes, and techniques will be needed for each.
Benefits of branding agencies and services
Hiring a branding agency or services can be a game-changer for businesses looking to create a strong brand identity that resonates with their target audience. A professional branding agency brings a wealth of expertise, skills, and resources to the table, helping businesses to develop a unique and compelling brand that stands out from the competition.
With all this in mind, and having already looked at the services an agency can offer, let’s take a look at some of the top benefits derived from working with a branding agency:
Access to expertise: working with an agency for your branding services means you have access to a team of professionals with expertise in brand development, design, marketing and more.
Fresh perspective: bringing an outside perspective into your business can provide valuable insights that might not have been previously noticed.
Time-saving: outsourcing branding services to an agency can save you time and resources, allowing you to focus on your core business operations.
Cost-Effective: A branding services agency can provide a cost-effective solution for businesses that need brand development services but may not have the budget to hire an in-house team.
Consistency: A branding services agency can ensure a consistent brand message and visual identity across all channels, which is essential for building brand recognition and trust.
Competitive Advantage: A strong brand identity developed by a branding services agency can help businesses stand out from their competitors and attract more customers.
Scalability: A branding services agency can work with businesses of all sizes and help them scale their brand development and marketing efforts as they grow.
Working with a branding services agency provides businesses with expertise, fresh perspective, time and cost savings, consistency, competitive advantage, scalability, and measurable results, all essential for building a strong and successful brand.
How to choose a branding services agency
Choosing the right branding services agency for your needs is an important decision that will significantly impact your activity’s success. There are so many factors to consider.
Firstly, look for an agency with relevant experience. You want to ensure they have worked with businesses similar to yours and have a strong portfolio showcasing actual success, creativity, and expertise.
Make sure you look through case studies and testimonials to see how other brands found working with them. This will give you a good indication of how well the agency works with clients and how satisfied they are with the experience.
It’s also important that you evaluate their services. Some agencies might specialise in certain areas, so it is important for you to ensure that the agency services align with your branding needs. Consider all the aspects we have discussed above as a guide to make sure you get this right.
If you have a couple of agencies on a shortlist, reach out to them. Find out how they communicate, how responsive are they, and how they deal with questions. You want to work with people who are easy to work with, tackle barriers with you, and keep you in the loop, and you’ll only find out all this by testing them early.
Contact Engine Creative to discuss your branding needs
At Engine Creative, we have been bringing brands to life for over 25 years and have worked with brands from a wide range of industries, from design to full brand (re)discovery. If you want to enhance your brand identity and need branding services, get in touch to see how we can help.
ANSWERS TO BRAND QUIZ: 1. Apple 2. UPS 3. Nike 4. IKEA 5. KFC 6. Disney