How to Give Your Business a Proper Brand Identity

A memorable business identity is the X-factor that gives every business proper reputation and professional integrity. You can achieve it through many different ways, but creating a visually recognizable brand is the most efficient one since it’s the first thing people will see. If your visual identity can be easily associated with your business, you can say that you’ve completed this branding mission successfully.

Still, this is no cakewalk and it can include numerous trials and errors before you come up with the right logo identity for your new business. In this article, we’ll try to cut a few corners for you and share some practical strategies that will help you create your business logo identity.

Define your audience and the message you want to send

This might sound a bit metaphysical, but every business owner needs to look into the essence of their new business. In line with that, you need to define the message that will sell your products. This will determine both your visual identity and other marketing campaigns you’ll be launching over the course of time.

For instance, if your small business sells an SMB-project management tool, your message will be different from that of a business selling an accounting tool. The former one will target business owners and managers who need to delegate tasks, while the latter one will be aimed at the business pros who like to do all the accounting paperwork on their own.

Likewise, you should set your target audience at the beginning of your business quest and adapt your message to it. Logically, your logo and brand identity will revolve around this market axis.

Check the availability of your trademark

No matter what you’re trying to sell or offer on the market, there’s a high probability that someone else out there has launched a brand similar to yours. Since you’re supposed to conduct a comparative analysis of your competitors, pay attention to brands that might be similar to yours, as well.

Also, this will be closely related to your overall marketing plan. For instance, if you’ve orientated your business mostly to the local market, you can do both some online and offline research.

As opposed to that, business owners who are planning to write their business story on a wider, global level will need to focus more on online research.

For starters, you should research whether there’s a trademark, i.e. a logo and a slogan, similar to yours. If you’re planning to launch a business in the USA, check these features on the USPTO website. Every national trade or law administration has a similar database, so do your homework on the local/national level and check your business identity features via that service.

Additionally, you can also test your logo with the Google Image Search or some alternative visual databases, such as Brands of the World.

Taking all these steps will lower the risk of wasting time on creating and even registering a brand that has a doppelganger somewhere else in the world or in your country.

Put your ideas in writing

Every business owner wants to stand out from the crowd and attract customers with some unique features. This is where the visual identity of your business will play a huge role.

While you’ll definitely need a touch of professional design while reaching that goal, you shouldn’t just silently observe the entire process.

Instead of that, take a proactive role and become part of the creative team that designs your logo, as well as the entire identity.

First and foremost, you should put your ideas in writing. This means that you can sit down, take a pencil and draw your vision of the business logo. Further, take some time to perform a true brainstorming session and you might come with a great slogan for your business. The more details you put in writing and present to your creative team, the more involved you’ll be in the entire process.

Of course, these are only what-ifs, but you won’t know how creative you are if you don’t test yourself in that area.

Nevertheless, don’t to be too bossy with the creative team that’s going to work on your visual identity. Instead of telling them what to do, jump on the bandwagon and have some fun while working on the brand features that will skyrocket your business.

Mind the brand colors and associations

One of the key aspects of every brand identity is the matter of colors and the associations they carry. This area is a double-edge razor, which is why you should be extremely careful with it.

All the most popular colors have some deep-rooted associations in our mind. For instance, we usually associate red with danger or fire, green with ecology and environment protection, while blue is reserved for water-related products. Here you can read about most common color associations in business.

On the one hand, you should follow suit here, just to make sure that your brand is easily associated with the niche in which you work.

On the other, it could be pretty demanding to come up with a visual combo that looks different from everything else on the market.

This is why the aforementioned creative process is so important. When you spend some time thinking about the essence of your business and the message you want to send, you’ll narrow down the number of options. More likely than not, some parts of your visual identity will be a commonplace. If you’re an accounting software vendor, using soothing colors like green and blue is the most logical path to follow.

And then, you’ll need to add a genuine flair to your brand appearancde, which will highlight your originality. It will depend both on your niche and the specific type of products you’re selling.

Pick an impactful name

The last feature in this guide on creating an SMB-visual identity is the impact of the business name.

Together with the logo colors and the slogan, it makes the holy trinity of every business brand.

Again, the process of choosing your business name should go through several creative stages. For example, the first one can be a brainstorming session. You can conduct it by yourself, or you can invite a few close friends to help you work on this part.

The next step is to put all the ideas onto a pinboard and let them put for a while. The next day, you should gather the same team and start discarding the names that you don’t like.

This elimination round should last until there’s only one note left on the board – your new business name.

Of course, this is only one way of coming up with your business name and it can be done in several variations.

For instance, your business name can have a local reference, in case you’re founding a locally orientated business. Also, such a business can use some local visual details for their logo.

As for the business name placement in the logo, you can put it outside the logo, so that these two elements form a branding unit made of two independent elements.

On the other hand, you can add your business name inside the logo and make an integrated marketing unit.

Finally, you can add some hidden messages inside your logo or your business name, as shown in this article on CNBC.

Conclusion

The visual identity you choose for your business will play a major role in the market race you’re about to enter. If the audience you’re targeting can easily remember your business by its name and the logo, you’re already halfway there in terms of lead generation. Therefore, follow the steps provided in this guide and keep your visual business identity simple, but genuine. By doing so, you’ll increase your chances to stand out from the rest of the market and attract more customers than your competitors.

Mark Thomasson
Mark is a biz-dev hero at Invoicebus - a simple invoicing service that gets your invoices paid faster. He passionately blogs on topics that help small biz owners succeed in their business. He is also a lifelong learner who practices mindfulness and enjoys long walks in nature more than anything else.
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