10 brand identity questions you should probably ask

Dan Smith - 14.09.2016

Whether you’re a new startup or an established company, creating or re-defining your brand identity is one of the biggest challenges you’ll face. As well as the obvious things such as logo design and brand name, there’s your personality, culture and tone of voice to think about; there’s also both your online and offline identities to consider.

Image is everything these days, so brand identity is a crucial element of success. Here are ten questions to ask yourself when creating your brand identity, as outlined by a recent article on the MemeBurn website:

1. How important is your brand to your business?

The answer to this may not be the same for everyone. While brand identity is important, it’s not as crucial for some businesses as it is for others. Would your business suffer without a clear brand identity?

2. Can you describe your business in five words?

Write down five adjectives to describe your business; once you really understand your mission statement, you’ll be able to give designers and developers clear, direct briefs when it comes to creating a logo, brochures and website.

3. What do you know about your audience?

Researching your target market helps to create buyer behaviour profiles for different customer segments. Use this to create three or four personas representing your most valuable customers; then, decide which brand messages to send to each.

4. What message do you wish your branding to convey?

From your website to social media posts to dealings with the press, everything your brand says, shares and does should convey a consistent brand message. Decide the tone of your brand – is it playful or corporate? – and ensure that it is followed through across all touchpoints.

5. Do I want my brand to tell a story?

Storytelling is an effective way for some brands to establish or promote themselves. You can tell stories through your brand in many ways, from company blogs to webinars, but it may not apply to everyone.

6. Do I want to be different from the norm?

Some people like to follow industry standards to the tee, while others prefer to stand out from the crowd and go off the beaten track. There’s nothing wrong with this, just don’t wander off too far!

7. What’s the branding of my favourite brands like?

Jot down a dozen or so brands that you either like or feel inspired by (this can be competitors!). What do you like about them – their image, message and relationship with customers – and how could you incorporate these positives into your own identity?

8. Am I willing to pay for good design?

There are some tools that can help you create logos and even websites, but good quality design requires some investment. In an age where customers expect attractive and well thought-out websites, this is nearly always money well spent.

9. Is my branding measurable, and will it provide ROI?

Branding ROI is, to an extent, measurable. Look out for short-term boosts in engagement on your primary marketing channels, and track brand awareness though pre- and post-branding surveys. You can also track your Net Promoter Score (NPS) online.

10. Will my existing identity withstand change?

Over time, perhaps as you expand or diversify, your vision of the business may evolve; but it’s not advisable to keep changing the logo, colours or voice of your brand. While it’s hard to predict future changes and design trends, it can be safest to base your branding on typography that won’t date.