5 Best Practices for Developing a Unique Brand Identity in 2021

A common misconception among inexperienced marketers or entrepreneurs is that having a brand identity means having a great logo.

As you probably already know, though, a brand identity is a complex concept that encompasses numerous brand elements, all of which together create the company’s identity.

Needless to say, having a unique and powerful brand identity in today’s oversaturated online market is one of the only ways to stand out from the competition and achieve your long-term goals.

After all, why should anyone become your loyal customer if the next business in line offers a lower price or has a better return policy? How are you supposed to generate new, qualified leads if your brand is generic and uninspiring?

If you want people to put their trust and get emotionally invested in your brand over the long term, you need to make it unique and engaging.

Whether you are in the process of launching a business or if you’re looking to revitalize your company’s image and identity, 2021 is the time to make a positive step towards better branding. Here are the best brand-building practices that will help you bring a truly unique brand to the market.

1. Putting your brand into perspective

For a brand to be successful in today’s competitive global market, it needs to have a purpose.

That being said, purpose alone is not worth all that much if you don’t frame it into the right context and perspective, and if you don’t present it in the right way to the online and offline worlds. If you are to maximize your company’s potential, then you need to:

  • Put your brand into perspective by defining its purpose.
  • Create a set of short, mid, and long-term goals for your business.
  • Identify the problems you’re solving for your customers.
  • Come up with a unique value proposition.
  • Find out how and why your brand is different from the rest.
  • Find out why people should consider your brand.
  • Create a clear and compelling mission and vision.
  • Define a set of values that resonate with the values of your demographic.

These are the essential processes and steps you need to go through in the brand-building process to create a well-rounded brand identity.

Your goal is to make your brand as memorable and engaging as possible to the online and offline audience, but also to get on the radar of prominent industry figures, publications, and authorities.

2. Conducting meticulous audience and competitor research

Of course, you can’t go into this process blind. Every decision you make during the brand-building process should be backed by relevant industry data, so it’s important to conduct meticulous research.

Creativity alone will not get you the desired results, because a brand identity that is creative in its expression can still completely miss the target if it is not optimized for its audience.

Remember, a unique brand is driven by and built on relevant data. To that end, you must conduct thorough audience research to identify their pain points, values, desires, and needs, and general sentiments towards the industry, your competitors, and various lifestyle factors that shape their mindsets.

This is the only way to optimize the aforementioned brand elements to the exact liking of your target demographic.

Also, you must conduct a meticulous competitor analysis. Analyzing your competitors will allow you to create your own visual identity and brand personality.

The last thing you want is to look like your competition, which is why this analysis will be crucial in creating a distinct graphic design for your brand, a unique set of values, and a unique tone of voice people will recognize across the online and offline marketing channels.

3. Building a unique online presence for your brand

Nowadays, digital presence can make or break a brand, whether it’s an established one or a completely new venture. One of your biggest investments and top priorities should be to build a memorable and engaging digital presence, starting of course with your website.

Before you start thinking of the visual design and way before you start creating layouts for your pages, you should consider your domain name.

Is your choice of domain name unique enough? Is it personalized? These factors matter to the modern customer, which is why personalizing your digital presence with a TLD like the .me domain is a great way to make your website more memorable. However, it’s not just about the domain extension, it’s about the domain name itself.

To make your domain as memorable as possible, you want to choose a short phrase, preferably a branded one. If you can squeeze a relevant keyword into your domain name for added SEO benefit, great, but don’t make it too long or confusing.

Your goal is to improve brand stickiness online, so avoid any special characters like hyphens or numbers, people won’t remember that. Once you have a winning domain name, you can move on to the visual identity, tone of voice, and brand personality.

4. Create a compelling visual identity

Many entrepreneurs and leaders know exactly that a brand’s visual identity is one of the most important elements of good branding. However, in an attempt to be as unique as possible, brands often go to extreme measures.

If you go for a completely minimalist look, you can easily devoid your brand of any visual personality traits. If, on the other hand, you go in the opposite direction and create a maximalist design, then you risk confusing the customer.

As you may know, a confused customer is unlikely to come back. The key to good visual branding is to utilize the prevailing trends and put your unique twist on them to give your brand its distinct flair. Just like you would avoid the common SEO mistakes by adhering to the trends and best practices, you should follow the branding trends by incorporating the tried-and-tested tactics.

Brainstorm ways you can put a twist on the preferred color scheme in your niche, how you can make your logo memorable and simple, and how you can best portray your identity through pictograms, images, and other visual elements.

5. Defining the tone of voice for a unique personality

Finally, you can’t launch a brand if it doesn’t have a recognizable tone of voice. The tone of voice is a unique way to express all of the elements we have talked about today.

The way you phrase your mission and vision, the way you incorporate your values into your web copy, the way you talk to your audience and communicate with customers through every online and offline channel – all of it should be done with a distinct and recognizable tone of voice.

Without it, you risk sounding just like any other generic company, and that’s no way to stand out or capture the customer’s attention. People will form an emotional bond with your brand if you talk to them in an authentic tone that is personalized to their liking.

This is where your research will come in handy, as you should identify the key characteristics that create a winning brand tone of voice in your industry.

Wrapping it all up

Being unique in today’s oversaturated online and offline markets can oftentimes seem like an insurmountable task. With these tips in mind, though, you should have no problem building a recognizable and memorable brand that people will know and love.

Steve Parker
Steve works as senior editor at PL. When he's not writing or slashing through content, he loves to dabble in board games, coffee and all-things-Agile.

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