Developing your brand identity by creating a distinct voice, story, and visuals, and showcasing it on digital platforms, can play a substantial role in the way your brand stands out from your competition. Learn how you can build upon your main message and reach the audience you want.
Imagine you have a Venn Diagram in front of you with one circle that outlines who your brand is (including what it represents, your voice, your message, your personality, and how your brand meets the needs of your customers). Another circle lists all the digital platforms your business has a presence on.
What would fall in the middle? Do both circles overlap? In other words, are you communicating who your brand is and what you represent across your digital platforms? If not many points fall into the middle of your imaginary Venn Diagram, now is the time to start planning how you can reinforce and showcase your brand’s identity in a digital space.
Below we have outlined several components to help you achieve a successful, consistent brand identity on digital platforms. Keep in mind that every business has a different driving force behind it; some strategies will work for some and not others. Finding what works for your brand and your audience is key.
Create a brand voice
You likely have goals and objectives for your brand, but how are you communicating them? When speaking to your audience on a digital platform, there should be a style or personality to your copy that not only aligns with how you want your brand to be perceived, but coincides with the messages you want to get across. Writing in a certain tone and finding your brand voice can be a great way to stand out from your competition and it can help your brand become more memorable and unique when you engage with your customers digitally.
But how do you create a brand voice? If you do not have a certain personality that comes across digitally or you are looking to strengthen it, you should first determine exactly who your audience is – both your current customers and the ones you want to attract. Breaking down your audience into psychographic and demographic segments can be helpful, as you can uncover certain beliefs and lifestyles they have. Once you have discovered exactly who your audience is and what they want out of your brand, you can start to develop or strengthen your brand’s purpose. You want your brand to have personality and a viewpoint that you can translate into your copy on your digital platforms.
For example, if you are a brand that primarily targets Gen Z, using language that is fun, light, and humorous could be something your audience gravitates to (if that aligns with your services or products). If you want your content to be upbeat and helpful, you can use authentic, inviting language that is more casual and “human” to connect with your audience.
The idea here is that your digital platforms should be used to communicate who your brand is through your messaging. Maintaining a certain tone or voice will maintain consistency, which your audience can appreciate, leading to greater loyalty and engagement.
Create a document with your brand guidelines to showcase how to communicate using your brand’s voice. This can help maintain consistency if you have multiple employees writing your content and managing your digital presence.
Consider your visual identity
While one of the main objectives of developing a brand identity is about finding your brand’s personality, which can be primarily demonstrated through content, you can’t forget about the visuals posted on your digital platforms.
Your logo, headers, the imagery on your website, the images within blogs, your social media headers and posts – there are many opportunities on digital platforms where your visuals can shine. Using them can help build your identity and help you communicate the objectives of your brand.
When developing your brand identity, start with your logo. If you already have a logo, be sure to post it on all of your digital platforms, including using it as your social media profile pictures. Keeping it consistent will allow users to recognize your brand on each platform. Your logo should be memorable and help communicate your brand’s message. Logos are one step in the process of developing or transforming your digital identity, so your design and colour(s) should be chosen with purpose and displayed everywhere you have a presence. You may want to include your logo on all your visuals, such as in the bottom corner, to help distinguish your content from anything else on the web. (Note: be sure you are not adding a logo on a copyrighted image.)
When creating your visual identity as part of your brand identity, be sure to use certain brand colours and typography that can help you distinguish yourself. You are adding factors that contribute to who your brand is, so it should match your brand objectives and message.
Finding material that corresponds with your target audience and is something that they can relate to is important. You also want to ensure your images are simple enough to understand at a glance and that correspond to your content.
Build an enticing brand story
Brand storytelling is incredibly important when developing your business’ identity as it helps you communicate who you are, which in turn builds brand awareness. When you are telling your brand’s story, rather than recounting a mundane timeline, add some personality and explain why you created your brand in the first place, why you have the products/services that you do, what you are trying to accomplish with your brand, etc.
MRI scans show that when someone is listening to a narrative, various areas of the brain light up. Additionally, brain waves can begin to match the person telling the story. In other words, our brains love stories, and if our brains can “activate” when we consume a story, brands have a great opportunity to connect with their audience.
When telling your own brand story, try and keep it on the shorter side and be sure you can create a connection with your audience. This could look like adding humour, meaningful emotion, or something relatable; your story should entice readers to keep reading, while also helping build a connection. In fact, 84.3% of individuals are more likely to remain loyal to brands that have similar values to their own, so being open about your brand’s values can be extremely beneficial.
It might seem like if you have told your story once, there is no point in retelling it. In reality, you can re-purpose parts of your story multiple times and on multiple digital platforms. For instance, you can have your story on your website to act as the main headquarters for those who come across it, post a short video about it to your social media platforms, add copy within your posts touching on it, or write blog posts about it – there are many opportunities to convey your story digitally.
Ready to develop your brand identity?
When developing your brand identity on digital platforms, it is essential to remain active. This means maintaining social media accounts, trying out email marketing, optimizing your website, etc. Keep in mind that building a strong identity doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be everywhere. It is quality over quantity. Remain active on the social media platforms that you can keep up with and that your audience is active on, and put the time and effort into building brand materials that effectively represent your message.