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Who do you think you are? Defining your brand identity

Shane stared intently at his logo.

He’s seen it a million times before. But this time something’s different. He’s had the same logo and brand for 10 years. He just can’t put his finger on it.

“No,” he says to himself. “This isn’t how I want my business to be represented anymore.”

Have you ever thought about your brand in this way?

Recently, even we felt that we had outgrown the existing Barking Bird brand. Barking Bird’s business was cemented but the image we were projecting of ourselves didn’t quite match. So, we did a deep dive into our own brand identity and came to a few conclusions.   

 

What it means to have an identity

Your brand, above all, is what people think and feel about your business.

The colours you use, the words you say, all have influence over their perception of you. And their perception is what creates expectation.

Customers expect a standard of service from you, a level of quality from the products you produce – the more prestigious they perceive your brand to be, the higher the level of quality they will expect and vice versa.

In Barking Bird’s case, we decided that the perception we had created of our business lacked polish.

From these initial expectations, (assuming you’ve done your job right) your customers develop loyalty and affinity for your brand. It’s how they will continue to think and feel about you until you give them a reason to think otherwise.

 

Finding yourself

Answering the question of who you are as a brand can be a real head scratcher because this question on its own poses about 20 other questions. It’s a nitty-gritty exercise but an important one which needs to be mulled over.

This is the challenge Barking Bird faced in our own brand refresh. Questions we asked ourselves included:

  • Who are our customers? Land developers, B2B brands etc.
  • What kind of personality do we have? Playful, energetic.
  • How does our logo communicate our brand? Maybe we’re not taking things seriously enough.
  • How can we simplify our brand identity? Let’s get rid of the clutter and focus on what matters to our customers.
  • What does our voice sound like? Personal. Down-to-earth. Professional.

These questions, plus more, helped us in finding our brand identity. And based off our answers, we could create the matching visuals.  

 

Dressing appropriately

This is the “fun” part of the process. Figuring out your brand look is the same as dressing yourself. A metal head isn’t likely to don a suit and tie at a rock concert, so don’t try to dress your brand with visuals that don’t match your personality.

Like we said earlier, your brand is how your customers think and feel about you. Send the right message with visuals that accurately represent who you are.

Design assets include:

  • Typography – What you say matters. But the font that you say it in matters, too. Barking Bird personally went for a more clean, legible look to support our professionalism.
  • Colour palette – Colours have a profound effect on people’s emotions, so choose wisely. Barking Bird’s brand colours were unchanged because they still fit with our desire to appear professional but also cheerful at the same time.
  • Logo – The Nike swoosh, the Apple icon, these brands have their logo nailed. They’re simple, timeless and make a lasting impression. Simplicity is always best here, as Barking Bird decided. We replaced our beloved ‘bird-dog’ with a simple text logo in multiple variations.

Once you’ve established your look, it’s time to roll it out across your style guide, website and other brand assets.

 

Be yourself

As many of us would have learnt in our adolescence, it’s always better to just be yourself.

Pretending to be something you’re not is often uncomfortable and transparent. When searching for, and building, your brand identity, stay true to who you are as a business.

Project the image of yourself that fits best and your customers will come to appreciate who you really are.  

Looking to rediscover your brand identity? Get in touch for a friendly chat.