Congratulations you’ve been wrestling around with that idea in your head for a while now and you’ve finally decided to put it in motion and turn your dreams into your reality! First things first, branding. A brand is easily the most important aspect of any business, therefore a lot of attention and detail must go into the process of creating a brand to ensure that the brand accurately represents the business as a whole. Branding can be broken down into two separate but intertwining parts; corporate identity and logo design. Below we will dig deeper into technical definitions of brand, logo, and identity, and break down the corporate identity design process into four distinct phases for the up-and-coming entrepreneur.
BRAND: an identifiable feature such as; a name, title, term, design, symbol, or figure that exemplifies a business’ goods or services as distinguishable from other business’.
LOGO: a graphic element used to symbolize a company’s brand in the form of; an icon, monogram, emblem, mark, and/or logotype.
IDENTITY: the perceived image used to characterize the company’s purpose and ideals.
Now that you are aware of the technical definitions of brand, identity, and logo, we will push on to each phase!
[Note that throughout this blog you will find images of corporate identity design done by Royal Ink Design for a local wine design company in the Las Vegas area.]
PHASE 1 : VISION
Although each phase is not to be taken lightly, phase 1 proves to be the most influential, helpful, and motivating phase for new business owners looking to dive into the world of commercialism. This phase is meant to be a time-consuming process that gets you thinking about each and every aspect of your business. So sit down, breathe, close your eyes if you must, and allow your mind to truly picture your business as you want it to be.
Now that you have visualized your business, take the time to completely delve into the questions below and document your answers for future perusal; as over the years your business is sure to change as will your answers.
- How and why was the business conceived? (Include history, motives, stories, etc.)
- What statement do you intend to make in the world with your brand? What is the underlying objective?
- Who is your intended audience? How old are they? What do they like?
- How do you want your customers to feel about your brand and overall services?
- What will distinguish your business from your competitors’?
PHASE 2 : LOGO DESIGN
Once you’ve answered all the questions above, you will find that you feel more comfortable creating a unique logo to be the face of your business. Designing a logo can be incredibly tricky, especially if you are a picky individual, but don’t fret as all good things come with time and effort. When beginning to design your logo it is recommended that you first research logo options based on your business’ contents. This will give you ideas as to what your competitions’ logo designs entail as far as; style, design, color, etc. After doing the research, get all your ideas out on paper! Once you have done so, attempt integrating and exploring different features such as; symbols and letters. Drawing up ideas on paper has been proven to lead to more dynamic logo designs than those designed on the computer. This process can be incredibly daunting and overwhelming as coming up with a logo from scratch can have endless possibilities. But keep in mind how rewarding the process will have proved to be once your finalized logo is made the face of your business to the rest of the world. If you feel as though designing your own logo is far too time consuming or complicated than you would like, there are companies that specialize in custom logo design who could design your logo for you!
PHASE 3 : IDENTITY
A business’ identity aims to clearly define what you brand stand for and can be divided into two separate aspects:
- physical aspect: includes the logo, color scheme, packaging, stationary, digital products, and online platforms.
- emotional aspect: how the brand communicates with the outside world. This might be expressed through a writing style or voice, design style, color scheme, etc.
The identity also includes a mission statement meant to clearly define the core values and goals of the business in a motivational manner. It should be descriptive yet straightforward, eloquent yet efficient. Again, it is important to consider your demographic to ensure that you’re mission statement speaks to what your target audience wants to hear, feel, and believe. You know your mission statement is complete when both your employees and your customers feel inspired to work with you or your product.
PHASE 4 : MARKETING AND MANAGING
Marketing and managing are two crucial aspects to maintaining any business. After a logo and identity are launched to the public, it is important to stay up to date with marketing trends, shifts in consumerism, and client interaction. Over time you may find that your business is in need of re-branding and that is perfectly okay as that is part of the managing process. The overall goal to managing a business is to maintain consistency both to your brand and to your customers. Marketing a new business is rather expansive; from business cards and paper marketing to website development and paid media advertising. If at any point you feel completely overcome with the responsibilities that marketing and managing a business entails, there are companies that specifically cater to developing corporate identities and logo designs as well as social media marketing and managing. Although creating a corporate identity may seem as though it is a lot of work, know that it doesn’t have to be. Reach out for professional help if needed and reap the benefits!