How to think about Brand Identity

February 24, 2015


Have you ever wondered how some brands sell more but have a similar product or service as another brand?


In a nutshell; the most successful brands communicate why they do what they do. It sounds easy but in fact it’s a little more difficult to achieve than one might think.


I’ve been looking very closely at branding lately. To celebrate my third year in business I’ve completed overhauled my brand identity. So why did I rebrand? (Yes I have a huge stack of beautiful luxury business cards sitting in my office…with the old brand cheerily looking out at me!) I changed my brand because I realised that the old look did not represent my business. Sure it represented what I started out to do – but it didn’t reflect what my business grew to be. Regardless of how successful your brand has been, or is at present, at some point in its life cycle every brand needs a health check and potential revitalisation strategy to stay relevant and in peak performance.


Design is actually the last thing to do when it comes to creating a brand identity. The first thing you must do is map out the brand personality. Here are a few steps I use in this process;


  • Know your USP (unique selling point). What makes your service or product stand apart from your competitors? Look closely at what sets your business or product apart. It doesn’t have to be revolutionary. There are plenty of businesses or products out there that do the same thing. What sets them apart is the way they do it…or the high standard they achieve. A products benefits, such as being free from artificial colours or flavourings is part of this. It also includes emotional elements, typically the product’s back story. This is what attracts and keeps customers.


  • Know your customer. Know their need and know their pain point. Your solution should be reflected in your brand message, look and feel. To position your brand correctly a company must first identity what its brand gives, rationally or emotionally to customers. It is a designer’s job to understand and creatively communicate this. Done effectively, this makes your service or product instantly attractive. Like bees to honey.


  • Keep it simple. Unfortunately it usually takes a long time to make something look simple (as my favourite University tutor always said). A strong brand clearly resonates what it stands for though. The story of the brand is crafted through the use of clever copy, strong design, typography, colour and imagery. This is key to your brand as it is the very first thing a customer comes in contact with. It makes the first impression and speaks in your absence. It needs to speak clearly and quickly to the buyer.


  • Be industry informed. Let’s face it, most of us look to our competitors to benchmark. In fact most customers who use my services have seen something their competitor is doing and is keen to keep up. Try looking to the best – these may be international industry leaders.


Your brand communicates why you do what you do. Sure…there’s plenty of businesses out there that probably do the same thing, but they are not your business. How you do it….and why you do it…this is what sets your business apart from the others. It’s where the competitive edge lies. This is what the customer wants to know and wants to experience. And that’s what you need to communicate in your branding. Your business brand and marketing style is the first experience a customer has with your company. It needs to be on target and it needs to be real. If there’s one thing I’ve learned so far is that a great brand expresses what it really stands for. And it tends to do this effortlessly….or so it appears.


As you will see here on my new website - My new brand is me! Strange as that sounds. There is just me – unlike an agency there is no long communication line with multiple designers interpreting your project in a different way every other week. I’m at the communication and production end of my business. You won’t to have deal with anyone else. The buck starts and stops with me. I’m told that it makes for a smooth, fast and personally tailored process. Naturally my new logo is all about me -‘Lisa’


An insightful read on the subject of branding is a book by the well known brand Innocent - Our story & Some Things We’ve Learned


Have you noticed a brand recently and what caught your attention? And while we're at it, what else would you like to see me blog about? Finally, make sure you don't miss my future posts and please follow me on LinkedIn even if we're already connected.


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© 2020 by Lisa Carolan Design, Navan, Co.Meath