Quick, think of your favorite brand. Is it Nike, with the iconic swish? Is it Coca-Cola with the wavy line and perfect red background? Is it Apple with the monochrome light glowing? Every brand identity that is burned into our public consciousness came from clearly defined and recognizable images and phrases that foster customer loyalty. According to the American Marketing Association, a brand is a “name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s goods or services as distinct and unique.” How can you stand out from the crowded marketplace, especially online, and develop an appealing esthetic?

As the Creative Director for Orgwide, I work directly with many companies (large and small) to identify, use, or create a Brand Identity. Within a larger company, it might be for a specific program or initiative; and with a smaller company, it might be taking them through the very first steps and shaping a completely new look and feel for them across all of their collateral. It all starts with learning the company’s story that we want to tell.

No matter what the scale of the project, I have learned that getting to know the company by immersing myself in their culture is very important to deliver with confidence a brand look and feel that “belongs” to them.

I have identified four specific topic areas that I sit down and talk about with them to begin to learn “what makes them tick.”

  1. Understanding and Discovery of Organizational DNA: This is where we spend time digging deep into their vision, mission culture, core values, short and long term goals, and the online outlook of both the company and their competitors.

  2. Clarification of Company Attributes: We start this area with discussing the Brand Attributes, strengths & weaknesses, competitive advantages and key messages.

  3. Target Customer: We talk about what exactly the customer will look like and what behaviors they may have. What needs do they have that we fulfill? What is our sales process to reach them to ensure an optimal relationship?

  4. Brand Persona: Here, we talk about brands that clients love and hate. If you could describe a company as a person, who would it be? What does it sound/ look like? Do you have a defined call-to-action?

As we work through all of these topic areas, a very specific and clear brand identity starts to emerge. We then can take that persona and from it construct a marketable and appealing design that will resonate with a specific customer segment.

Overall, defining a consistent, specific brand identify is increasingly important to communicate and differentiate from competitors in the market, and to let your users know and recognize your company in all channels of communication. Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd a little - it might be exactly what your business needs to be noticed.

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