Creating a Brand Identity
A brand identity is the how your organization looks, sounds, and feels to your audience. Organizations with strong identities create those identities intentionally and strategically. And they use them daily as a decision making tool.
Here are 5 steps for getting started on your branding process.
1. Get institutional buy in.
Creating a brand requires the voice of all your key stakeholders. Explain to them what you’re doing, why it’s important, how you’re going to do it, and what the pay off will be.
2. Ask your citizens/customers.
They are the starting place for any branding project because they are familiar with the experience of interacting with your organization. Survey them, interview them, and listen to what they say.
3. Define the feeling you want your citizens/customers to experience.
This can be a little nebulous but one way to make it more straight forward is by asking how someone might explain their experience to a friend.
4. Test each piece of brand content you create.
You have to be able to make decisions as a staff about whether your brand meets your goals. Establish a check list of what will make your brand successful. Start with the answer to #3 above.
5. Document your brand identity.
Create an easy-to-use style guide so your staff can implement your brand across all channels.
Considerations for your branding project.
- Distinctive. Learn who your competitors are and compare your brand. Does yours stand out?
- Memorable. Your visual content, especially your logo mark, should make sense with your name and what you stand for.
- Flexible. As you grow and your customers/citizens evolve, your brand identity should be able to shift and scale.
- Cohesive. Every component (website, pamphlets, graphics, video, etc.) should reflect the brand.
- User Friendly. Your brand guide should be straightforward and easy for your designers and other staff to use.