Brand Identity Elements That Rock



Try to introduce yourself without a name, a distinct voice, or a personal style. Feels impossible, right? The same applies to your brand. Just like you, it needs a robust identity to be recognized, understood, and remembered. And that's why we're here - to illuminate the path to crafting an impressive brand identity, one element at a time.

Brand identity doesn’t just mean putting a pretty logo on your products and marketing materials or adding some vibrant colours to your website design. It's rather a blend of distinct elements that work in concert to express your brand's essence and to whisper (or shout, if that's your style) its uniqueness to your target audience and the whole market in general.

brand identity elements

Why You Need a Brand Identity

When you wander through the supermarket's candy aisle, your gaze lands on two bars of chocolate. One is wrapped in an ordinary brown paper. The other is the Cadbury Dairy Milk bar with its signature purple packaging and a familiar logo. Which one are you more likely to pick? That's the power of brand identity. A memorable brand identity helps your brand shine, anchoring itself firmly in the minds of your customers.

Give Your Audience What They Want

Consumer attention tends to get drawn to something appealing or familiar. Wor-factor or trust, on the opposite, are among the most influential traits that help consumers decide what they want. And that's exactly what a well-crafted brand identity provides. Brand identity is the promise you make to your customers. It's the assurance that no matter where they engage with you, once they choose you, they will experience the same values, the same quality, and the same distinct feelings.

Sure, everybody loves surprises to a certain extent, but let’s face it — nobody will ever want to buy Lexus-labeled noodles. A strong brand identity is your ticket to satisfying your audience's thirst for consistency.

Influence on Customer Loyalty and Brand Reputation

Brand identity is the very heart of your business. It's what your customers associate with your brand, it's the reason they stay loyal to you, and it's the magic wand that transforms customers into brand advocates.

The more consistent and resonating your brand identity, the deeper the trust and loyalty your customers develop towards your brand. And with loyalty comes reputation. A sterling reputation isn't built overnight. But with a robust and cohesive brand identity, you're laying down the first bricks of a brand reputation that stands the test of time.

Brand Identity or Brand Book?

As you start brand strategy building, you'll encounter dozens of terms that might seem similar but have nuanced differences. Two such terms that often leave business owners scratching their heads are 'Brand Identity' and 'Brand Book'. Let's demystify them.

Brand Identity is the unique brand DNA. It's a compilation of all brand assets - the elements that give your brand its heartbeat and distinguish it from the crowd. Think of brand identity as the personality of your brand - it's what makes your brand 'you'.

On the other hand, a Brand Book (also known as a brand guide or brand style guide) is the official document that captures and presents these elements of your brand identity. It's your brand's rulebook, outlining how your brand presents and expresses itself across different platforms. Your brand book dictates how your logo can be used, which colours and typography are allowed, and the tone and style of your communication.

In simple terms, while your brand identity is who you are, your brand book is the user manual that tells how to accurately represent you. Both go hand in hand, playing crucial roles in the journey of creating and maintaining a unique value proposition and strong brand strategy.

elements of brand identity

The Key Elements of a Brand Identity 

Each of the following elements, when thoroughly crafted and combined, will help your brand book its own seat at the market table.

1. Brand Name: Say Hello to the World

Your name is how you introduce yourself. The brand name is your brand’s first promise to your audience, your first "hello" to the world. Names are powerful when they mean something close to heart or easy to remember. Most of the best-performing brand names are easily pronounceable, distinct, and hopefully don’t sound like something terrible the word can be mistaken for. 

That’s why naming is not the process to be rushed. Take your time. Brainstorm ideas, test them out, and ensure the name you choose sounds just as good today as it will a decade from now.

2. Logo: The Visual Symbol of the Brand

If your brand name is the "hello", your logo is the memorable face that people associate with that greeting. It's the visual cornerstone of your brand identity, often the first thing people notice about your brand. Your logo design should be unique and purposeful, carrying a piece of your brand story within.

Your logo will grace every product, every social media advertisement, and every communication your brand puts out in the world. So, ensure it's a face you're proud to display and one your audience will be pleased to see.

3. Brand Colours: The Colour Scheme Associated with the Brand

Brand colours hold a powerful emotional sway, silently communicating your brand's personality and triggering specific emotional responses. Think of Coca-Cola's bold red that screams excitement or Tiffany & Co.'s iconic blue that exudes sophistication. 

Choose colours that align with your brand's personality and the emotions you wish to evoke in your audience. A carefully picked colour palette boosts brand recognition and defines the aesthetics of your brand.

4. Visual Style: Use of Photos, Illustrations, Graphics

Unlike words, visuals are a universal language that instantly captures attention and communicates your brand's message faster than words ever could. Your visual style involves the type of imagery you use (photographs, illustrations, animations, etc.), as well as the composition, filters, and themes you consistently keep to.

For instance, a brand centered around sustainability might use earthy tones, nature-based illustrations, and organic shapes in their visual content. Alternatively, a tech brand might favor sleek lines, bold geometric shapes, and a futuristic palette in brand imagery.

Your visual style should feel like a natural extension of your brand's personality, consistently reflecting who you are across all platforms and touchpoints. A cohesive visual style helps you tell a consistent brand story, making your brand more memorable and instantly recognizable.

5. Typography: Fonts and Typography Styles Used

While the meaning of words you use in your communication should definitely hit the right spot, typography is the visual way you present such words. Fonts are used everywhere, from logos to business cards. A tech startup might go for a clean, minimalistic font, while a luxury fashion brand might opt for a more elegant and sophisticated script. 

Always consider legibility while selecting your brand's fonts. As always, the goal of brand fonts is to communicate effectively, and an unreadable font can cause your message to get lost.

6. Tone of Voice: Tone, Style, and Language Used in Communication

Now to the meaning of words. The tone of voice is the personality that comes through in your communication, making your brand feel more human and relatable.

Your tone of voice should mirror your brand personality. If you're a fun, quirky brand, your communication should be lighthearted and playful. If you're a serious, professional brand, your tone should be more formal and authoritative. It’s important to keep in mind that the tone of your brand voice is not just for your website or marketing copy, but also for UX design, customer support communication and other not purely marketing touchpoints.

7. Unique Catchphrase: We say "Just Do It", You Think "Nike". Find the Same Pattern for Your Brand

Think "Just Do It", and Nike springs to mind. Hear "I'm Lovin' It", and you're transported to the golden arches of McDonald's. The right catchphrase can elevate your brand value to the sky.

A compelling tagline can encapsulate your brand's vision in a few short, snappy words, becoming an essential part of your brand's identity. Aim for a catchphrase that is concise, catchy, and true to your brand's mission.

8. Bonus Point: Audio Branding. A Sound or a Jingle Associated with Your Brand or Product

In the era of voice assistants and podcasts, audio branding has emerged as an exciting new frontier in the brand identity landscape. Consider the unmistakable 'ding' sound when you boot up your laptop or the iconic MGM lion's roar. Those sounds have become an integral part of the brands' identities, instantly recognizable anywhere.

The elements of brand identity are as varied as they are vital. Each one, from your name and logo to your catchphrase and audio branding, plays a pivotal role in painting a comprehensive picture of who you are as a brand.

Brand Identity Design Examples

Nike: Just Do It

From its iconic swoosh logo to the powerful "Just Do It" catchphrase, Nike's brand identity is as powerful as the athletes it endorses. 

nike, just do it branding

Why This Brand Identity Design Rocks?

Nike's brand identity design is a masterclass in consistency, simplicity, and appeal. It expertly combines its visual elements with its strong, motivational brand messaging to create an identity that resonates with athletes and casual consumers alike.

Brand Name and Logo

The name Nike, is derived from the Greek goddess of victory, and its minimalist logo reflect the brand's association with triumph and high performance.

Brand Colours

The minimalist black and white colours emphasize what Nike delivers best — simple and functional products. 

Typography and Tone of Voice

Nike's communication is characterized by its bold, sans serif typography and inspirational tone of voice that encourages everyone to tap into their inner athlete.

Unique Catchphrase 

The "Just Do It" tagline is a cry for determination that embodies the brand's mission to inspire everyone, regardless of their athletic ability.

Audio Branding

Nike's commercials often feature powerful, high-energy music that mirrors the brand's dynamic spirit.

The biggest takeaway from Nike's brand identity design is the power of consistency and the importance of aligning all identity elements with the brand's core values. Whether it's a billboard ad or a shoebox design, Nike's branding remains consistent and true to inspiration and performance.

Hyundai: New Thinking, New Possibilities

From being a relatively unknown car manufacturer to becoming a global automotive powerhouse, Hyundai's journey is a testament to the power of effective brand identity design. But what's so rocking about their brand identity?

hyundai new thinking, new opportunities branding

Why This Brand Identity Design Rocks?

Hyundai's brand positioning and identity creates a strong emotional connection with its customers in the business where long years come between the initial contact with the brand and the actual purchase. It's not just about selling cars; it's about projecting a brand image of innovative thinking, reliability, and endless possibilities.

Brand Name and Logo 

Hyundai, a Korean word meaning "modernity," and its stylized 'H' logo, designed to represent two people (the company and customer) shaking hands, set the tone for a forward-thinking, customer-centric brand.

Brand Colours

The silver colour of the Hyundai logo represents sophistication, creativity, and perfection, which aligns well with the brand's commitment to innovative design and impeccable quality.

Typography and Tone of Voice

Hyundai's choice of clear, legible fonts and a straightforward tone of voice reflects its simplicity, transparency, and user-friendly experiences.

Unique Catchphrase

"New Thinking, New Possibilities" brilliantly encapsulates Hyundai's innovative approach to automotive design and its thrive for pushing the boundaries of what's possible.

Audio Branding

Hyundai's audio branding often includes sounds of nature and soothing melodies, creating a sense of tranquility and harmony that mirrors the brand's focus on designing eco-friendly, human-centered vehicles. On the other hand, the brand is among the boldest in the automotive industry regarding the use of various musical genres in their commercials, which highlights their passion for innovation.

Hyundai's brand identity underscores the importance of clearly communicating your brand values and promises through all the elements of your brand identity. It also highlights the significance of evolving with time and staying ahead of the curve. Hyundai continually refines its brand identity, and honestly, so should everyone.

Time for You to Just Do It

Building a brand identity is a thrilling, yet complex task. You might feel like a band preparing to step on stage for the first time, anxious about how the audience will receive you. But, much like the stage crew supporting the band, Bolder is here to ensure your performance hits the right notes. 

Because your brand deserves to rock. And we're here to ensure it does.

It’s time to turn up the volume and get noticed!

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