Let’s be honest, there is no shortage of businesses in the world today. Why is it that some stand out more than others? Whether you remember a brand for good reasons or bad, at the end of the day there is one key element to making your brand stick out from the crowd:
Adapting a strong brand identity will show the world your brand means business.
What does a strong brand identity look like? I’m glad you asked...
Think of your brand identity as the personality of your business. Humans are visual by nature so these aspects of the brand are imperative to remain consistent and boost your brand recognition. Did you know we can correctly recognize imagery that’s been shown for a mere 100 miliseconds? Imagine how much more effective your marketing collateral would be if viewers already recognized your brand within one tenth of a second.
So what consists of your brand’s visual identity? The most recognized element would certainly be your brandmark (a fancy way of saying “logo” without pigeonholing yourself from the myriad of brand touchpoints that require a brandmark of some sort). Other visual elements include a color palette, typographic treatment, and overall graphic style. Having a consistent graphic style means sticking to a specific tone or set of themes that effectively communicate the characteristics of your brand. A modern tech-savvy business may want to be visually represented by the clean, approachable nature of their products whereas the no-nonsense traditional firm may need to display a sense of professionalism and trust that customers search for in their industry.
Take AirBnB for example — as an industry leading online hospitality marketplace they need to offer their customers an experience that’s akin to the consistency found throughout a stay at a traditional hotel. This is largely accomplished through their holistic design system which includes a variety of elements, one of which is a strong visual identity. Let’s dissect this piece-by-piece.
One essential aspect of brand consistency is thinking beyond pure visuals. In order to create a logo that was relevant to the brand, AirBnB identified four core aspects of their business: people, place, love, and “A” from their name. These values not only came together to create a simple and memorable brandmark, but also continuously reinforce the core values of the company. The loopy graphic style could also hint at the cyclical nature of travel – yet another tone of consistency within the brand.
AirBnB leans heavily into its core brand color which they call "Rausch". This hue can directly be tied to human psychology in response to color — just look at some of the identifying words for red and pink (which you could argue make up the color Coral). Excitement, energy, passion, courage, playful, and love. What better way to describe their target audience?
AirBnB use a clean sans serif font that feels fresh, modern, and simple. Limiting themselves to several weights within one typeface also allows for consistent design regardless of where it lives. This adds to their overall tone of approachability and simplicity.
The sum of these elements provides an easily translatable system that transcends beyond more than just the AirBnB visual identity, but also continuously touches on their company core values and overall brand ethos.
At the end of the day, your brand identity is so much more than just a logo. There are many brand elements to utilize in order to craft a consistent, recognizable brand. Adopting a strong identity will make your job easier by removing the chaos and clutter of a fractured identity and allow your brand to begin speaking for itself.