When developing a new website, you may consider developing a brand identity, but then say ‘great nice to have….but time and money just won’t allow me this option.’
We get it. We work with small to medium sized businesses every day and often, the need for a website comes just at that time when there is an urgency to grow the business or pivot in a different direction.
But here’s the thing, a website that isn’t built with a brand strategy or identity is like letting your toddler go into your closet and pick your work outfit for the day. You could get lucky and get something that works all thrown together, but you run a high risk of having an outfit that doesn’t work together and most importantly doesn’t represent you as a person. This is similar to accelerating web design before considering your brand identity.
Shelving brand identity can ultimately slow down the process and make it even more expensive. If you consider the brand after web design, there will be a lot of additional updates. The poor man pays twice as they say.
When you develop a brief for your new website design, it’s essential to have a clear brand identity in place first. A stunning website takes deliberate thought and actions, starting with having clarity over your brand identity.
What is a brand identity?
A brand identity is more than just a logo. It is made up of the name, the mark, the tag line, the colour palette, fonts, typesetting, copy tone of voice and photography style. All of these elements should come together to proudly express the personality of your business, what you believe in, your values, your level of quality and the promises you make.
A brand identity done well imbues trust, credibility and connection.
How do you create a brand identity?
Before you develop a brand identity you should ideally develop a brand strategy, which is a process of discovery, usually with a brand strategist, to clearly map out and define your ‘why’ story, your competitors and competitive position, industry and world trends and a well-rounded empirical view of the key customers that you know you attract. (not who you want to attract).
The workshop should also explore products and services, prices points, business goals, a SWOT analysis, brand values and beliefs, benefits (functional and emotional), personality and archetypes.
All of this thinking can then be crafted to create a brand essence – a three to five word sentence that can be used to summarise what your brand stands for. This essence can be used as a tagline if you wish. With the help of your marketing expert or copywriter, a mission/vision statement is crafted along with an elevator pitch and a value proposition statement.
Sometimes the brand strategist can also help with a messaging matrix that can include key ‘belief statements’ to be used across your website.
These outputs all form the basis of the end strategy, and should ideally then be handed over to a graphic designer to develop a brand identity, to include a logo, colour palette, font recommendations and image style.
Once the identity is developed and agreed upon, a style-guide should form a part of the identity project and this should be handed over along with font names, colours and logo elements to the website designer before they commence the build.