Customers today have high expectations for the brands they spend money on. Brand identities are more than mere guidelines for marketing—they’re essential concepts that play a large role in the success of the average business.
As an award-winning branding company in Dubai, we’ve helped dozens of clients create powerful identities that stand out from the crowd. Along the way, we’ve learned a lot about what customers are looking for in a trusted product or service provider.
To help give you direction when positioning yourself in 2021, we’ve written a guide to understanding expectations of today’s customers vis-a-vis brand identity. If you’re a marketer or entrepreneur looking for your next big brand direction, read on!
1. Clever, Unique, and Descriptive Brand Iconography
Here’s a challenge: try and think of how many logos you’ve seen today. In fact, look at your open browser tabs and count the logos you see right now.
The digital world is saturated with logos and iconography. Brands and their core images are everywhere, which can make it very hard to stand out and leave a strong impression.
In a study of nearly 600 logos, analysts found that the most successful logos are often those that are descriptive—like Burger King’s famous burger shape. Interestingly, this means that you might be better off dialing back your creativity and setting the parameter that your imagery should give a sense of what your business is all about.
That being said, creativity and some artistic genius must feature in your visual brand identity. Feel free to think outside of the box and avoid the obvious (with all due respect to Burger King) when designing or redesigning your logos and images.
The trick is to create something that’ll make people stop and think: either to connect the dots between your logo and your line of work (which again, shouldn’t take too long) or to admire the fact that they’ve seen something new and daring.
2. Socially Relevant Business Values
Today’s customers choose brands based on what they stand for. This means rewarding brands that are inclusive, equitable, and responsible in what they say and do. Conversely, this also means punishing or “canceling” brands that harm or diminish marginalized social groups.
While we understand that business is business, today’s enterprises can’t ignore the fact that the social aspects of their brand identities make a real difference in their outcomes.
This is why we highly recommend that you take inventory of your corporate values and take measures to stay mindful and communicate responsibly. Then, once they’ve managed to clear the air of any signs of scandal, take steps to communicate how they affect positive social change.
A good example of this is the recent wave of female empowerment among enterprises around the world—large corporations have taken steps to highlight and promote women internally, communicating the steps they’ve taken in a bid to convince audiences of their commitment.
We aren’t encouraging you to engage with social issues for the sake of it. If your business is run with the values of equity and fairness in mind, feel free to make that a part of your brand identity. And at the very least, never punch down.
3. Eco-Friendly Products and Practices
An absolute must when engaging with modern audiences is to make eco-friendliness a core part of your business’ identity. Sustainability, waste reduction, and the use of renewable resources (from energy to raw components) generate positive attention among most customers—and are must-haves among certain others.
There are plenty of meaningful steps your business could take to become more eco-friendly, but that’s a subject for another article. For our purposes, focus on the importance of communicating that ecological commitment as a feature of your brand identity.
Your packaging, marketing materials and other core visuals may benefit from the inclusion of eco-friendly disclosures. You don’t need to scream it at the top of your lungs, just feature it wherever it makes sense to do so.
Likewise, you’d be well within your rights to run campaigns centered on sustainability. You could shine a spotlight on your sustainable vendors, take a deep-dive into your processes and policies, or even support local initiatives. The closer you get to making a real and meaningful impact, the more you can expect in the way of positive recall for your brand identity.
4. A Coherent and Relatable Brand Voice
As much as it’s important to choose a good direction for what you say, how you say it is equally important in establishing a strong brand identity.
Your marketing content, packaging, and customer service should all reflect an organized and well-considered strategy for your brand voice.
Spend some time answering the question: if your brand were a person, what kind of impression would they leave on the people around them?
Ideally, your brand speaks the way your customers speak. You’re doing well if your voice conveys that you know exactly what kinds of problems your customers face, what kinds of solutions they’re after, and what matters to them as they consider those solutions.
Take a look at how your brand persona speaks, what kinds of words they choose, and how they engage with the people they interact with (i.e. your customers). When you’ve settled on a direction that reflects the vibe and personality you’re after, write it down—seriously, process the idea into rules and directions for your brand book.
Consistency is crucial to developing a strong brand identity because it takes repeated exposure for your brand to take root in a potential customer’s mind. As you build your company’s popularity, be sure you’re setting your leads up for relatable and predictable experiences with it.
We know how difficult it is to manage a brand, especially now that the sky’s the limit when it comes to creatively selling your products and services. It’s a real challenge to stick to a single direction when there are so many different ways to earn recognition.
At Igloo, we’ve spent years working with different clients on forming their brand identities. We know better than most that great marketing and recognition happens when there’s a premium put on consistency and rewarding customers for having set expectations.
Contact us today to learn how our experts can help you maximize the value behind your branding and position your business as a trusted friend—instead of just another ad factory.