Establishing a Unique and Appealing Brand Identity for Your Store

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Branding isn’t a strategy that only multi-national corporations need to use. Even the smallest of businesses can benefit from projecting a strong brand image, and each business has its own identity — whether it is created with purpose or not. The fun part is that the characteristics that define that identity can be entirely up to you; your motivations, beliefs, and ambitions all will be reflected in your store’s image, and what the customer thinks of your store’s image will drastically affect whether they choose to purchase from your brand.

It’s easy to tell that a company’s brand’s identity is well established when you can identify the brand through its different products quickly, even peripherally, without much more than a glance. But how do companies reach this level of distinction? The answer lies in careful planning.

When it comes to brand identity, consistency is key, and affects how your customers “experience” your brand, what they associate with shopping at your store, as well as the overall persona your brand emanates. The more memorable you are, the better, but, of course, you want to be memorable in a great way.

There are many crucial considerations to be made when it comes to brand identity, including how much your products are marketed for in comparison with competitors, what kind of marketing schemes you are implementing, your long-term and short-term goals, and what kind of service you offer (do you go above and beyond, or do you simply meet the status-quo?).

There are some sure-fire ways to start thinking about how you might want your brand to be represented, and listed below are just a few starters.

Do you have a consistent and easily identifiable image?

Here’s an idea: think of all the brands and their companies that you can in a matter of ten seconds: which ones popped out in your mind, and why? Did those companies come to your mind wrapped in positivity, or did your thoughts associated with their brands air with a sense of a need for improvement? A business should have a well-distinguished and consistent image that its consumers can count on, and won’t be inundating its shoppers with surprises that will ultimately drive them away. The image a company creates will ultimately represent everything about the business: its customer service, its marketing, its products, and its offer to improve the community. And of course, an ‘image’ doesn’t just stop at a logo – the logo and visuals must be considered as simply the superficial iconic representation of a business and what it represents.

Have you done your research?

The best brand identity managers are always on the lookout for ways to improve their image and catch the eyes of new customers, while continually pleasing their current shoppers and keeping them coming back for more. For example, National Geographic has been around through many decades, and is a great example of brand management that has continued to grow and expand. National Geographic is easily distinguished by its yellow colour; its picturesque and high quality photographs of landscapes, people and animals; its presence in social media and consumer interests; and its simple designs in marketing and output. Nat Geo is always reaching to incorporate an even greater level of engagement from its supporters.

Is everything targeted towards your particular audience?

One of the most important things for a brand to define is its ‘target audience.’ This should be reflected in everything from the medium and avenues used for advertisements, to the individuals that are representing your company. What kind of diction are you using? Is it casual and informal, or professional and directive? It also includes visuals associated with your company, like the colours and fonts used for signs.

What is unique about you?

Are your products known for refined taste and expensive prices, or do you offer regular discounts and cheaper products to those consumers looking for a more affordable product? Make sure that your customers know what to expect when they come to your store.

Are you staying relevant?

Sure, consistency may be key when it comes to branding, but at the same time, you need to innovate and keep up with current trends. Ideally, you should be flexible and adaptable while keeping intact the core principles and attributes that formed your brand in the first place. Communication technology has revolutionised the way that brands do their business: maybe this means implementing a stronger social media presence, or revamping your company’s website. Whatever strategies you decide to implement, consider how new technology has the capacity to affect your brand. For example, with the prevalence of social media, your brand identity can now be defined by your customers and ‘followers’, who have more power to get their opinions out there and to shape others’ perception of you.

Growing your brand image

If you already have a brand image, but think it could use some work, you could consider getting some input from your customers. Create polls and surveys (perhaps distributing them through social media), to learn firsthand from customers what they associate with and what they like about your brand in its current state.