You’ve got your skills, your business name, your offerings outlined and your ideal client in mind. Many people get to this stage and think: Now what? Today, we’ll be looking at ways to create a powerful brand identity to attract right-fit clients, help you stand out and create consistency within your marketing materials.
What is a Brand Identity?
A brand identity is a combination of elements within your marketing materials that serve to make you instantly recognizable. Your audience will naturally connect your brand identity with your products and/or services which increases loyalty and recognition. Getting clear on what your brand identity is helps you to appear consistent, professional and trustworthy.
Grab a pen and a notebook, and let’s get started!
The first step to creating a brand identity is to answer the following questions.
We’ll use Southwest Institute of Healing Arts as an example:
- What is your mission?
Our mission is to inspire individuals to discover their gifts and graces, and support them as they share their talents with the world in a loving and profitable way.
- What belief drives this mission?
SWIHA believes in the body-mind-spirit connection. We believe humans are spiritual beings having a physical experience. While we do not subscribe to or endorse a specific doctrine or dogma, we openly acknowledge a higher power and divine presence in our lives. We embrace prayer, meditation, divine inspiration, intuition, and the great mystery of life.
- What does your business do?
SWIHA is a creating a conscious community of holistic entrepreneurs who are pioneering the future of the wellness industry.
- What makes your business unique?
Aside from being one of the few nationally accredited healing arts colleges, we’ve built Self-healing and Self-empowerment into our programs, recognizing that personal healing and growth are necessary before going out into the world to offer professional healing and growth.
- What are three of your business’ personality traits?
SWIHA is spiritual, open-hearted, and innovative.
What will these answers do for you?
- Create a basic foundation for copy for your marketing materials
- Provide a clear understanding for prospective clients/customers of why you are right for them.
- Serve as inspiration for visual branding elements.
Choosing Your Brand Design Elements
We are psychologically programmed to have an emotional response to certain colors and they can seriously impact the perception of your brand. Give serious thought to the colors you want tied to your brand, and do your research on what colors competitors are using.
Here are some colors recommended for wellness businesses based on their psychological effects:
White: Fresh, youthful, modern
Gold: Wealth, quality, prestigious
Red: Bold, confident, powerful
Yellow: Happy, adventurous, high-energy
Green: Nature, growth, prosperity
Blue: Stable, trustworthy, tranquil
Purple: Calm, luxurious, wise
Pink: Femininity, romance, compassion
The specific shades are entirely up to you! Choose one main color, and identify one or two complimentary colors to be used when necessary.
Fonts are vital to setting the overall tone of your website and relaying important information. The arrangements of font type, size and color help visitors perceive information and create interest within the content. There are four major categories of fonts with two major uses.
For copy text on your website and email communication, choose either a serif or sans serif font:
Serif: These fonts have ‘feet’ at the end of each letter. Serif fonts are seen as traditional, trustworthy and conservative. Common serif fonts include Georgia, Garamond, Times New Roman, and Courier New.
Sans serif: These fonts are smooth and lack the minor flourishes of serif fonts. They are seen as modern, sleek and forward-thinking. Common sans serif fonts include Verdana, Arial, Franklin Gothic and Calibri.
For images (such as social media posts or email banners) or header text, you may choose a script or a display font. They are not recommended for extended passages or body text:
Script: These fonts mimic handwriting and add a feminine or luxurious feel to your brand.
Display: These fonts are eccentric and have distinct, expressive details.
Much like colors, we also have a psychological response to shapes, making them a subtle way to shape your brand identity and reinforce your desired reaction. Shapes appear in marketing materials, on your website, your business cards and your logo.
Squares and Rectangles: Strength, discipline, reliability
Circles and ovals: Magic, community, femininity
Triangles: Balance, stability, excitement
Spirals and squiggles: Creativity, intelligence, calmness
Vertical lines: Masculinity, strength, stillness
Horizontal lines: Tranquil, mellow, harmonious
Photography is the most widely used and impactful brand assets. Whether you use stock photography or custom photography, it’s important to have a general idea of what is “on brand” for your business.
Here are some tips when choosing photographs:
- Mimic shapes and colors that appear in your logo and on your website.
- Decide on an environment for photos: studio, natural light, outdoors or indoors.
- Set guidelines for composition: center orientation, minimalist, symmetrical, etc.
- Match the style with your audience: eccentric and colorful, professional and luxurious, informal and emotional, etc.
Putting It All Together
Creating a simple visual for your brand identity is a business best practice. It can be sent to web designers, graphic designers, copywriters, or anyone you contract to help with your business to help them get an at-a-glance feel for your aesthetic.
Here is an example brand identity guide for a pretend coaching business, Bloom Nutrition Coaching:
A few things you can tell just by looking at this simple brand identity guide:
- The target demographic is a young, modern women.
- The aesthetic is clean and bright.
- The personality is vibrant and exciting.
Ready to get started?
Check out OurSuccessCenter.com to learn about the entrepreneurial support that SWIHA provides its students and graduates, and how to schedule a one-on-one session with our Success Coaches.