Branding14 Aug 2023Simon Druery

The importance of Brand Design: How a design agency can transform your business

When you think of golden arches, a swoosh, or red and white swirl, I bet there are some brands that come instantly to mind. This is the power of brand design. It not only makes important first impressions but also lasting ones in the eyes of consumers. Brand design encompasses logo, colour palette, typography, icons and photography style or illustrations that combine together to create a brand’s unique visual identity.  

When establishing a new brand, or developing a rebrand, it is essential to create an image that resonates with the ‘meaning’ of your brand. This comes from your vision, purpose, values and desired market positioning in the hearts and minds of your ideal customers.

Brand design creates distinction by establishing a coherent identity through a combination of integrated visual elements. Through the design elements, a brand achieves its differentiation and uniqueness - helping it to be relevant and memorable for your target audience. 

Belong Creative assists companies in creating strategic-led brand design by understanding brands through the lens of their consumers. 

What is Brand Identity Design?

Brand identity design refers to the development of core visual elements that combine together to create what is known in the mind of your target consumers as ‘your brand’. The output is a key part of any corporate strategy to help differentiate, attract and retain the right customers for any business. 

Many of the world's most famous brands have a brand identity design that creates a striking visual image that stands apart from competitors and helps generate brand equity and awareness over time.

So why does branding matter?

Branding creates a unique and memorable image of a business’s service or product in the mind of its customers or prospective customers. It has the power to persuade, influence and shift perceptions and even ignite action and behavioural changes.

Brand strategy helps guide the consumer in the decision-making process (even if they don’t know it!), creating trust and value through personality, education, relatability and especially connection through alignment of perceived values. For example; Coca-cola creates an identity around magical moments. So uses design elements that are fun and spontaneous; bubbles, ice chinking, red and white waves and more recently personalisation (i.e. your name printed on a bottle) to surprise and delight you.  

The enhanced equity resulting from meticulous, strategic-led branding significantly amplifies the brand's recall potential in the minds of consumers. So next time they see the brand it brings feelings and values to life through association.

Elements of brand design

Brand design consists of various elements, which include:

How to build your brand identity design

To create a successful brand identity design, it’s essential to consider the following strategic steps:

1. Research customers, employees and competitors

The first step in building your brand identity design is knowing your audience, competitors and employees. It becomes easier to design the visual brand elements with an idea of what key stakeholders want, need and expect from your brand. Do your research and ask - ‘what do you value most about our product or service and why? How does it make you feel when you use or product and service and why? Why did you choose our product or service over competitors?’ The answers to these questions will help create a more relatable brand identity. 

2. Craft a Customer Value Proposition

Knowing what benefits customers will value becomes vital in creating brand identity. The CVP is drafted when we see what customers desire and value from our brand in comparison to competitors, through market research. Your value proposition is a set of strategic messages that are authentic, relatable and differentiating. It will inspire  your brand personality delivered through brand identity design elements such as colours, fonts and other design elements. For example, if your product (let’s say face cream), makes your customers feel invigorated and fresh, you might go for bright blue or green colours and energetic typography and imagery. Or perhaps your product makes them feel calm and one-of-a-kind, you may choose to bring pinks, or metallics into your brand identity along with a traditional serif, or unique hand-scripted fonts.

3. Develop brand design concepts

Brand design concepts represent the basic ideas behind generating the visual branding or brand identity design elements such as logo, colour, typography, icons, illustrations etc. The brand design concepts give a blueprint for the various brand design elements representing the brand. We would recommend exploring 3 creative design concepts which is ideal for exploring different ways to bring your value proposition to life and give businesses a choice of direction.

4. Test and refine concepts

Testing and refining design concepts ensures your brand aligns with business vision, mission and values. This can be done via research with senior business leaders, employees and customers to get a broader perspective. Equally, as attitudes of customers changes, new competition emerges and economic scenarios shift, there is always value in validating and potentially refining your brand to avoid stagnation.

5. Develop Brand Style Guide

Finally, after going through the process, it becomes essential for businesses to develop a brand style guide. The brand style guide defines how to use all the elements of brand identity design accurately and effectively, in order to build a coherent brand in the marketplace. It ensures all stakeholders that either manage or deliver your brand, both internally and externally, are working from the exact same specifications. 

Benefits of brand design for your business

Organisations, big and small, are investing in brand design to ensure their products and services become well known amongst their ideal target audiences. Customers have more choice than ever before. To avoid confusion and brand ‘blandness’ and truly differentiate your business, brand design is a powerful tool, offering the following advantages:

Frequently asked questions

What is the primary purpose of brand design?

Brand design makes a brand recognisable and memorable amongst its ideal audiences, improving the value and identity of the brand and supports the driving of business and marketing goals.

How to define a good, high-quality brand design?

A good high-quality brand design refers to one that has relatable, authentic and differentiated design elements making the brand stand apart. It should quickly convey the values of what the brand offers to help customers make a quicker and easier purchasing decision.

Article by Simon Druery

Simon Druery is Director and Brand Strategist at Belong Creative. What gets him jumping out of bed each day is helping business owners and marketers craft brands that people want to belong to. When he’s not working you can find him travelling Australia in the family caravan and enjoying a tawny port by the fire.