The Importance of Brand Identity Design


Here are some hard numbers for those of you who may still be questioning the importance of branding design.

Back in 2013, the Design Management Institute created the Design Value Index in order to measure the success of “design-centric” businesses (1). These “design-centric” businesses were chosen based on “a set of criteria that reflects best practices in design management.”

Such companies were (and still are) Ford, Stanley Black & Decker, Whirlpool and more; a total of 16 companies with publicly traded stock. These businesses were then measured against the S&P 500. Over a ten year period, the DVI showed a 219% return over the S&P 500.

Now, if that doesn’t convince you that visual branding contributes to your bottom line, we don’t know what will.

“Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business.” - Steve Forbes

What exactly is your brand identity design? To quote ourselves, your visual brand design is your

  • Logo, colors & design style
  • Business cards
  • Uniforms
  • Photography
  • Packaging

and anything else that represents your brand visually. It’s your both your perceived image and the visual pieces that form your overall brand. It’s the first impression you make on your customers.

Essentially, your visual brand design is the image you want to depict to the world. It’s your business’s personality. Are you a company that is capable of handling important and big projects? Then your visual brand design should reflect that. Additionally, it should project your values and quality, your intentions and trustworthiness.

Visual is Vital

When the most utilized information sources for industrial companies are websites, search engines and catalogs, your company’s branding must stand above the rest in order to succeed at all (2). While we’ll always stress the importance of good content, it’s the visual aspect of your brand that first grabs an audience’s attention.

Good visual brand design provides you these competitive advantages.

Value

Professional branding immediately gives people the impression that you're an established, confident, and trustworthy company. Of course, if you choose not to invest in your brand design, the opposite may be true. How much would you trust a construction company to get a high profile job done if their logo was clipart and their website looked like it had been designed by someone who had just read “How to Build a Website for Dummies”? Probably not very much. A well designed logo and website can mean the difference between a sale and a hard pass.

A great example of perceived value in a company’s visual branding is AD. AD is the largest marketing/buying group for construction and industrial suppliers and prides itself on providing an elite service to its members. AD provides branding resources to all of its members in order to “wave their AD flag and communicate the value of their AD partnership to their associates and customers” (3). Clearly AD understands that by presenting a unified, professionally designed image to its partners and their customers, their own brand’s perceived value continues to grow.

AD Brand Design

Unity

Having a strong visual brand creates a sense of unity and cohesiveness. By maintaining a consistent and clear brand across all marketing channels (say for example community events, your website and email newsletters) customers can instantly and easily recognize your brand.

Adversely, not having a consistent visual brand design can lead to confusion. You might have business cards, decaled vehicles and signage, but if they all don't carry the same visual branding or logo, customers are going to have a hard time finding you, much less connecting two and two together.

See the following example of Kinetic Industry's visual branding.

Kinetic Industry's Tradeshow Graphics
STEP 1: A potential client meets Kinetic Industry at a tradeshow.
Kinetic Industry's Metal Business Cards
STEP 2: They pick up a business card.
Kinetic Industry's Website Design
STEP 3: After the show, they decide to check out Kinetic's website.

Every step of the way, the potential client feels more confident that Kinetic can handle detailed projects.

Recognition

Brand recognition is achieved by repeatedly presenting your audience with a consistent visual experience. Relating back to unity, making sure your visual brand design maintains a cohesive look benefits your brand recognition over time. Take FedEx for example.

FedEx Corporate Divisions

Despite the fact that there are more than 13 different divisions in the FedEx Corporation, they are all easily identified as a part of the FedEx family thanks to subtle color changes and icon additions. It’s clear that each company under the FedEx brand family share the same values and can be expected to provide the same level of service.

Differentiation

Perhaps one of the most important reasons you should invest in the quality of your visual brand design is to differentiate yourself from your competitors. For example, there may be at least thirty other excavating businesses in your area, but just by simply taking pride and time in creating a quality brand can lead to your business getting recognized above all others.

Excavating Logos

Take a look at this screenshot we grabbed from a Google image search of “excavating logos.” Notice a trend? Do any of these logos stand out to you? Sometimes differentiating yourself from competition means thinking outside of the box.

Let’s look at Gerrard Excavating as an example. Gerrard knew that they wanted to differentiate themselves from the competition--they explicitly wanted a look that didn’t include an excavator. Together, we created a new brand that properly defined Gerrard Excavating and set them apart from other excavating companies.

Before Gerrarrd Excavating Brand Identity
This is what Gerrard's branding was like before they rebranded.
Click here to see what Gerrard Excavating looks like now.

Gerrard realized that rebranding is a serious commitment. Over a summer, they updated their entire fleet, building signage, uniforms, documents and more to create a new unified brand. They took the time to invest in a new visual brand design and to unify their business by updating not just parts of their branding, but all of it, company wide. Now recognized across northern Colorado, Gerrard Excavating benefits from a brand design that sets them above the rest.

Pride

Quality visual branding shows you take pride in your business. Customers will recognize the investment you make in your own business’s success and know you will deliver with the same passion when it comes to servicing their needs. Your attention to detail in your branding--even something as simple as a business card--can reassure your customers that you value any and all aspects of your business.

When it comes down to it, the time, effort and money you put into your branding can mean the difference between getting that deal or being completely bypassed. To make it plain and simple: Invest in your image! Your branding is a foundational part of your business and one of the key factors in competeing for customers' attention.

If you want to learn more about branding, check out our articles about Brand Development Strategy and Brand Vision.

Are you ready to take your branding and overall marketing strategy to the next level? Schedule a call—remember, just by contacting us, you can expect a free, no-obligation 20 minute phone conversation to discuss your current marketing strategy and tactics. We'll even throw in a couple of suggestions that you can act on immediately.


References

  1. http://www.dmi.org/?page=2015DVIandOTW
  2. https://www.inddist.com/article/2017/03/takeaways-2016-ieee-industrial-buy-cycle-study
  3. https://www.adhq.com/resources/brand-center/brand-guidelines

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