How to Create a Brand Identity That Fits Your Startup

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July 28, 2020
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How to Create a Brand Identity That Fits Your Startup
KDCI Outsourcing
September 6, 2023

As a startup owner, are you struggling with leaving an impression on your target audience's minds?In this guide, we'll show you how to create a brand identity—one that will keep echoing your brand.But first, let's define brand identity.

What is Brand Identity?

Marketing has so many industry-specific terms that people often get their meanings interchanged.A couple of these is brand and brand identity.Before we talk about how to create a brand identity, let's differentiate these two terms.

Brand vs. Brand Identity: What's the Difference?

In essence, a brand is intangible, while brand identity is tangible.A brand defines how your audience perceives your business.You can shape your brand through various branding activities, from designing a user-friendly product page to training hospitable customer service representatives.Must-Read: How to Make Your Brand Stand Out with Online BrandingYour brand creates a promise to your audience. And by keeping that promise, you can turn them into loyal customers who know what to expect from your business.On the other hand, brand identity makes up the tangible assets of your brand. It focuses on what your audience can see, touch, hear, or even smell.By forming your brand's look and feel, it can generate brand recognition among your audience and create differentiation from your competitors.Take for example Apple—the most valuable brand in the world.


The brand focuses on emotions, particularly positive feelings.It always puts user experience first, resulting in products and services that make customers feel good.Meanwhile, its brand identity is most recognizable through its logo. Plus, its products have the familiar sleek designs, creating the impression that the brand is one-of-a-kind and innovative.Through these branding efforts, it's no wonder Apple became the world's most valuable brand.

A Closer Look at Brand Identity

Your brand identity covers more than your logo—it's also your color palette, website, typography, and other supporting graphics.With these elements, you can illustrate a particular image in your customers' minds, which they'll associate with your product or service.When you learn how to create a brand identity, you hold the power of forging how your audience sees your brand.It's why you need to go all out when creating one. Every element must be consistent with your brand and your overall business goals.

How to Create a Brand Identity

For startups, a brand identity is a crucial asset.When your marketing, design, and messaging are aligned, you can have a consistent identity that will fuel brand recognition among your audience.And once they put your brand first, you're on your way to becoming a successful business.Doesn't that sound appealing?So, here's a nine-step process on how to create a brand identity for your startup.

1. Know Your Business Inside Out

Before you get your brand out to your market, the first in your to-do list must be to identify your mission—the "why" of your business.Your mission provides an answer to, "Why does my business exist?" By defining your goals, your mission becomes the starting point for everything that you bring to your audience.Another element that holds a key role in your internal analysis is your values as a business.Values humanize your brand. An audience can easily relate to a brand that reflects their values and incorporates these to their marketing, products, services, and even customer service staff.To get to know your business better, conduct a SWOT analysis—a planning technique where you identify your strengths (S), weaknesses (W), opportunities (O), and threats (T).Through this analysis, you can develop brand values and a mission that considers these factors.

2. Define Your Target Market

By now, you must have an idea of the audience that you want to turn into your customers.After you identify your mission and brand values, defining your target audience comes next.You can start by conducting market research.Surveys let you gather information from a chunk of your audience. Interviews and focus groups are also a good option if you want a closer look at smaller sample size.Moreover, based on your market research, you can also create buyer personas.They represent a group of your audience, defining their traits and demographics to help you see what kind of personality your brand must have to appeal to them.Through these methods, you'll have a deep understanding of your target market.HubSpot has a simple MakeMyPersona tool that you can use to craft your buyer personas.


After you learn about their needs and challenges, make every decision about your brand with your audience in mind.

3. Perform a Competitive Analysis

Studying your competition is the third step on how to create a brand identity.A competitive analysis allows you to learn the activities of your competitors. It can clue you in on how to differentiate your brand from their positioning.A lack of understanding of your competitive landscape may prevent your brand from standing out. When conducting a competitor analysis, look out for the following:

  • Taglines or slogans
  • Logos
  • Marketing and sales channels
  • Tone and voice of their content
  • Website experience
  • Types of photos in their channels

These items can show how your brand compares to your competitors'.Using them as a reference, you can determine which strategies to implement to boost your brand's presence, relevancy, and uniqueness.Plus, you can see gaps in the market, allowing you to take advantage of new opportunities that your competitors haven't done.

4. Establish Your USP

This is where the results of your market research and competitor analysis come together.A unique selling proposition (USP) indicates three things:

  • Differentiation from your competitors
  • Benefits to your customers
  • Solution to your audience's pain points

By determining what you can offer to your customers that others can't, you can establish your positioning in the market.A USP doesn't need to be complicated—all it needs is to be clear and reflective of your mission and values.Start with your customers by identifying what they care about. In doing so, take into consideration your resources.You can then form your USP by establishing which customer concern you can address and solve with your resources.Check out WordStream's "How to Write a Ferocious Unique Selling Proposition" for a more in-depth guide on creating a strong USP.

5. Build Your Brand Personality

A brand personality consists of the characteristics attributed to your brand.Embodying all the good qualities sounds like the best option. However, that isn't ideal.Your audience must find you relatable.Being likable is sufficient for your brand personality, primarily if it reflects your brand values. The key is to build a consistent perception, not a perfect one.It can affect the tone and voice in your marketing collaterals and other communication materials. Plus, in the long-run, it can help you form an emotional connection with your customers.Start with how your brand communicates with your audience. Even your language can show the kind of personality you want to project.

6. Develop Your Creative Assets

The look and voice of your brand make up your creative assets.Take your findings from your internal audit, market research, and competitor analysis and consider them when developing your creative assets—these must be recognizable to your brand.With that said, here are the essential elements of brand identity:

Brand Name

First impressions last, even longer if you have a great brand name.According to Michael Rader, founder of Brandroot, a brand name allows a business to associate its brand with positive connotations.Therefore, brand name plays a huge role in your business.So, when creating one, take note of the following tips:

  • Be original

Originality is not the only key to standing out, but it sure is an ingredient to boosting your brand. Plus, in this digital age, an original brand name is helpful when registering domains and generating social media pages.

  • Be simple

A long and complicated brand name is a big no-no—being understood matters more.A simple brand name is less challenging to pronounce, and it can easily project your brand's mission and values.

  • Be memorable

What's the point of having a brand name if your audience quickly forgets it?A brand name must appeal to your audience by conveying emotions. That way, they can easily connect those emotions to your brand.And when you satisfy your customers, your memorable brand name allows them to have an easier time when doing word-of-mouth marketing.Pro Tip: A slogan comes hand-in-hand with a brand name. It's a short and catchy phrase that your marketing materials can feature to announce your brand's promise to your customers.


Pictures speak a thousand words, and logos are a striking proof of that.As your central visual asset, it's the brand identity element that your audience will see the most. Your logo communicates your brand, from what you value to what you stand for.Here are some essential characteristics that your logo must have:

  • Appealing - To be easy on the eyes while visually representing your brand.
  • Timeless - To avoid going out of style within a short period.
  • Flexible - To easily scale between mediums without losing its quality.

Additionally, don't forget that it should be consistent with your brand name. Together, they can leave a mark on your audience's minds.


Who says words can't be visually appealing?A cohesive communication across your channels includes typography.The right typeface for your brand contributes to forming your visual language, along with the other elements of your brand identity.Let's go through this short guide about the type of fonts and the message they communicate:

  • Serif Fonts - Feature an anchor at the end of each letter.Characteristics: trustworthy, traditional, old school
  • Sans Serif Fonts - Made up of smooth edges without any anchor at the end of each letter.Characteristics: modern, sleek
  • Script Typeface - Resembles cursive writing.Characteristics: feminine, luxurious
  • Display Fonts - Consist of specialized elements, typically with unusual shapes.Characteristics: memorable, bold

When deciding on your primary and secondary fonts, choose the ones that look well together with your logo and color palette. Avoid gimmicky fonts and try to stick to one to two font families for a more consistent look.

Color Palette


Colors can bring benefits to your brand identity.They convey universal emotions, which you can use to enhance your communication with your audience. Plus, your brand colors can affect your audience's perception of your brand.Knowing about their messages can help you pick the right ones for your brand, so here's a quick guide on the meanings of the most common colors:

  • Red - passion, excitement
  • Black - classical, sophistication
  • Brown - ruggedness, masculinity
  • Orange - friendliness, playfulness
  • Yellow - happiness, cheerfulness
  • Green - nature, money
  • Blue - stability, trust
  • Purple - royalty, luxury
  • Pink - femininity, softness

Whatever colors you choose for your color palette, they must reflect your brand's purpose and intent.Check out Canva's suite of brand color palettes that can inspire your own.Using your color palette, you can differentiate your brand from your competitors. At the same time, you can build designs for your business that are unique to your brand identity.

7. Create a Brand Style Guide

One of the goals of having a brand identity is to achieve a cohesive look and feel across all your assets.A brand style guide helps ensure that you meet the qualities and standards of your branding for every design.It should cover the various elements of your brand identity, plus how and when to use them.Aside from that, a brand style guide includes the do's and don'ts of your brand identity design, from how your logo appears on an Instagram post to how you design your emails for your newsletter subscribers.By covering this information, you won't need to figure out how to create a brand identity in any future design, thereby generating a consistent audience perception.

8. Implement Your Brand Strategies

After developing your creative assets, the next step is to bring them to your market.Brand strategies will support the growth of your brand awareness.You can start with your website design and your social media presence—these can communicate your brand identity to your target audience.On your website, your brand identity takes center stage.It can communicate your brand everywhere, from your site's color palette to product photos' style.Your website serves as an online portfolio that showcases your brand identity.Meanwhile, your social media platforms can bring you closer to your target audience.You can take this opportunity to introduce your brand's voice and appeal to a particular demographic.However, that's only the start. Even the frequency of your posts can speak volumes about your brand.Sprout Social has compiled studies on social media demographics—a resource that can inform you of your choice of social media platforms.

9. Monitor Your Brand

The last step must be a never-ending process.You can sustain your brand identity through brand monitoring, a process wherein you look out for mentions of your brand, online and offline.That way, you can see how consumers talk about you. And if you learn that you need to refine your brand, you can implement changes based on their feedback, whether to correct a mistake or improve your brand identity.By monitoring your brand, you'll ensure that you continue to keep its promises to your target audience.

Build Your Brand Identity with KDCI

Brand identity takes time to mold.On top of that, you'll have to frequently check in on it based on how your brand performs.However, your brand identity efforts can yield the best results, especially for a new business.It can leave a mark in your new customers' minds, forming a memorable brand that they won't trade for another.KDCI Outsourcing understands these challenges and processes.With that said, we can guide you on how to create a brand identity.Our logo and brand specialists can support your branding efforts while you'll have more time to focus on growing your new business.Discover the Benefits of Outsourcing Creative Services

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