How to Build a Strong Brand Identity in 10 Steps +Examples

19 min read

The swoosh, two golden arches on a red background, or a bitten apple – no need to call the companies by name. You know I mean Nike, McDonald’s, and Apple anyway. How is it possible? That’s how a strong, compelling brand identity works. Do you want your company to be equally successful with its brand image? You are in the right place.

Refining your brand’s image is crucial if your brand strategy involves boosting awareness and recognition.

By finely tuning your brand’s visual identity, you can make your offering stand out amidst competitors and draw in more customers through an authentic approach.

Dive deeper to uncover the secrets of crafting an exceptional identity for your brand.

Table of contents:

  1. What is brand identity?
  2. Why is brand identity important?
  3. How to build a strong brand identity in 10 steps?
  4. Strong identity design examples
  5. Start building your company’s identity today!
  6. FAQ

What is brand identity?

It is the visual and conceptual representation of a brand.

It includes distinct elements, like logos, color schemes, and typography, as well as its unique voice, messaging, and values.

This cohesive set of characteristics forms a brand’s personality. It distinguishes the brand from competitors and creates a memorable impression on consumers.

A well-defined brand’s identity not only fosters recognition but also builds trust and loyalty by conveying consistency and authenticity in every interaction.

It’s a crucial aspect of brand strategy influencing how the audience perceives it.

Why is brand identity important?

Brand identity is the heart and soul of your company.

A strong identity helps your potential customers recognize, relate to, and differentiate your brand from others in the market. It provides a cohesive and memorable impression, fostering trust and making your brand more appealing and relatable.

Besides increasing brand equity, a strong identity supports the right brand positioning.

How to build a strong brand identity in 10 steps?

Brand identity is the key to developing a successful brand. Learn the 10 fundamental steps to creating a brand with an excellent identity that will boost your business.

01 Conduct thorough market research

Market research plays a crucial role in shaping and refining the identity of a business. Through extensive market analysis, you gain a deep understanding of your brand positioning, competitors, and industry trends.

Market research helps identify unique selling points, brand values, and digital marketing strategies that can set a brand apart. It provides a foundation for crafting a brand image that aligns with the market’s needs and desires. Ultimately, it contributes to a more effective and successful brand identity.

You can rely on Brand24 to conduct market research. This media monitoring tool collects online data about your company and turns them into actionable insights.

Brand24 measures your brand’s metrics, including:

  • Number of mentions
  • Social media interactions
  • Sentiment Score
  • Social media and non-social reach
  • Presence Score – measured on a scale of 0 – 100, where globally known brands achieve 100
  • Reputation Score
  • Share of voice
  • AVE
Brand24 metrics for Starbucks media monitoring project
Brand24 metrics for Starbucks media monitoring project

Besides the standard metrics, there are also AI-powered insights:

  • Topic Analysis
  • AI Insights
  • Emotion Analysis
  • Metrics Analysis
  • Anomalies Detection
Brand24 dashboard: sentiment anomalies detection and analysis
Brand24 dashboard: sentiment anomalies detection and analysis

Create a brand identity! Research the market with Brand24.

You can also conduct a competitor analysis by setting up a project for them and adding it to the Comparison tab. This way, you can assess your market position in relation to other brands in the niche.

Starbucks vs. Costa Coffee comparison
Starbucks vs. Costa Coffee comparison

Besides the Comparison tab, you can browse your competitors’ mentions to get firsthand insights into their customers’ pain points and remarks. This way, you can learn from your competitors’ mistakes and fine-tune their weak areas to attract their unsatisfied customers.

Brand24: mentions of Starbucks
Brand24: mentions of Starbucks

What’s more, you can monitor the whole niche by setting up a project featuring general, niche-related keywords. This will give you a general image of the field, allowing you to fit in or stand out with your brand identity.

Brand24: trending topics detected for Starbucks
Brand24: trending topics detected for Starbucks

You can also detect trending topics and participate in the hottest discussions.

Create a brand identity with Brand24 insights.

02 Analyze your target audience

Market research is an extensive and insightful step but not an exhaustive one. Besides knowing your target market, you also need to learn a thing or two about your audience.

This way, you will be able to understand your customers better and create a personal connection with them. Browse your Brand24 mentions to learn your customers’ pain points and issues.

Lays mentions detected by Brand24
Lays mentions detected by Brand24

Explore the Influencer Analysis and Geo Analysis tab for further insights about your audience. There’s also the Topic Analysis tab in which you will find the hottest topics your audience is discussing on the internet.

Lays' reach Geo Analysis by Brand24
Lays’ reach Geo Analysis by Brand24

In the end, you can create customer focus groups for your brand. You do this by segmenting your audience according to common traits and needs. You can also develop buyer personas to inform your company strategy further.

Meet your target audience through Brand24.

03 Define your brand personality

Defining your brand personality is crucial in establishing an identity for your business. It involves crafting a distinct character for your company. You must create a brand identity that resonates with your target audience and fosters an emotional connection.

Start by aligning your mission, vision, and brand values, ensuring consistency across all elements. Your brand story should narrate the journey, values, and purpose behind your business, creating a narrative that customers can relate to.

This process provides a solid foundation, helping to build authenticity and trust.

By carefully shaping your brand personality, you lay the groundwork for a compelling and memorable brand identity design that sets your business apart in consumers’ minds.

04 SWOT analysis

Examining a company’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats is another tool for shaping a robust brand identity. Even the most powerful brand has its weaknesses. It’s good to be aware of them and to be able to act strategically.

By evaluating internal strengths and weaknesses, you can pinpoint unique attributes to highlight and areas that need improvement. External opportunities and threats help identify market trends and potential challenges.

SWOT analysis guides the development of a brand identity that leverages strengths, mitigates weaknesses, seizes opportunities, and guards against threats.

SWOT analysis example
SWOT analysis example

To learn about your strong and weak points use Brand24 mentions tab. There, you’ll find all the online chats about your company, divided into positive, negative, and neutral sentiments. You can filter the results by emotion to find what you are looking for quickly.

Conduct a SWOT analysis with Brand24.

05 Develop a consistent brand voice

This and the next step are all about creating a brand identity from scratch. I cover all the brand elements so you get a complete list of what needs to be prepared for a well-defined brand identity.

You can involve a brand strategist to help you with this task or do it on your own, equipped with actionable insights from Brand24.

Ready to grab the know-how?

Let’s move on to developing a consistent brand voice and tone.

This pivotal element of brand identity helps you increase brand awareness and recognition. Your brand’s voice reflects its personality, and the tone sets the mood for communication. Consistency across various platforms and interactions fosters brand recognition and trust. A well-defined voice and tone resonate with your target audience, creating a cohesive and memorable brand experience.

Whether it’s the friendly tone on social media or the professional voice in official communications, maintaining this consistency builds a strong, reliable brand identity that customers can easily recognize and connect with. Ultimately, this contributes to building brand loyalty for a long-term perspective.

When you establish a default communication style, it’s good to write down the brand guidelines so everybody in the company can consult them. This way, you ensure cohesion between the brand guidelines, online and offline communication, marketing materials, and any other type of content created.

Brand24 offers an Emoji Analysis that reveals your audience’s favorite symbols. Thanks to this feature, you can adjust not only the tone of conversation but also the emojis you use.

Duolingo Emoji Analysis by Brand24
Duolingo Emoji Analysis by Brand24

Analyze your target audience with Brand24.

06 Establish a visual identity

These seven key elements are the key to the visual identity of your brand.

You can effectively communicate your brand identity and increase recognition thanks to the alignment between all visual elements.

To ensure this project’s success, you may need help from a graphic designer. Alternatively, you can do it independently using a dedicated tool like Canva or Looka.

Now, let’s move on to the core elements of the visual identity of your brand.

Brand colors

Colors convey emotions, values, and personality, making them a powerful element of visual brand communication. The chosen color palette should align with the brand’s essence, target audience, and industry standards.

For example, warm tones like red or orange evoke energy and passion, while cool blues represent trust and professionalism.

Consistency in color usage across various platforms fosters brand equity and recognition. It’s not just about aesthetics; it’s about creating a visual language that resonates with the audience and distinguishes the brand in a crowded market.

When establishing your brand’s color palette, you must consider primary and secondary colors. The former are the main colors dominating your marketing materials and website. The latter are the colors that appear less but match your primary colors. Ideally, they should belong to one color palette.

Company logo

This visual mark serves as the face of the brand identity, encapsulating its values and personality.

The logo design should be distinctive, memorable, and scalable, ensuring adaptability across various mediums. Whether a minimalist emblem or an intricate design, the logo becomes the emblematic identifier, triggering instant brand recall. The color, font, and imagery within the logo contribute to the overall narrative a brand seeks to convey.

It’s not merely a graphic; it’s a symbol that encapsulates the brand’s essence and communicates it to the world. The Nike swoosh, the golden arches of McDonald’s, or the bitten apple of Apple exemplify the enduring impact a well-designed logo can have on brand perception and recognition.

Brand fonts and shapes

Fonts and shapes play a pivotal role in shaping the visual identity of a brand. The choice of fonts communicates a brand’s personality and sets the tone for its messaging. Whether a sleek and modern sans-serif font or a classic and elegant serif, each typeface carries a distinct vibe.

Shapes, on the other hand, contribute to the overall design language. Geometric shapes may evoke a sense of precision and order, while organic ones can bring warmth and friendliness.

Consistency in font usage and shapes from digital platforms to printed materials and other visual elements, fosters a cohesive and recognizable visual identity. Every curve, line, and letter contributes to the brand’s story.

Mascot or representative

Mascots and brand representatives serve as charismatic ambassadors, breathing life into a brand’s visual identity. These iconic figures embody the brand’s personality, values, and essence, creating a memorable and relatable connection with the audience.

Whether it’s a mascot’s friendly face or a brand ambassador’s trusted persona, these characters become consumers’ visual and emotional anchors. The use of mascots can evoke a sense of playfulness or nostalgia, while human representatives bring authenticity and trust.

Think of the Duracell Rabbit, the Geico Gecko, the Michelin Man, or the affable Flo from Progressive. These characters transcend their commercial roles, becoming integral to the brand narrative.

Brand mascot: Duracell Rabbit
Brand mascot: Duracell Rabbit

The choice of a mascot or representative is a strategic decision that aligns with the brand’s positioning and resonates with the target audience, adding a dynamic and personable dimension to the overall brand identity.

Imagery and symbols

In brand identity design, symbols and imagery are strategically used beyond a company’s logo. They encompass a variety of other visual elements and details woven into its broader narrative.

These symbols can take diverse forms, from icons and illustrations to patterns and thematic visuals. For instance, Starbucks employs iconic symbols like mermaids and coffee cups throughout its brand imagery, creating a cohesive and recognizable theme.

In this context, imagery involves the curated visual content used in marketing materials, social media posts, or product packaging. The consistent integration of these symbols and imagery across various brand expressions contributes to a holistic and engaging brand identity. It offers a rich visual tapestry that resonates with the target audience.

This is one of the final steps that eventually binds your brand design together.

Product packaging

Product packaging is a tangible representation of a brand’s essence, whispering promises and stories to consumers. Every visual aspect of packaging, from the color palette and typography to size, shape, and the inclusion of logos, imagery, or patterns, plays a crucial role.

The packaging is not just a protective shell for the brand’s products; it is a canvas for the brand’s personality and expression.

Take Apple’s minimalist yet sleek packaging, for example, which mirrors the design philosophy of its devices. Crafting a compelling brand identity through packaging involves considering how each visual element aligns with the brand narrative.

It’s an artful fusion of aesthetics and functionality, ensuring that the first touchpoint with a product resonates with the consumer’s brand perception.

By curating the above seven elements, you ensure that your business’s identity will be successful in all areas of its presence and easily recognized by its customers.

Monitor your brand identity reception with Brand24.

07 Create branded templates

After deciding on all the visuals for your brand, it’s time to collect all this knowledge in one place. This way, you can ensure that everybody in the company contributes to creating a brand identity aligning with the initial decisions.

Templates encapsulate the brand’s essence through standardized designs, including fonts, color palette, and layout structures. They will be handy for the types of content that you create frequently.

Branded templates ensure a cohesive brand design and streamlined creation process for social media posts, presentations, or marketing campaigns.

08 Create a brand book

That’s an important step to maintain consistency. The brand book is the brand style guide everybody in the company should have at hand.

A visual brand book is instrumental when you need to create something from scratch and cannot use templates. It will guide you through all the available colors, fonts, and designs your company accepts.

Collecting all the brand guidelines in one place and keeping them updated is a critical step toward a great brand identity.

09 Be consistent across all channels

With templates and a brand book at hand, this shouldn’t be a big deal. You simply need to stick to the initial decisions and guidelines.

10 Monitor your audience’s reactions

Companies work on their brand images and identities to foster their customer loyalty. But the work doesn’t end here. You must check if the proposed brand image got your audience’s approval. Do this by conducting sentiment analysis and measuring the emotions around your brand.

In history, not all brand identity design changes have been successful. Brands like Gap, Tropicana, and MasterCard learned their lessons the hard way and needed to return to their previous, well-known, and liked brand identities and logos.

You can prevent a PR crisis linked to rebranding or experimenting with your brand identity with Brand24. The tool monitors your mentions and online metrics in real time, allowing you to respond promptly to any emerging questions and concerns.

McDonalds' negative mentions detected by Brand24
McDonalds’ negative mentions detected by Brand24

In this case, the most useful features are sentiment analysis, AI-powered emotion analysis , and the Mentions Tab where you can find firsthand insights from your audience.

AI-powered emotion analysis of McDonalds' by Brand24
AI-powered emotion analysis of McDonalds’ by Brand24

Stay close to your customers with Brand24.

In the image above, you can see that from the end of December, disgust towards McDonald’s’ was on an upward trend, reaching its peak on January 5th, 2024. Then, it suddenly dropped after January 10th.

To examine this situation, you can use time filters in your mentions tab and browse the mentions to find an answer.

Brand24: sentiment chart with date filter
Brand24: sentiment chart with date filter

Strong brand identity design examples

Many companies did a fantastic job establishing their brand personality and brand identity design. Let’s study their cases and discover the secret of some of the best brand identities and images.


Apple is the one brand that stands as a paragon of simplicity, innovation, and aesthetic prowess. The iconic half-bitten apple logo is globally recognized, symbolizing a blend of creativity and user-friendly technology.

The minimalist design philosophy extends to every facet, from their product packaging to retail stores, creating a seamless and immersive experience. Apple’s distinctive white earbuds, sleek devices, and the uncluttered layout of their stores are all integral components of their brand identity.

Apple: brand design
Apple: brand design

The consistent use of a clean, sans-serif font, paired with a muted color palette, reinforces a sense of sophistication and modernity.

Beyond the visual, Apple’s brand identity is woven into its communication style — concise, aspirational, and often challenging the status quo.

This cohesion across design, products, and messaging has forged a brand identity that transcends technology, embodying a lifestyle and a design philosophy that millions aspire to be a part of.

Brand24: positive mentions of the Apple design detected by Brand24
Brand24: positive mentions of the Apple design detected by Brand24

Build a brand identity with Brand24 insights!


Coca-Cola’s brand identity is the epitome of timeless tradition and global appeal. The brand’s signature red color and iconic scripted font create an unmistakable visual identity that has endured for over a century. The curvy contour bottle design is not only a functional choice but has become an integral part of the company’s recognition.

Coca-Cola promoting its brand personality on Instagram
Coca-Cola promoting its brand personality on Instagram

Coca-Cola’s imagery often revolves around moments of joy, celebration, and togetherness, emphasizing the emotional connection with the brand. The brand consistently infuses its messaging with positivity, promoting happiness and refreshment.

Every visual element aligns with the brand’s narrative, from the classic polar bears in their holiday campaigns to the universally recognized ribbon device.

Coca-Cola’s identity is not just about a beverage; it’s about fostering shared moments, creating a sense of nostalgia, and maintaining an enduring presence in the hearts and minds of consumers worldwide.


Nike, a global powerhouse in athletic wear, boasts a successful brand identity that resonates with the spirit of athleticism, empowerment, and innovation. The iconic Swoosh logo, simple yet dynamic, captures the essence of motion and speed. The “Just Do It” tagline has become synonymous with determination and achievement, transcending the realm of sports into everyday life.

Nike building its visual identity on Instagram
Nike building its visual identity on Instagram

Nike’s choice of celebrity endorsements, often partnering with high-profile athletes, reinforces the brand’s commitment to excellence. The sleek and modern visual details in their advertising, consistent use of bold typography, and the trademark color palette contribute to a solid and recognizable identity.

Nike has positioned itself not just as a sportswear brand but as a symbol of motivation, pushing boundaries, and pursuing one’s goals. This identity inspires and connects with consumers globally.


No matter if you use the app, when I say Duolingo, you immediately think about a green owl. Duolingo succeeded in creating a compelling identity with its unique mascot.

Duolingo mascot - an important part of the company's brand image
Duolingo mascot – an important part of the company’s brand image

The app’s intuitive user interface features vibrant colors and engaging graphics that create an inviting learning environment. Duolingo’s gamified approach, incorporating achievements and rewards, adds an element of fun to the language-learning journey.

The brand consistently uses these visuals across its marketing materials, creating a cohesive and recognizable presence. Beyond visuals, Duolingo’s conversational and encouraging tone in its communications aligns with its mission of making education accessible to all.

Combining a distinctive mascot, user-friendly design, and a cheerful brand voice has contributed to Duolingo’s success in establishing a unique and memorable brand identity.

Duolingo on Instagram
Duolingo on Instagram

What’s also significant about Duolingo’s brand image is its playful, humorous style. On the canvas of the memes created by Duolingo users, the company decided to change its brand voice and build itself up with the mascot of the evil owl.

Duolingo on TikTok backing up the evil owl image
Duolingo on TikTok backing up the evil owl image

This brand strategy turned out to be a bull’s eye!

Duolingo created a unique, recognizable brand identity visible on its social media. The company’s accounts attract thousands of followers and fans fascinated by the playful image of the evil owl.

On the other hand, this example shows that your company’s brand identity should be aligned with your target audience. Duolingo made a brave decision and put all its eggs in one basket. Luckily for the company, the reception of its new brand identity was fantastic and appealed to its young users.

Remember that this kind of decision needs to be well-thought-out and aligned with your target audience.

Monitor the effects of your rebranding with Brand24.

Start building a strong brand identity today!

In conclusion, understanding brand identity and its importance lays the groundwork for building a solid and enduring business presence.

The 10 steps outlined here provide a comprehensive guide to shaping a business identity that resonates with your audience, incorporating key elements such as mission, vision, values, brand story, and personality. By exploring examples of strong brand designs, businesses can draw inspiration for their unique visual and conceptual representation.

Now armed with the knowledge and tools to make your brand unique, the invitation is clear: start building the identity of your brand today.

Whether you are a startup or an established business, a strong company identity is not just a logo; it’s the essence of your business that leaves a lasting impression on customers and sets the stage for long-term success.

Check out the FAQs for additional insights and guidance on navigating the intricacies of brand identity development.

Turn your good brand image into a great brand identity with Brand24.


Is it possible to change brand identity?

Yes, that’s what rebranding is all about. You can change all the key elements of your brand image. This needs to be a well-thought-out decision. If you don’t feel safe and sure about it, consider consulting with brand strategists.

Creating a new brand identity is a big challenge, especially if you already have a profitable and recognizable brand. Many companies have tried to change their brand image by updating the logo, font, or other brand elements, but not all succeeded.

That’s why the decision should be planned in detail. Plus, your audience must be prepared for the upcoming changes. Remember that the new identity of your brand must align with your brand story and brand assets not to confuse your customers.

How is brand identity different from brand image and branding?

Brand identity, brand image, and branding are interconnected aspects of a brand but carry distinct meanings.

Brand identity refers to the visual and sensory elements that define a brand, such as logo, colors, and design, reflecting the brand’s essence.

Brand image is the perception and impression customers and the public hold about the brand based on their experiences, marketing messages, and interactions. It’s how the brand is perceived in the minds of the audience.

On the other hand, branding is the strategic process of creating and managing the brand. It involves defining the brand’s purpose, positioning, and communication strategies.

In essence, brand identity is the tangible representation, brand image is the perceived impression, and branding is the ongoing strategic process that shapes both.

What is brand personality?

Brand personality refers to the set of human-like characteristics and traits attributed to a brand. It involves giving a brand distinctive qualities and characteristics, similar to how we perceive personalities in people. This helps create a more relatable and engaging brand image, fostering a stronger connection with the target audience.

What makes a brand identity strong?

Brand elements that make its brand identity strong are:

  • Consistency: Maintain a uniform image across all platforms.
  • Clarity: Clearly communicate values, mission, and purpose.
  • Memorability: Create a distinctive and memorable brand.
  • Authenticity: Reflect genuine values and beliefs.
  • Adaptability: Stay relevant and adaptable to market changes.
  • Coherence: Ensure all brand elements align cohesively.
  • Uniqueness: Stand out from competitors.
  • Emotional Appeal: Evoke emotions and connect with the audience.
  • Relevance: Stay attuned to the target audience’s needs and preferences.
  • Versatility: Apply the brand consistently across various mediums.

Does brand identity matter for a small business?

Yes, it matters for a small business as well. It helps create a distinct and memorable image, builds customer trust, and sets the business apart from competitors. It’s a good idea to craft your company’s identity and create a brand identity style guide at the beginning of your business.

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