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8 Fundamental Elements of Brand Identity

8 Fundamental Elements of Brand Identity

The 21st-century marketplace is highly saturated. Consequently, any business that will thrive should incorporate distinctive pointers that make it stand out in the sea of competition.

The 21st-century marketplace is highly saturated

For instance, although McDonald's - Burger King, Apple - Microsoft essentially offer similar services, you can't mistake one for the other.  This is because each brand has a distinct identity that connects with consumers and leaves a lasting impression.

Brand identity sets your brand apart

The incorporation of brand identity is one major factor that makes businesses stand out in today's highly competitive marketplace.

A brand can be simply defined as a distinct perception people have about a person or company. The first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Will Smith or Amazon is what branding is about. Since humans are generally influenced by their senses, successful businesses typically target these and build people’s perceptions of their brands. 

The best brands are distinct and relatable

Building a strong brand identity is one of the emerging marketing trends that every business that will thrive must master. Fortunately, this post sheds light on the concept of brand identity and its fundamental elements.

What is Brand Identity?

Brand identity is simply how a company wants to be perceived. It is the specific design and messaging a company adopts including logo, colour scheme voice, typography, and tone. In the context of physical products, brand identity can also include tangible things such as appearance and packaging materials. Just like your identity as an individual makes you you, brand identity characterizes a company and distinguishes it from others.

Brand identity is typically determined through a process called the branding process. It is a continuous work you do to define and constantly refine what your brand stands for. This involves carefully choosing all the ingredients that go into your brand identity, e.g. colour, voice, type, etc.

It is important to note that your brand identity is not necessarily the same as your brand. While your brand is how the world perceives your company, products, and services, your brand identity is what influences this perception. 

Fundamental Elements of Brand Identity

Brand identity is built on many components

A brand’s identity is typically built on many components, the bulk of which are visual. However, elements like voice and values are equally important. The purpose of these elements of brand identity is to make people feel something unique and meaningful and associate these feelings with a brand. 

When you think about Nike’s brand, two major things come to mind – the iconic logo and the tagline, "Just do it." More importantly, when you engage with the brand, you most likely feel heroic, athletic and unstoppable. You can feel these emotions because Nike's branding parts are working together to communicate its values of expanding human potential.

The following are the fundamental elements of brand identity

Logo and Trademark

The logo is one of the most important elements of brand identity. This is because it is most people’s first point of contact with a brand. A well-designed logo can stay relevant for decades and transcend language and cultural barriers.

For instance, you do not need to see the word, “Nike” before you know who made a shoe with a swoosh on it. The logo is the shorthand for your brand which is why a lot of work has to go into it. Also, a logo should be memorable and adaptable as it’ll be on a brand’s website, marketing materials and social media.

Some important questions you may need to ask before choosing a logo include:

  • “Why did I start this brand?”

  • “What aspirations do my brand have?”

  • “How does my brand plan to change the world?”

  • “What do I want to inspire with my brand?”

Answers to the above questions will give inspiration on how to craft your logo in a way that communicates your brand’s values.


Your brand's typography is the typeface and font you adopt, and the guidelines that influence their usage. Typically, most brands adopt two typefaces (anything more may end up being overcluttered and redundant). While some typefaces are free to use, you require a license to use some others. Another option is asking a designer to create a custom font for you.

It is important to note that your brand’s typeface must be replicated in all business materials you create. This ensures consistency, cohesion and recognition by your audience. 

Color Scheme 

Colours are also instrumental to your brand identity and can visually distinguish you from competitors on the spot. They also have some influence on customers' perception and decision-making. This can be traced to the concept of colour psychology.

For example, people may associate yellow or orange with joy, and red or pink with love.

It is important to thoroughly consider what you want to communicate with a colour palette for your brand, Choose harmony rather than competition among the chosen colours.

Voice and Tone

Voice and tone entail how you convey your brand personality in written form. If your visuals are responsible for your brand looking like you, your voice is responsible for your brand sounding like you. Your tone and voice refer to how your business comes across when communicating to customers in marketing materials.

Your tone could be humorous, professional or academic, depending on what your brand offers. Ultimately, your tone and voice should relate to what your business offers and who your target audience is. 

Brand Name

Your brand name covers the words used to identify your company and what you offer, differentiating you from your competitors. Coming up with a brand name may seem easy on the surface, but it isn’t because it may have huge connotations.  


A tagline is integral to brand identity as it is part of a brand’s voice and succinctly states the value the brand has to offer. In simple terms, a tagline is a brand's promise to its customers.

For instance, Apple's tagline, "Think Different", aligns with the contrarian nature of its audience and suggests that Apple will always be different. 

Furthermore, taglines can evolve if a brand embarks on new adventures to redefine its identity.


If you make physical products and ship those products to customers, product packaging is an integral part of your brand identity. The type of packaging you adopt should be a visual reflection of your brand identity (bearing your logo, colours and typefaces where needed).

Your brand voice should reflect on any written content in or on your packaging; even the packing material should not be left out.


Brand imagery encapsulates photography, iconography and illustration. The background images and product images on your website also have a role to play in your brand. These features should reflect and emphasize what your brand stands for.


Brand identity is an integral aspect of the success of your business, and as such, it is something worth your time and commitment. You won't always be in the room to talk about your product, but you can build a brand that doesn't need your presence to convince people.

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