Why Brand Identity and Its Guidelines for B2B Online Marketplace Matters That Much?

Have you noticed how the world known brands and companies, like Dropbox , Netflix , IBM , Adobe , Coca-Cola , Google , Hewlett Packard , Cirque Du Soleil , Ogilvy , and more, caught the "rebranding fever" lately? Each of these either developed an entire set of brand identity elements, like font, authentic illustrations, icons or did a full rebranding and create what becomes a trend these days. This is why we've decided to highlight ins-and-outs of the brand identity development process and brand guidelines best practices in this article.

Start from building brand identity will make your product recognizable

Even a single branding element can make your idea instantly recognized by your target audience. Create your brand identity elements, like mascot or series of custom illustrations, fonts, and style guides (i.e., how to use your product's logo correctly, its specifications, color palette, additional graphic assets, etc.), to place it on your production or the official merch.

You might think how such "insignificant" at the first sight task is the best way to brand your business? The answer is - people start to recognize your product through qualitative visual representation and show more interest towards your B2B marketplace app.

Let's get some juicy corporate identity guidelines examples.

We've collected several outstanding product branding examples hoping that you'll have something to draw inspiration from for your B2B online marketplace project.

Take a look at Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room by Fred Carriedo:

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Brand identity development process for Salecity (author: Pavels Lavrinovics), Ireland-based online store:

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Also, you might want to take a glimpse at Soundcloud rebranding example by Carlos Erazo

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As you can see, building brand identity and its guidelines are essential for brand awareness stage when you create your own marketplace. Consider this as crafting the very face of your product before your future customers.

If you're about to get your hands on the brand identity development process for your product, here are several tips to have in mind :

  • Before you brainstorm on the logo, and/or corporate font design, make sure it represents your company's focus. Put some allusions to your business or field you're engaged in to it.

  • Follow and unfollow brands. Sounds confusing, right? What we're trying to say here is to create app branding strategy that works you need to monitor for any design novelties and discoveries out here, but don't 'copypaste' them blindly. Mix all the received information in your head and create something unique. First of all and once again, concentrate on your product concept and you'll see that there is an entire 'terrae incognita' of ideas for building brand identity.

  • Make sure you keep to the brand guidelines best practices and rules (logo do-s and don't-s, like placement on merch, listings, and other ad elements, typography standards, official color palette(s), sizes, etc.) to avoid issues with inappropriate placement and usage. There's nothing complex in defining the main style for your product. You can do it on your own. Start with simple ideas and improve them with time. For example, check out Apiko's minimalistic style guide:

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  • Try to keep your logo, font or anything corporate design-related as understandable and straightforward as possible. Make your visual look memorable, ergonomic, and light to perceive. Don't overload your product with senseless content that doesn't fit. You need the magical 3: your brand, brand identity elements, and your product to be readable. Be recognizable, for this is the best way to brand your business.

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Among the brand identity guidelines best practices, we can define KISS (keep it simple, stupid) methodology.

At Apiko, we've coded and designed a personal finance management app called PerFi .

Building brand identity guidelines for this product was one of the tasks on our to-do list.

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You can observe here such brand identity elements highlighted as colors, typeface, and different states of the app. Such a pre-production representation of the project is essential since it lets your potential users get to know what they will deal with soon.

A few words about how to brand your business: apply app branding strategy that works

  • List it everywhere possible/relevant

  • Make your project brand peep on Product Hunt, G2Crowd, Crunchbase, Betalist, AppStore, Google Play, or some other similar platforms

  • Live contact. Tell people about your business. Be the source of word of mouth marketing technique .

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But don't get this far with such technique :) Let it be as natural as possible.

  • Launch social media accounts and get in touch with your customers

  • Create and share unique content like blog posts, podcasts, YouTube video series, how-to tutorials and get noticed on Verge, INC, etc., aim to get listed in Awwwards.

  • Contribute to the industry: arrange meetups, tech talks or meetings with the industry influencers, and encourage them to try out your solution.

  • Get noticed on industry-related/investment events (it's time to make new worth connections by visiting different conferences).

In fact, these are widely known product branding strategies. There's no single best way to brand your business since it depends on your app's specifics. The most important thing is the way you market your product's value.

So you want brand guidelines best practices? Test everything

You might wonder why we'd included testing part here since it's more relevant when we talk about UI/UX. Not only UI/UX. Branding needs to be tested too, especially if you're new to a certain market. As we've mentioned it earlier, define what people would memorize your product for. And this is not only about the visual representation, but the real value of your startup. Your branding assets should be as much understandable as your product for the end user. How can you test the branding? Unveil it before your users in the early beta or A/B testing, and you'll undoubtedly receive information to digest and reflect on.

Final words

If you aim to build either an online marketplace project or any other type of app which will encourage people to put that 5th star in the 'feedback' section, don't omit the meticulous approach towards its design and building brand identity of AAA quality. What makes app branding strategy a successful one? Remember these 2 main criteria: its unique features and look that makes your it stylish and understandable to use.