Building a successful brand is a challenging yet exciting process that allows you to do a deep dive to capture the essence of what you want your brand to be. This process requires thorough research of your target consumer to get an understanding of how to market the brand to them. Learning your consumer in and out is a common trait the most successful brands share because they give the people what they want, which is why it baffles me that some people still decide to inject their personal preferences into brand identity design.


There’s a quote by Marty Neumeier that goes, “ Your brand isn’t what you say it is; it’s what they say it is.” Your overall brand should appeal to the values, preferences, and needs of the target consumer. When the process of creating the brand identity system arises, the consumer needs to be the framework, not your personal preferences. Think of the last purchase you made from a brand that you like regardless of what it is. You bought it because for one reason or another there was something about it that you liked and connected with. If you didn’t you wouldn’t buy it, with that logic established, why would someone predicate their branding around their personal preferences? If you ever found yourself saying a phrase similar to “I like the color *insert color here*” when in the brand identity phase of building a brand, then, unfortunately, you’ve already started your journey down the wrong path.

“Your brand isn’t what you say it is; it’s what they say it is.”
-Marty Neumeier

Instead, replace your “I”s with “They”. When developing identity systems creating user profiles or user personas are handy tools. They allow you to define who your ideal consumer is along with what their interests and preferences are. Also, it’s a great way to keep you on track while developing your brand’s identity because it forces you to remove your preferences and focus on the target consumer.