Millions of small businesses are looking for ways to remain productive as social distancing persists, driving companies to operate remotely. On the upside, a new sophisticated breed of digital brand marketing tools are emerging, offering efficient alternatives to face-to-face and brick and mortar business services. A bonus is that digital tools tend to be more cost-effective since they focus on profitability models like market share growth and volume of users rather than private clientele. This is a win-win for startups and small businesses looking to pivot during our new COVID-19 world.
You may not be able to sit with your creative tribe around a boardroom table or your local Starbucks to brainstorm your brand's identity right now, but you can benefit from more than 40,000 successfully launched brand identities, online, courtesy of artificial intelligence brand identity generator, ZeBrand. Suddenly, your tribe just got a whole lot bigger.
Why Brand Identity Matters
While many businesses think little of the term "brand identity" beyond a cool logo and trendy workspace, market research shows that the lack of a fleshed out brand identity that is communicated to your market can spell trouble for startups and smaller businesses in terms of setting themselves apart in crowded spaces. Now that workspaces have gone remote for the foreseeable future, companies need to delve deeper to discover their brand's identity and how they wish to communicate their brand to their customer base.
A 2016 Entrepreneur article asserts that "for every five startups that are still around, more than double have failed due to lack of branding." Investopedia cites "strong brand identity" as a 'make or break' factor for new businesses.
Part of the problem has previously been a lack of accessibility to branding experts. A March 2019 TechCrunch article is quick to point out the prohibitive pricing of traditional branding agencies, stating, "[brand] identity projects range from $5000 for a standalone logo, to $200,000 for a complex [brand] identity system."
ZeBrand, a New York startup founded by Ryo Kikuchi as an offshoot of Japanese typography company, Morisawa, solves the crucial pain-point of offering startups and small to medium sized businesses an affordable way of generating complete branding toolkits, branded onboarding packages, on point brand slogans, branded imagery, and branded commercial visuals at little to no cost ($0 for basic brand identity kits and up to $750 for premium brand identity kits). A company's brand identity toolkit can be created remotely from any computer or mobile device.
“Most companies are aware of the importance of good branding, however, many lack the necessary resources to execute a complete, well-rounded brand identity, which is then reflected in their level of growth as a company,” says Ryo Kikuchi, Chief Executive Officer at ZeBrand. “We want to make whole brand development and brand identity accessible and available for all businesses, regardless of their background or their budget.”
The ZeBrand process only takes minutes to use. Users take a quiz on the platform's website, filling in answers to questions that help you identify your company’s values, your brand's mission and your brand's ideals. It's a fun process, with questions like, "would you describe your business style as measured and steadfast or spontaneous and stream of consciousness?" You will really get to know your brand personality and refine your message through this exercise.
Your answers are then crunched through the platform's algorithm and your company's full branded toolkit is ready for immediate use with a downloadable all-in-one brand kit created within minutes. What is interesting is that you will see right before your eyes, a powerfully detailed reflection of your brand's expression in the brand identity kit ZeBrand provides to you.
ZeBrand's Upcoming Features
According to founder and CEO, Ryo Kikuchi, ZeBrand is working on ways for companies to create brand identified product and merchandising mock-ups, as well as on-demand education on effective branding tactics for non-designers. "Right now, brand identity is a mostly two-dimensional proposition," states ZeBrand CEO, Ryo Kikuchi. "We plan to take our A.I. a massive step further in the near future by, for example, collaborating with our users to leverage our ever-evolving algorithm to develop 3D and 4D brand identity experiences for businesses."
Users can log on via ZeBrand’s website to get started on creating their detailed brand identity.