INSIGHT : How to build a strong brand identity on Instagram

If used to its full advantage, Instagram can be your business’s best friend. As it currently stands, there is no better social media platform than Instagram to quickly and effectively showcase your brand’s style and ethos (not to mention it’s perhaps the most fun way of working for creatives like us!). With just a few simple guidelines, your brand ideas can be turned into a visual reality. So with that, we’ve compiled five essential business tips to help you create and sustain a strong brand identity on Instagram. The pictures will be queuing up in no time!

We’ve also highlighted some of our social media client’s feeds to give you example and insight into how we do it.

1. Think about your target audience

Out of all five points, this is the most important. Every time you post or schedule a picture for your Instagram feed, ask yourself, would my target audience like this? You should already have an outline of what your target audience looks like, but if you don’t, start by building a customer profile, go into maximum detail by thinking about who are they? What they do? What are their likes and dislikes? What other brands do they shop/enjoy?

Shoreditch Nail’s visual identity matches their salon. Light and bright with pops of pink. The disco ball in the imagery shows their fun loving personality.  @shoreditchnails

Shoreditch Nail’s visual identity matches their salon. Light and bright with pops of pink. The disco ball in the imagery shows their fun loving personality. @shoreditchnails

Rogue Wine’s uses imagery that is colourful and has high contrast. As well as sharing images of their wine, they share other brands and ideas that their audience are passionate about on the feed.  @roguewines

Rogue Wine’s uses imagery that is colourful and has high contrast. As well as sharing images of their wine, they share other brands and ideas that their audience are passionate about on the feed. @roguewines

Plenaire’s visual identity is nostalgic, dreamy and positive. Their brand colour is repeated throughout with graphics, bringing the imagery together.  @plenaire_official

Plenaire’s visual identity is nostalgic, dreamy and positive. Their brand colour is repeated throughout with graphics, bringing the imagery together. @plenaire_official

2. Consistancy / finding the balance

The best Instagram accounts around know to not bombard their followers with repetitive imagery and sales posts after sales posts. Your Instagram profile is not solely a shop front, it is a mood board representing your brand’s ideas and inspirations. It can even be a space to occasionally display brands similar to your own that you admire and value (it is a social platform after all!). You may want to post behind the scenes photos now and then or more personal pictures, but don’t feel like you should if it isn’t in keeping with your brand.

Sometimes brands go the other way and don’t include any sales posts! You may have an array of lovely imagery on your feed but with that you run a risk of your product posts getting lost in between. It’s no good people following you if they don't actually know what you are selling after all!

Our best tip to find the balance, is to think of your feed as nine posts; how many posts out of those nine do you want to be your own product? How many should be talking about other brands? How many are behind-the-scenes or inspiration photos? Keeping this in mind when planning your feed helps.

3. Tone of voice

Whether it’s a promotional post or an inspiration photo, your desired tone of voice should be maintained in the captions. Do you want your brand to come across as friendly or serious? Informative or relaxed? By keeping your tone of voice consistent your followers will come to recognise and respect your messaging.   

4. Quality over quantity

For any professional business, high-quality imagery is vital. Avoid blurry, pixelated and over-edited imagery as this suggests a lack of professionality. The same goes for over-filtered imagery (the Valencia filter with a black border gives us uncomfortable flashbacks to 2013). By having top-notch, high-quality photos, you create both a reliable and sophisticated aesthetic for your brand.

Although Instagram stories can be a little more relaxed, still try to keep quality in what you are posting and make sure it still represents your brand!

Joe’s Tea Co.’s Instagram feed matches their packaging… Bright fun colours with a white background to tie everything together. They constantly post photos of their tea, amongst other images their audience will be interested in.  @joesteaco

Joe’s Tea Co.’s Instagram feed matches their packaging… Bright fun colours with a white background to tie everything together. They constantly post photos of their tea, amongst other images their audience will be interested in. @joesteaco

Spring Wharf’s Instagram uses lots of earthy colours to represent It’s connection to nature, as the development is located on the riverside. It has a clear representation of Bath so people know where they are based as soon as they visit the profile.  @springwharf

Spring Wharf’s Instagram uses lots of earthy colours to represent It’s connection to nature, as the development is located on the riverside. It has a clear representation of Bath so people know where they are based as soon as they visit the profile. @springwharf

Juno Hire’s feed shows their keen eye for modern, minimalistic design. It highlights their furniture throughout, to ensure people know what they offer.  @juno_hire

Juno Hire’s feed shows their keen eye for modern, minimalistic design. It highlights their furniture throughout, to ensure people know what they offer. @juno_hire

5. Colour scheme & editing

So, you’ve got a line-up of pictures you know your audience will like, they’re in keeping with your brand’s style and ethos and you’ve even got some snappy captions typed out ready to go. Now it’s time for photo editing skills to come out! Luckily you don’t need to know Photoshop to achieve easy, effective editing for your Instagram posts.

Depending on your company and target audience, what immediate reaction do you want your photos to give? Do you want dark, sleek editing or lighter, lower contrasted pictures? What colours represent your brand? Should you have a crisp clear editing style for a more modern look? Or maybe a certain type of filter maintained throughout? These small but vital tweaks are the icing on top of your cake. They round off your Instagram feed’s aesthetic and furthermore solidify your brand’s identity.


Weekend:IN creates innovative ideas to help IN:dependent and IN:spiring brands connect, engage and grow their audiences. We help brands with social media marketingauthentic influencer marketing campaigns, and event organisation. Weekend:IN are based in Bristol, but currently work with independent and inspiring businesses across the South West and in London.