When we first think of branding, we think of logos. The logo is a graphic icon that provides a distinctive, recognizable identity of a company, but it is only one part of a corporate identity.
Your brand identity is essentially an aggregation of what your company does, your mission, purpose, values, personality, promise to your consumers and competitive advantages. These entities are represented through the companies’ visuals and content, such as brand name, logo, style, colors, marketing, online presence, etc.
Brand identity a key concern for all businesses, as this is the perception and emotional connection formulated by its customers, which is directly influenced by the brands visuals. Some confuse brand identity with brand image, let me clarify, brand identity is constructed by the brand itself, whereas, the brand image is the summarized perception of the opinions in the marketplace. This position has a direct effect on your business’s reputation.
“An effective brand identity that is true to what your company stands for, will make your company stand out.”
When developing your brand identity, it is vital for you to have a vision for your long-term business goals. Inspirational and aspirational business goals show you are a business that is always improving, moving forward and evolving, this is incredibly attractive in the market. The best example of this is Apple’s innovative product designs that aspire to meet the forever changing lives of their users; they are constantly trying to better themselves as a business. When developing your brand’s vision statement, ask yourself, what is unique about your business? What is the most important product or service you provide? What do you want your business to accomplish in 5 years? Make sure you outline what you deliver that is different to your competitors to create your point of difference.
Brand positioning is about knowing who you are as a business and where you stand in the marketplace. Well-researched and expressed brand identity will define your brand’s positioning within the market. Brand strategy is about actioning the best plan and tactics to achieve your business goals. Learn more here
In support of this, a creative and well-communicated brand strategy will create a clear depiction of your brand’s unique personality.
Brand personality is the character of your business. This is expressed through the look and feel and the tone and voice of your business assets. Personality is shown through the writing style or the presentation of your content. A business that is professional or serious will have contrast in visuals and content to one that is fun and playful. Ensure that your personality and identity is communicated consistently through all media.
Your brand logo won’t mean anything if there is no story, neither will your products/service. There needs to be a clear reasoning as to why your employees get out of bed every morning to spend their day working in the business, and a clear reason why your customers should choose your business over your competitors. Give your customers a reason to care by creating meaning and story behind your business. Be passionate and purposeful to create that emotional connection and trust. Customers who are emotionally connected to a brand are more reluctant to change to other brands. They will stay loyal to you because you have this determination, passion, and purpose, so being your customer creates a sense of fulfillment.
A strong, well-clarified and consistent brand identity will help your business leave a lasting fingerprint in the marketplace.