Strong brands are all around us. In our modern, digitized world, people are seeing an alarming number of brands everywhere they turn.. Remember that study done in 2007 about people being exposed to 5,000 advertisements a day? Well that number has definitely increased with the surge in mobile smart devices, increased social media usage from all demographics, brand placements, and everything you might see in day-to-day life.
Companies and people leverage their brands to connect with customers and clients. With a strong brand, it is easier for your audience to get to know you.
What is a Brand Identity
A brand identity is an external image that aims to reflect the vision, mission, culture, and values of the company. It’s the tangible and recognizable piece of what a brand represents.
If we think of the brand identity as we would a human being, it is the personal style and personality presented to the world. People want to be seen in a certain way so they present themselves how they hope to be perceived by wearing certain clothes, doing their hair in a certain way, talking about certain things, and acting certain ways.
Brands are no different. The brand identity is the presentation of how the brand hopes to be perceived. It is a visual representation of the internal being.
To break down the brand identity further, we can see that it is comprised of six main parts:
- Company name
- Slogan and tagline
- Tone of voice
Now let’s go back to the human comparison. These six main pieces can fit together to make up a person’s identity.
- Company name = person’s name
- Slogan and tagline = person’s occupation, hobbies, interests
- Colors = emotions felt
- Font = personality traits
- Shape = person’s appearance
- Tone of voice = how they communicate with others
To sum it up, a brand identity is how the brand presents itself. It is the foundation of how the brand acts based on its inner self.
7 Steps For Developing Brand Identity
- Set a Mission Statement
- Design Your Culture
- Humanize Your Brand to Choose an Audience
- Understand Your Value Proposition
- Brand Identity 101- Develop “The Look”
- Implement a Style Guide
- Brand Your Touchpoints
Set a Mission Statement
The highest achievers and most successful companies have one thing in common: clear-cut goals. Setting a mission statement is like setting an overarching goal that encompasses values and goals. The mission statement is outlining, at a very high level, what your company hopes to achieve and how they will act to achieve that goal.
The goal of a mission statement is to motivate the corporate team to operate in a way that is conducive to reaching company goals. Mission statements can and should be lofty. It takes the role of key motivator and driving light for your company to aim for. It is also a foundational piece to the brand identity.
Design Your Culture
The mission statement sets where you want to go and touches on how you want to go there. Designing your culture answers the questions of how you will treat your customers and how you expect your people to act.
Designing culture is another key foundational piece of developing brand identity. If your company is known for upholding good values and strictly condemning unethical behavior, your brand identity will reflect that. Consequently, the way employees interpret the behavior accepted by the company will greatly impact the way they act. It’s kind of like the concept of self-fulfilling prophecy.
Humanize Your Brand to Choose Your Audience
Now that some of the foundational pieces are in place, it’s time to bring the brand to life to clearly create a brand identity. What would the brand like to do on a sunny Saturday afternoon and what would the people who spend time with the brand be like? How about on a winter Tuesday evening?
The objective of humanizing your brand is finding your target market. It is foolish to build a brand identity without clearly outlining who you plan on speaking to. Who is going to buy the product? This is called developing a customer persona.
Understand Your Value Proposition
A value proposition is used to put a microscope on how you will achieve your mission statement. It discusses your offering and how you can be differentiated from the competition.
When writing your value proposition, you should talk about how your product or service helps your target audience solve whatever problem they may have OR improve themselves by reducing a painpoint and increasing a gain.
Brand Identity 101 – Develop “The Look”
The brand identity is an outward reflection of what the brand stands for. Everything covered before this section built the foundation to have direction.
Remember all of the components of brand identity? This is your guide to using them to create a brand identity that will help your company attract the attention you want and connect with your most valued customers.
Your Brand Identity
With a strong brand, it is easier to get to know your company. Creating a brand identity is all about knowing who you are and designing a reflection of what you’re all about. From the foundational steps of setting a mission statement and building a company culture to creating a physical reflection, the best advice is to stay true to who you are and build an identity around that.
Your brand identity will get strong with a dedicated, consistent approach and a lot of time. Be patient and keep listening to your customers.