Politics and Business
Marketing Tips: The Definition of Brand Identity and Why It Matters
If you’ve spent any time in the world of marketing, you’ve probably heard the term “brand identity” thrown around quite a bit. But, what does this term even mean and why should it matter to you?
Before we get into the nuts and bolts of brand identity, think about it like this: Your personal identity is not only directly related to how you identify yourself with the world, it’s what allows the world to identify and understand you. And, this is actually an integral component of traveling through life.
Brand identity is like personal identity in many ways. It tells the world about your business and this is directly related to how a consumer views your products or services. This also combines paying close attention to seasonal trends and consumer habits.
So, let’s unpack the details of brand identity and get you on your way to establishing it for your business.
Terms to Think About
What you might not know about brand identity is that it’s often confused with similar terms like “branding” and “brand image.”
The term “brand image” refers to a consumer’s perception of your company. Branding refers to a specific marketing practice of molding or “shaping” a specific brand. This is all based on target marketing, consumer needs, and the services you offer.
Brand identity goes much deeper than the surface image that your business embodies. Basically, brand identity refers to the collection of interrelated elements that you create in order to portray the right image to your customer base.
In a nutshell, your brand wouldn’t have its own, unique identity without the cohesiveness of all the elements which make it a brand. Without one element, the identity is incomplete.
In even simpler terms, just look at yourself closely; you have a certain style of dress, a specific haircut, and specific qualities about you (artist, baseball player, outdoorsman). All of this combined creates your identity, and these are the elements others associate with you when they see you. If you were to change one thing (your haircut for instance), your perceived identity would also change.
The same is true for brand identity. It’s the image that you create.
How to Establish Brand Identity
Just like when you tried to establish yourself way back in high school or college, the same process allows you to establish brand identity. And just like back in those wonderfully awkward days, you first need to know who you are and what you want to be known for.
A few key elements of establishing brand identity are as follows:
- Company Values (what do you believe in?)
- Company Mission (Why are you in business?)
- Personality (What makes you unique?)
- Traits (What makes you different from your competition?)
- Voice (How are you going to communicate?)
Before you’re able to tie all of these elements together and present a brand identity to the world, you have to fully understand each of them individually. You might even have to perform some serious introspection on both yourself and your “why.”
Basically, get down to the essence of what you’re trying to accomplish, and build your identity from there.
Tips to Establish Brand Identity
The ways in which you can establish brand identity are only limited to your imagination. Each way you market your product or service has to be in line with (and reflect) your brand’s identity. For some businesses, this is as simple as creating unique, personalized hang tags for a product. For others, it could be as complex as creating a full-scale marketing program.
First and foremost, your design elements are critical to your identity. This is true from the first draft or prototype of your product to the finished result that a consumer will find in your storefront.
Design is essential to grabbing customer attention, just as your message is critical for gaining and keeping interest in your product or services. This all comes down to two main elements: style and voice.
By crafting a genuine style, you’ll be noticed. By creating an engaging message and platform, you’ll gain attention and be remembered. But take note, all of these elements must work together cohesively for your brand to be successful.
Owning a business is a huge undertaking, and many of the elements that go into making a brand successful are often overlooked. The best advice you can take is to be genuine in your approach.
Be firm with your message and philosophy, and offer people something that solves a problem or makes their lives better. If you combine all of these elements into forming your brand identity, you’ll be well on your way to success.