What is Brand Identity?
Brand identity is the true reflection that an organization portrays to its customers which includes the promise of the brand from the company to the customers assuring them of true value delivery. It’s how customers look at the brand and how to identify the brand. It helps in distinguishing the aspects and characteristics of one company from the other. It is in fact a bridge built on trust and credibility between the company and the consumer.
Understanding a particular brand and perceiving its value can be achieved by building a strong brand identity of the product. In order to avoid any misconceptions about the company and its products, it is very important to create an identity that is in par with its image and to produce a perfect brand identity it is imperative that an organization takes stock of the following-
- The company’s strength and weaknesses
- The various opportunities it can cash into
- The market towards which the company is working at
- Their own goals and values
- The persona wants to project and pursue in the mindset of the consumers
Examples of Building Brand Identity in the Real World
It is necessary to attach a particular sentiment with the identity of the brand, as it will echo the personality and the value of the product. For example, if a particular brand like Pantene comes into mind it will always depict long and thick hair. The brand deals in hair & care products and its brand identity is in direct relation with its image projecting its advantages.
Building a brand identity is difficult and requires a lot of time as well as investments in promotional and brand building activities. To entice the consumers, the brand associates itself with numerous famous personalities. These celebrities help in making an instant impact on the perception of the people for the brand, by creating a unique brand identity for the products.
For example – As soon as a person thinks of the famous athlete Tiger woods, it reminds us of Gillette. Similarly, when someone thinks of Sachin Tendulkar, it reminds us of MRF (his bat). When someone thinks of Michael Schumacher, it reminds us of Ferrari. These memories go hand in hand into building a brand identity and hence result in better sales and revenues.
How to Build a Strong Identity?
An organized, strong, and consistent marketing team should handle the development of brand identity for a firm. After determining the key goals and the particular section of the market it wants to adhere to, it becomes quite easy to create a brand identity that would prove to be fruitful. This brand identity echoes the message that a company wants to send to its clientele.
Recognition in the customer’s mind is instant with the right brand identity and association. It is also beneficial in building and maintaining customer loyalty. In order to create the right atmosphere for selling a product, it is imperative that the brand identity should be unique and distinguished while portraying its true characteristic.
1. Customer Analysis
For the business to generate the profits and widen its reach, it is vital to target the right set of audience and convert them into the customers. By understanding the market thoroughly and segregating the target audience on the parameters of age, gender, location, income-levels, lifestyle, taste, and preferences; it is quite easier to work on the Brand Identity plan and make it a sheer success.
2. Competitive Study
Apart from analyzing the market conditions, it is necessary to have a check on the competitors and their brand strategies. Understanding their approach towards the customers, services levels, promotional tactics, marketing strategies, and brand designs; helps quite a lot to design and strategize the Brand Identity that is not only unique in nature and personality but also has an edge over the competitive environment.
3. Understand your brand
The process of Brand Identity starts with understanding and in-depth analysis of the brand, the nature of the business, short-term and long-term goals, product and services offered, how does the business wants to portray itself in the market, values, and fundamentals that have formulated the business. It is very important that the members of the management and key employees sit together, plan, think, and strategize on the above mentioned and arrive at the joint conclusion that provides the way forward for the Brand Identity process.
4. Establish messaging statements
Every brand needs to enlighten its customers and stakeholders about its vision for the future and the mission through which it will attain the goals and objectives of the business which gives rise to the vision and mission statements that hold quite a prominent place in the overall brand architecture.
5. Work on the brand’s creative elements
Next comes in the line is working on the creative elements of the brand that comprises of the logo, mascot, tagline, typography, colour palette, and design templates that are not only artistic and innovative but also resonate with the market sentiments and grabs the instant attention of the target audience.
6. Execute brand strategies
Once there is a detailed understanding of the market and the customers along with the brand architecture in place, it’s time to execute the brand strategies by deploying the media channels such as PR, social media, corporate communications, television advertisements, print advertisements, and participating in the events that help communicating the brand to the market and target audience and harp on the fact that the brand is here to stay and sustain in the industry on a long-term basis.
7. Analyze and Refine the Brand Identity
After the Brand Identity is revealed to the market and is out and about to the customers, it is the time for the management and the brand managers to analyze its implications and how far the success ratio is plus take the feedback from the customers. If everything is perfect, then the brand needs to work on exceeding the expectations set and if any loopholes, the same needs to be corrected and refined as per the market dynamics and the taste of the customers.
The above were the 7 steps in creating a brand identity so powerful, that it catapults your brand and gets it the attention and awareness that it deserves.
Advantages of Brand Identity
- Drives the Vision of the Company
- Improves the work culture of the company (clear goals)
- Improves brand Personality
- Maintains the positioning and even improves it
- Immediately connect with customers
Disadvantages of Brand Identity
- If a company is unable to form a favorable brand identity, it may lose its positioning in the market.
- Brand identity plays a crucial role in any organization and if not handled properly, it will showcase that the company is not in touch with the realities of the market and its current trends.
- The inability to understand the market sentiments can have contrary effects and may lead to loss of sales and fewer revenues.
Brand identity vs Brand Image
Many of our readers after reading this article will be confused between brand identity vs brand image. The explanation is very simple. Identity is the way you want your customers to see you. Brand image is the realistic way that customers see you. Hence, concentrating on brand identity helps create a strong brand image. Consequentially, if you are portraying the wrong brand identity, the brand image will be even worse.
Once a brand’s identity locks itself in the consumer’s consciousness it is very difficult to uproot the image. The chief disadvantage of a brand identity is that if for any reason the identity does not click with the buyers, it may show adverse results and the company may take a very long time to overcome its identity crisis.
The primary advantage of building a brand identity is its capacity of providing a familiarity and trustworthiness to its consumers. It can be in the form of familiar colors as if red is associated with Colgate Toothpaste and blue with Pepsi or it may also be a special tagline like “Taste the thunder” for the soft drink “Thumbs up” and “Take a break” for chocolate “Kit-Kat”.
Key differences between Brand Image and Brand identity
|Brand Identity||Brand Image|
|The Brand identity is a way that a company wants it to be perceived in the market by its consumers.||The Brand image is a way that consumers perceive the company and their perception about it.|
|The Brand identity is active in nature which means it is in your hand to establish it.||The Brand Image is passive in nature which means it is totally out of your control to establish it.|
|The Brand identity includes elements of a brand such as its logo, slogan, style, tagline, and tone, etc.||The Brand image includes both brand elements and brand association with its customers.|
|The Brand identify is known as the reality of a brand.||The Brand image is known as the perception of its existing and potential customers about it.|
|The Brand identity of a brand heavily depends on how a it is represented by the company.||The Brand image of a brand hugely depends on what kind of experiences customers had with the brand.|
|The focus of the brand identity is to look back.||The focus of the brand image is to look ahead.|
|The Brand identity represents the desire of the company.||The Brand image represents the views of others about the brand.|
|The Brand identity is enduring.||The Brand image is superficial.|
|The Brand identity represents the promises made by the company to its consumers.||The Brand image is the perception of customers about the brand after experiencing it.|
Importance of Brand Identity
Brand Identity is not similar to brand image but it surely provides an impetus to the same as it is the consistent message received by the consumers in the marketplace.
Below, we focus on the importance of Brand Identity:
It helps build the reputation of the brand in the market as the one that is consistent in its approach of offering valuable products and services that are astute on the goals of quality and the finest levels of customer service and the overall experience.
The company needs to be steady and quite regular in its efforts of building up the Brand Identity in the market and connecting on the emotional level with the consumers to gain a competitive advantage. As the saying goes, ‘Out of sight, out of mind’, the brand needs to be constantly present in the market with its varied offerings and marketing the same using promotional tools and tactics.
When the consumers witness the brand and its offerings on the daily basis, there is a perception build in their minds that the brand is reliable and making all the efforts to gain momentum in the market amidst the ever-growing competition. Thus, giving rise to the customer loyalty that is the by-product of the trust and faith of the consumers developed towards the brand.
With the consistent and developed Brand Identity in the marketplace, there is a raised level of employee motivation and satisfaction as they take pride in working with the brand that is successful and this factor is quite imperative for their personal and professional growth.
Why having a Good Brand’s Identity is Important?
Every brand in the market has its own brand identity of its own depending on its offerings and the way of dealing with the customers, employees, vendors, and stakeholders. The main catch lies in the fact that having a good Brand Identity can work wonders for the business making it stand out from the competition.
1) Stability in Brand’s Identity
It is always the survival of the fittest in the market facing the ever-growing competition and the evolving tastes of the customers. Having a good Brand Identity showcases that the brand is stable in nature and is constantly progressing with the cyclic nature of the market and is continuously innovating its techniques and measures offering the best of products and services to its consumers
2) Brand Can Tap New Product and Markets
Having a strong brand identity and ground in one market automatically gives the confidence to the brand and the company management to tap new markets by fathering the reach to the untapped locations and the new target market with the objective to establish the brand presence and identity.
3) Improved Sales
With the enhanced customer loyalty and strong brand identity and image in the market, the main and crucial objective of the company to generate leads and attain closures is achieved.
4) Introduce New Product and Design
With the good Brand Identity goal achieved by offering a specific set of products and services gives the required thrust to the company to expand its operation by launching new products and services to the same as well as the new target market.
No two companies or brands have the same identity in the minds of the consumers and the overall market as there are always the unique factors that differentiate one brand from the other. When the company has a good Brand Identity, there is a clear distinction and perception to customers about which brand is good for them and which is not making the former reap all the merits such as customer loyalty, awareness, elevated profits, and much more.
6) Improved and Consistency in Brand Awareness
When the objective of a Strong Brand Identity is accomplished by the company, there is widespread awareness about the brand and its products and services offered on the national and international levels making the company make inroads to the new and untapped markets with the zeal and confidence.
Hence, having a strong and a good Brand Identity is quite vital for the business to make a distinguished presence in the market amidst the dynamic nature of the industry and changing preferences of the customers.