You enter a room. In front of you, are identical triplets. You’re given a task to find the differences between them. How would you go about it?
Like these young men, there are numerous products available today that are similar to each other, albeit to a lesser extent. These products are similar in terms of utility, price, efficiency, and other factors. In such an environment, how can you help your brand stand out from the crowd? One way is to develop a strong Brand Identity that really talks to your target audience.
For example, you’ll find many brands of body lotions on the market but what differentiates a lotion by The Body Shop from a lotion by Nivea? It’s their brand identities. While Nivea is associated with being a practical and reliable product, The Body Shop is known for being a natural and ethical product. These traits are associated with them due to the various elements of their Brand Identity. And these unique Brand Identities attract different types of consumers.
Brand Identity is different from a brand. As Seth Godin puts it, “A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” A Brand Identity is a collection of elements that lead to the creation of those memories, stories, and relationships through the use of various elements.
A Brand Identity should be the embodiment of the mission and vision of the company for its target audience. It’s should portray your brand to your customers through the use of colours, fonts, logos, shapes, graphics, taglines, and even the tone that you use in all your verbal and non-verbal communication.
Brands with strong Brand Identities tend to create more impactful impressions on their customers. A well-crafted brand identity can differentiate you from your competition, it can improve brand awareness and generate active customers. A strong brand identity also builds loyalty, trust, and credibility for the brand.
Here are some of the key elements of a Brand’s Identity:
As we have discussed in a previous blog about logo design, human beings are the most stimulated by what they see. When we walk down the road, we perceive up to 80% of all impressions through our sight. Humans are visual beings. Companies and marketers have realized the importance of this. The best brands focus on creating a strong visual imprint in the minds of customers through their brand identity. The first visual created is usually the logo. This is the part of your brand that will be exposed to people the most. It needs to be representative of your brand’s personality.
Taglines are catchy one-liners or short slogans that encompass the personality of the brand. There are many iconic taglines that are immediately recognizable. How many of these taglines do you recognise?
“I’m Lovin’ It”
“Just Do It.”
“Because You’re Worth It.”
“The Taste of India”
“The Best A Man Can Get.”
A good tagline has to be memorable and should differentiate the brand from its competitors. It should create a positive feeling about the brand. It should ideally communicate the benefits of the product to the public.
3. Graphic Set
Then comes a consistent style for the graphics/images. Many companies have a strict set of guidelines for the shapes and images that can be used in the visual communication. They need to fit into the brand identity. Some brands may prefer subdued colours, like IBM. A brand like Toys ‘R’ Us uses bright colours and block shapes to convey the playful nature of their brand. Uber took inspiration from ‘bits and atoms’ to create their new brand identity. Some prefer geometric shapes and standard colours, like Google. Most create a brand style guide to outline their design assets, when and how to use them, as well as some do’s and don’ts.
Another component of brand identity is your products themselves.
The sight of the letters ‘LV’ emblazoned on this bag could be a recognizable sight for even those who don’t follow fashion. The strongest Brand Identities are instantly recognizable. And sometimes, it’s a good idea to have this identity on your product itself.
The way a product is packaged says a lot about it. The flowery, fruity packaging of a Body Shop product is different from the single toned, cool-coloured packaging Nivea utilizes. Businesses should get creative with their product packaging in order to efficiently utilize the power of Brand Identity.
Brand Identity in the Digital Age:
Having a well-crafted Brand Identity in today’s increasingly digital age has become very important. As of the second quarter of 2018, Facebook has 2.23 billion monthly active users worldwide. Instagram has over 1 billion and Twitter is home to 335 million. All these users are potential customers that brands can reach out to. A report from Twitter and Research Now found that 93% of people who follow small and medium-sized businesses on Twitter plan to purchase items from the companies that they follow. 69% have already purchased from an SMB they follow because of something they saw online.
This has come with its own set of challenges. There are many companies using the same platforms and saturating them with content. This is why having a strong and unique Brand Identity helps in making your brand stand out from the crowd.
Another challenge is creating material that is appropriate for various platforms. There are numerous formats and touch points that one must get acquainted with these days in order to have a consistent identity across all the platforms. This makes it easy for your audience to recognise, relate, and engage with your brand online.
While forming an identity for your brand, be mindful that it is consistent across all the elements and that it is as up to date as possible. If utilized well, a well-crafted Brand Identity can be a game changer for your product. Remember that a brand’s personality, like a human’s personality, are distinctive and enduring. And both are built over time.
Looking for a partner to craft a strong identity for your brand? Write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org