As a specialist marketing agency, the term 'Brand Identity' is one we're all too familiar with, but what exactly is it and why is it so important for business?
It's easy to assume that brand identity evolves around your business logo, slogan or even just your company name; and while all of these are intrinsic elements to your brand, your true brand identity encompasses so much more than this. Many people set out to start a business with a clear and concise opinion on how they want their branding to look and be positioned in the marketplace. Often, it's not until quite far into the strategic thought process that business owners start to realise that their brand is predominantly consumer-driven and that they merely get to influence their brand perception. Ultimately, your brand and how well your brand performs will be a collaborative effort of your creativity and imagination combined with what your target consumers expect from a business they intend to engage with. So, let's put 'Brand Identity' under the microscope, and look into the aspects you'll need to consider when creating your own, starting with the most obvious. Your logo, your slogan and your company name - they aren't your whole brand identity, but they are still important to your branding strategy, and each of them should be distinctive and memorable to your target audience. To successfully develop a brand that works for your company and your consumers, you'll need to consider a variety of elements including colours, fonts, infographics and so much more. Once you're happy with your creation, you'll need to ensure your brand is consistent. Brand consistency is a significant principal of your overall brand concept and will nearly always be the cornerstone of your brand success - so, take time to ensure your logo, slogan and company name are not just consistent with your messaging but that all elements of your branding are presented the same across every platform and each touchpoint.
Brands change with time, they evolve to suit the consumer perception we've already discussed, so you'll also want to ensure your brand is scalable. Great brands aren't built overnight, so give plenty of room for growth as your brand develops. Now that we've dealt with the first outward elements associated with your brand; let's take a strategic approach into creating a brand identity that will stand you out from competitors -
Discover your brand purpose. Nobody knows your brand quite like you do, so naturally, you're the best person to identify what your company does and the problems you can solve for your consumer market. Why does your brand exist? What is the purpose of your brand and the services and products you offer, and how does your brand differentiate from others who are doing the same or similar to you?
The answers to each of these questions will essentially determine some of the most imperative aspects of your brand identity, including your logo, your website, your company name, your slogan and even your social media content. You can't develop a successful brand identity without first understanding your own messaging - so, start here. Research your competitors. Because, after all - you want to lead in your market, and the best way to get there is by checking out the competition. The consumer market is vast, and competition is fierce, so you'll need to make sure your brand is strong enough to withstand the pool of competitors all aiming for the same end goal. How are your competitors presenting themselves? What are they doing well? Which things could they be doing better? Even if you think your competitors brand identity is spot on, there'll still be a host of ways to enhance your own. The key thing to remember here, is that you don't want to simply blend into your competitor landscape, so go bold, go brave and get creative.
Understand your target audience. Remember the customer perception we spoke about earlier? Well, this is where it really matters. You might think your ideas are great and you're onto a winner with your branding, but here's the crutch - if your target audience don't agree, your brand won't work. You need to know who you want to target, and you'll need to understand their personal preferences and essentially, what they're likely to expect from you. Of course, we're not suggesting you align your entire brand identity to suit everyone else but you; you are the mastermind behind your brand, but you do need to make the allowance to be influenced by consumer input and gain a better idea of what will really resonate with them. Be authentic. It's almost too easy for companies to boast authenticity, but a truly authentic brand is one that knows exactly what they represent and what they stand for. Authentic brands do well because they sell their story to consumers much better than faceless big-name corporations. They engage with their consumers and they're honest about the services and products they provide. Authentic brands don't over-promise and under-deliver, they are sincere and essentially, each of these elements make for a trustworthy and reliable brand identity. Don't simply throw out statements such as "We're transparent, we're honest, we're genuine." In an overcrowded marketplace, actions speak louder than words - so, don't boast authenticity, prove it.
Develop a brand strategy. And we don't mean one that works just for now. Great brands change and evolve with time. Coca-Cola looks quite a bit different now to how it did back in 1886 but nevertheless, the brand has remained incredibly recognisable throughout the decades. The core values of Coca-Cola haven't really changed all that much, but the positioning of their brand identity is something that has been finely tuned to align with customer perception and expectation over several years. Your brand identity needs to be scalable, and as your consumer market develops, your branding must too. Develop a strategy that doesn't limit you to the present moment, but instead promotes future growth prospects for long-lasting success.
Brand Identity - As we said, it's so much more than your logo or brand name, so you might want to onboard someone you can genuinely trust to take yours to the next level. At Ouma, we're specialists in creating strong and successful brand identities and if you'd like to work alongside one of Wales' most innovative marketing agencies, drop us a line at email@example.com.
We're engaging in high-profile brand identity transformations in London & New York.