Do you know your business’s brand identity? Some owners tend to overlook this very important aspect of their business. In fact, some companies go out of business without ever knowing what their brand identity was.
It’s a sad reality, but your business doesn’t have to suffer the same fate. You reading this now is a sign for you to start establishing this for your business. So in this post, we’ll talk about what brand identity is, how you can build it, why you need it in the first place.
You’ll learn all the benefits that come with a brand identity and how large companies have successfully established theirs throughout the years.
If you’re ready, then let’s get right to it.
What Is Brand Identity?
Throughout the years of surfing the internet and traveling to different places, we’ve all seen at least a thousand brands in our lifetime.
We see several brands every day when we walk down the street, we hear their ads on streaming platforms, and we see them as we scroll through social media.
But regardless of the high number of brands we’ve been exposed to, there are only a few of them that we can say that we’re familiar with.
This poses the question of what did other brands do that made us remember them?
Is it because of their logo? Their brand message? Their products? Their service? Or how do they conduct their operations?
All of those things point to one aspect of the business. And that is brand identity.
Brand identity can be defined as how a business presents itself to the world. How they differentiate themselves from the rest. What their values are. How the business sells its products or does its service. It can also be how a business wants a customer to feel when they interact with them.
As you can see, there are a lot of components that make up a brand identity.
Which I believe is rightfully so. If you want your business to stand out, you can’t just work on one aspect of it. You need to work on the different facets of your business to truly be separated from the pack.
With this, it’s time to discuss how you can create a strong and unique brand identity for your business.
How To Build A Strong Brand Identity
Know your brand’s purpose
Before anything else, you must determine why you’re in business. You have to answer why you started this venture in the first place.
Knowing the big purpose of your business is the start of creating a strong brand identity.
If you don’t have a clear brand purpose you can start with these questions:
- What problem is your business trying to solve?
- What makes your brand different?
- Why should people care about your products or services?
The answers here will create the foundation of your branding.
Market research isn’t just about studying your audience on how they think and react to different campaigns. It’s also about your competition and what separates you from them. Here are a few things for you to consider when doing market research:
Know who your audience is and understand their needs. There are businesses that cater to teenagers, adults, senior citizens, males, and females but rarely all of them.
If you think your service caters to all demographics, then you haven’t looked into your research deep enough.
Know that each group of people want different things. That’s why there are different marketing campaigns for each subset of a company’s audience.
As a business, it’s your job to know how to engage your consumers.
Take 3Wishes for example. The company knows that it also caters to men and couples looking for costumes.
But rather than marketing their products that hit both demographics, they chose to only focus on the most dominant demographic in their audience which are females who are looking for sexy lingerie outfits.
For a business to create a brand identity that stands out, it has to have something unique. Something that separates it from the pack.
What does your business offer that other brands can’t? Can it do on-the-day delivery? Does your platform offer marketing certifications? Are your products scientifically tested and proven to be effective? Or can your business offer free shipping for every overseas order?
Close separates itself from the competition by being an all-in-one business solution platform. The company offers a ton of products to help every team in a business to be more effective.
They sell predictive dialers for the sales team, sales and analytics software for the research team, and many more.
Knowing the difference between your business and the competition is vital to making a successful brand.
Once you’ve determined this, you’re able to play around with it for your marketing campaign or advertising.
- Create a vision and mission statement
Mission and vision statements aren’t just used for new employee onboarding, they are also powerful information that can influence a buyer’s decision. These statements determine your brand’s value proposition to the consumer.
Take a look at Tesla’s mission statement for example:
With their mission, Tesla buyers don’t just get a sleek car but they’re also supporting a greener future.
To help you in creating a mission and vision statement, here are three steps to get you started:
Brainstorm a phrase that best describes a special thing about your business
When brainstorming, think of the different aspects that separate you from the competition. IKEA makes affordable but elegant furniture, selling on Amazon gives you the option to deliver on the same day, and Nike offers innovative sportswear.
If you can’t think of an edge, find a reason why your business deserves to succeed
Every business owner believes in a reason why their business needs to flourish. Some think that it can improve the lives of people while others believe that it can solve a global problem.
Remember that if your business is just like any other in your industry, then growing and standing out will be a hard thing to do. You won’t be able to offer something unique to consumers for them to choose you over your competitors.
Structure those points that you’ve come up with to statements
These statements should explain themselves. It shouldn’t be too complex. The simpler it is, the better.
Examples of mission and vision statements from different brands all over the world:
- Red Bull - “Giving wings to people and ideas.”
- TED - “Spread ideas”.
- Prudential - “We help people get the most out of life”
- AstraZeneca - “We push boundaries of science to deliver life-changing medicines”
- TripAdvisor - “To help people around the world plan and have the perfect trip.”
- Mastercard - “A World Beyond Cash”
- Nintendo - “To put smiles on the faces of everyone we touch”
- Google - “To provide access to the world’s information in one click”
- Shopify - “To make commerce better for everyone”
- Ben & Jerry’s - “Making the best ice cream in the nicest possible way”
Create a logo
A logo is just one part of the branding process but it still plays a major role to brand identity. Sometimes, we’re more familiar with a logo than a brand’s name.
Logos can also change over time as the business expands and grow. Just like what Pepsi did throughout the years:
When creating a logo, you can let your imagination run wild. You can create multiple drafts and narrow them once you’ve got every design off your mind.
Outsourcing a graphic designer is also a good idea. You want your logo to be created by a professional that specializes in this field.
Once you’ve created a logo, you need to stick with it for years. You can’t just go changing one year after the other because it defeats the purpose of creating a brand identity for your audience.
Remember that you’ll use your logo on almost everything you do with your business - when you’re on social media, when you’re doing marketing, and when you post.
So to help you in creating the perfect logo for your brand, here are a few tips to remember:
- Don’t make it too boring and too complex
- Keep it simple
- Play with the colors
- Make it scalable and memorable
- Pick the right typography
- It can reflect what your business does
- Convey a feeling
Be memorable, be unique, and standout
Creating a brand identity isn’t just creating a logo and making vision and mission statements. When you want your brand to create a lasting effect on your customers’ minds, you need to convey a feeling to them using your products and service.
There’s a reason why we only remember a few brands even though we’ve transacted with thousands of them.
And a reason for that would be because of the feeling they gave us.
It could be that when we used their products, it did indeed solve our long time problem. Or its service was so top-notch that it made us happy or feel good about ourselves.
Humans are emotional beings. They are moved by something when emotions are involved.
That’s how big companies like Coca-Cola do their advertisements. They create these experiential marketing campaigns that trigger the emotions of their customers. That’s why their ads become viral and well-received.
So how can your business become memorable in today’s landscape? You can do so by following these things:
Be where your audience is
If your demographic spends a lot of time online or on social media, then that’s where your business should be.
But don’t take the traditional route of spamming them with your ads. Instead, use social media platforms to engage with them. Start a conversation, chime in on hot topics, talk to them, ask questions, compliment them.
Take a look at these businesses who used their platform to talk to their audience:
Nike understood how important it is to talk with your customers. That’s why they made a Twitter account dedicated to customer support issues. Not only can their customers reach them with this account but they can also use it to extend their help and talk with them.
Here you can see Premio quickly responding to a question of one of their users. This is the perfect demeanor that you want your business to display when talking to customers.
Notice how Premio thanked the customer and said sorry for the inconvenience. And they ended their message on how they can help Olly with his problem.
In this situation, Finli thanked someone for simply sharing one of their blog posts. A simple thank you can go a long way.
With leaving reviews about products and services being popular, all types of businesses need to cater to every review.
Thank the reviewer if they leave a positive review. If it’s negative, address the issue and find ways on how you can make it better.
Don’t follow your competitor’s strategy
Remember, you want to be unique and memorable. So copying what’s already done isn’t an option.
Most businesses would rather take the easy path and just follow what worked for other brands. That’s why they just end up like any other business and not standing out.
Brands that made a name for themselves are the ones that have created their path.
Think outside the box and get those creative juices working.
Doing this alone would be a hard thing to do. But if you make this a team activity and let everyone chime on their ideas, it will turn into a fun process.
Take a stand on various issues
Taking a stand on several issues can make your brand stand out. It allows your audience to know what your values are and what’s your outlook on some issues.
This is Converse’s Pride collection. It’s the brand’s way of letting people know that they are behind and supporting the LGBTQ community.
The Body Shop has let the people know what their stand is when it comes to animal testing.
We all love Netflix shows but we love them more when they stand up against racism and support the Black Lives Matter movement.
Another way of showing your support on certain social issues would be through creating infographics. It’s a creative way to inform people on certain issues that they need to be aware of.
You might question whether taking a stand is really necessary? To be honest, it’s not necessary. But if you want to let your customers know about your values and principles as a business, this is a good way of showing them.
Being transparent allows people to know what kind of organization they are dealing with. And if people see that your principles are in line with theirs, that can be a sole deciding factor for them to choose you over the other brand.
It allows you to create a strong brand identity without the use of selling anything.
Deliver great customer experience
This one’s a very underrated aspect in creating a brand identity. Giving out a great customer experience also conveys a positive feeling to your customers. It will make them go out of your store with a satisfied feeling and a happy face.
Take a look at how Starbucks excels at this aspect. Starbucks has been so good at delivering a great experience that people joke about going to the store just to get a compliment and feel happy.
Sometimes consumers won’t always remember your product or service but they will always remember how you made them feel. Remember this and you’ll be building a solid brand identity in no time.
Be exposed to a different set of people
A way to get exposure to other people’s audience is to use influencer marketing, affiliate marketing, and the likes. Although there are distinct features that separate these marketing strategies, they still allow your brand to be exposed to a different set of audiences.
Your brand must be seen by a lot of people for them to be familiarized with everything about your logo, your services, and your products.
Why Is Brand Identity Important?
You may be a small to medium-sized business and you’re thinking about whether building a brand identity is important. You should know that brand identity brings a lot of benefits to your business. For starters, here are some of the advantages of it:
Justified price premiums
When you create a solid brand identity, you’ll have more people choosing you over other competitors. This can be because of your excellent products or your great service. With this, you can put a premium on your price and customers will still choose your business over the others.
It’s the same thing with these global brands that we use today. There’s a reason why Apple is number 1 in its niche even though other brands do the same thing with their products at a cheaper price.
So ultimately, a brand identity that stands out can boost your sales and give you more money to work with. If you value your online business, this is a good way to increase its worth.
Increased brand loyalty and trust
As the entry into any business field gets easier, it’s more important than ever to capture your customer’s loyalty.
As every minute passes, businesses are starting in your field that are out to take your place.
But if you’ve established your brand with your customers and in your niche, this wouldn’t be much of a problem.
As mentioned earlier, the process of building a brand identity allows your business to stand out and be unique. It can separate you from the pack. It can make your business one of the go-to brands in your niche.
It helps with business growth
If a business wants to grow, it needs to be recognized by people. It needs to have increased demand, otherwise, the growth plans wouldn’t be successful.
Awareness and recognition can be done by creating a strong brand identity. If you do the process correctly, getting those two things would be done with ease.
It creates a lasting impression
Doing all these things gives your brand a chance to create a lasting impression on your customers.
Your business will be one of those that will be remembered out of the thousands of brands that people have seen.
Creating a brand identity doesn’t happen overnight, it’s built through the years of excellent customer service, marketing, and great products.
Although it’s a tedious process, it doesn’t have to be a hard one. It can be an enjoyable process with your employees and more importantly your customers.
Guest Post by: Burkhard Berge
Burkhard Berger is the founder of awesomex™. You can follow him on his journey from 0 to 100,000 monthly visitors on www.awesomex.com. His articles include some of the best growth hacking strategies and digital scaling tactics that he has learned from his own successes and failures.