What is a Brand Identity and Why is it Important?

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What is Brand Identity

Brand identity is who your brand is. It’s all the elements that contribute to your brand image and influence the outside perception of your brand (the way that consumers see you). Identity is the synthesis of the tangible elements that reinforce the brand personality that you’ve developed.

For businesses, a brand isn’t just the registered name of your company and your logo, although those contribute. It’s also your overall brand appearance and how the brand is presented to others. Whether you’re a hip, cool start-up or an established business in a serious industry, your brand identity represents you in the industry and to your audience.

Brand identity also shows your affiliation with your industry – for instance, you probably wouldn’t see a funeral home logo with bright colors or neon colored herses. However, a unique identity sets you apart from others within your industry. So while your brand identity needs to have an element of fitting into your niche, you also need a distinctive image of your brand that sets you apart.

Let’s compare McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s. Each brand has an identity that’s lighthearted and conveys a brand that doesn’t take itself too seriously (affiliating with the industry), there are stark differences among the three with regard to their identity (unique and distinctive).

As you begin to create your brand identity, it is important to conceptualize your identity as a recognizable expression of your brand purpose and personality.

Establishing Your Brand Identity

Before you create your brand identity, it’s important to figure out who your business is. Who you are as a brand involves a few key elements:

  • Your purpose. Some businesses may call this their mission statement, but it’s more than that. It’s why you do what you do.
  • Your brand personality. If you made a character out of your brand, what kind of personality would it have? 
  • Your company values. What does your brand believe is important?
  • Your brand voice. What’s your tone when interacting with customers, when creating social media posts, when making videos, or your overall preferred verbiage style and approach?
  • Your uniqueness. What makes you different? Within your identified industry, how do you set your brand apart from others?

Before you begin creating the deliverables of the branding process, it’s important to understand your identity, so that you can have a cohesive presence across different online platforms and your company culture.

The Importance of Consistent Brand Identity

A brand identity is necessary in order to give customers an understandable vision of your personality and viewpoint. Without an identity, the brand is unrelatable, and it’s difficult for customers to relate to you. Once established, the brand identity should be especially relatable to the target customer or customers for your business. It’s part of “speaking their language” and engaging with customers in a relatable manner that encourages them to click that “pay” button.

Without a cohesive, consistent brand identity, it’s also hard for customers to relate to you because they aren’t sure who you’ll be from one day to the next. While your brand identity should be adaptable for different forms of social media – short and to the point on Twitter, full of pictorials in Instagram, longer text posts on Facebook – there should still be those identifiable aspects of your brand that make you consistent.

Brand Identity Should Organic

Brand identity shouldn’t feel forced. While you may have elements that are similar to other brands in your industry, it’s important to make sure that your identity is authentic, and represents your purpose and voice.

Authentic brand identity is easier for you to conceptualize (and for customers to relate to) when tied to a persona: the business owner, a company mascot (think Ronald McDonald or Wendy), or the general zeitgeist of your business. Once you’ve determined the persona that represents your brand, it’s easier to give your brand an organic identity. A well developed conceptualization of brand identity innately leads to the development of an authentic brand voice.

Creating Brand Identity - The Nuts and Bolts

Once you’ve determined your purpose and the persona of your brand (are you serious and authoritative? Light-hearted and kid-friendly? Do you want an edge of sexiness and a bit of snark?), then you can start constructing your brand identity.

When you’ve determined the overall image that you wish to convey for your brand (use your purpose as a good jumping-off point), then you can develop and implement characteristics that represent that image. For example, a sophisticated brand, like Coco Chanel, is refined, cultured, youthful, yet sporty. Or a rugged brand identity, like that of comedy duo Rhett and Link which is down-to-earth, comedic, outdoorsy, self-sufficient, and more concerned with fun over refined.

Your brand identity conveys the emotional, relatable side of your brand, not just “how you look.” While your logo, mascot, and other imagery are the superficial representations, the identity of a brand extends to company culture, customer service, production, relationships, and much more.

Final Thoughts

Your brand identity is what you’ll use to interact with customers, deliver a cohesive brand message, and evoke the emotional response that builds brand loyalty and repeat business. And as such is a crucial element in the success of your company. 

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Chapter 1: Getting started

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Chapter 2: Coronavirus Cyberattack Statistics

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Chapter 3: General Cybersecurity Statistics

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Chapter 4: Phishing & Email Attack Statistics

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Chapter 5: Industry Cybersecurity Statistics

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Chapter 6: Privacy Statistics

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Chapter 7: Privacy Statistics

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Chapter 8: Privacy Statistics

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