Brand identity is tangible and appeals to the senses. You can see it, touch it, hold it, hear it, and watch it move. Brand identity fuels recognition amplifies differentiation, and makes big ideas and meaning accessible. Brand identity takes disparate elements and unifies them into whole systems.
What is brand identity?
Branding is a disciplined process used to build awareness and extend customer loyalty. It requires a mandate from the top and readiness to invest in the future. Branding is about seizing every opportunity to express why people should choose one brand over another. A desire to lead, outpace the competition, and give employees the best tools to reach customers are the reasons why companies leverage branding.
“Design plays an essential role in creating and building brands. Design differentiates and embodies the intangibles —emotion, context, and essence—that matter most to consumers.” ~Moira Cullen Senior Director, Global Design The Hershey Company
Seeing is believing.
When to start the process
Brand identity implies an asset. Corporate identity sounds too much like an expense. This is an important distinction.
A new company, a new product
I’m starting a new business.
I need a business card and a website.
We’ve developed a new product and it needs a name and a logo yesterday.
We need to raise millions of dollars.
The campaign needs to have its own identity.
We’re going public in the fall.
We need to raise venture capital, even though we do not have our first customer.
“On an average day, consumers are exposed to six thousand advertisements and, each year, to more than twenty-five thousand new products. Brands help consumers cut through the proliferation of choices available in every product and service category.” ~Scott M. Davis Brand Asset Management
Our name no longer fits who we are and the businesses we are in.
We need to change our name because of a trademark conflict.
Our name has negative connotations in the new markets we are serving.
Our name misleads customers.
We need a new name for the Chinese market.
Revitalize a brand
We want to reposition and renew the global brand.
We need to communicate more clearly about who we are.
We’re going global—we need help to enter new world markets.
No one knows who we are.
Our stock is devalued.
We want to appeal to a new and more affluent market.
Our website doesn’t work on a smartphone.
Revitalize a brand identity
We are a great company with cutting-edge products.
We look behind the times.
Will our identity work on the web?
Our identity does not position us shoulder-to-shoulder with our competitors.
We have 80 divisions and inconsistent nomenclature.
I am embarrassed when I give out my business card.
Everyone in the world recognizes our icon, but admit it—she needs a face-lift.
We love our symbol—it is known by our market.
The problem is you cannot read our logotype.
Create an integrated system
We do not present a consistent face to our customers.
We lack visual consistency and we need a new brand architecture to deal with acquisitions.
Our packaging is not distinctive.
Our competitors look better than we do, and their sales are going up.
All of our marketing looks like it comes from different companies.
We need to look strong and communicate that we are one global company.
Every division does its own thing when marketing.
This is inefficient, frustrating, and not cost-effective.
Everyone is reinventing the wheel.
When companies merge
We want to send a clear message to our stakeholders that this is a merger of equals.
We want to communicate that 1 + 1 = 4.
We want to build on the brand equity of the merging companies.
We need to send a strong signal to the world that we are the new industry leader.
We need a new name
How do we evaluate our acquisition’s brand and fold it into our brand architecture?
Two industry leaders are merging.
How do we manage our new identity?
Social media communities and blogs have redefined how we connect with one another, search for information, and build relationships online. The challenge and opportunity for marketers is to embrace the new rules of engagement and think creatively about how the use of visuals can support their goals.
Research proves that there’s a scientific reason why people respond to visuals more strongly and quickly than text alone, but content for content’s sake just won’t move the needle anymore. Companies and brands need to strive for more by embracing the art of visual storytelling. Understanding who you are as a brand, what you stand for, and what goals you’re trying to achieve in tandem with what your customers are looking for from your company can be crafted into a powerful, creative visual story. It’s almost ironic to be writing a book when visual storytelling.
A recognizable and loved brand is one of the most valuable assets your business will ever own.
Studies show that 59% of consumers prefer to buy products or services from brands they already know or feel familiar too. People are now also making purchasing decisions based on what a brand says, does, and stands for – not just price or quality anymore!
How do you become a sought-after brand with endless sales and raving fans?
By identifying your purpose, promises, and the problems you solve in a way that stands out.
The challenge is communicating this with a clear and cohesive message across all channels and touchpoints people have with your brand experience.
“We continue to invest in our core strengths. First, we don’t skimp on understanding the consumer. Second is innovation. . . . And third is branding. . . . We’re delivering more messages to our consumers.” ~A. G. Lafley CEO, P&G Business Week, 2009
Emotional branding is a dynamic cocktail of anthropology, imagination, sensory experiences, and a visionary approach to change.
Marc Gobé Emotional Branding Co-branding: partnering with another brand to achieve reach
Digital branding: web, social media, search engine optimization, driving commerce on the web
Personal branding: the way an individual builds their reputation
Cause branding: aligning your brand with a charitable cause; or corporate social responsibility
Country branding: efforts to attract tourists and businesses