Insights / Branding
When it comes to branding and marketing a business, most people often picture large-scale advertising campaigns that involve grand and awe-inspiring commercials...
Not to mention, innovative billboard ads or even 'buzz-worthy' social media posts that go viral overnight.
While it’s true that those activities help with building up a brand, all of that, however, is only made possible because of this one fundamental asset - brand identity.
What is 'Brand Identity’?
According to Hubspot, brand identity is defined as the visible elements of a brand, such as colour, design, and logo, to help consumers instantly identify and distinguish the business whenever and wherever possible.
To emphasize, brand identity is all about the ‘intent’, or more specifically, how a company chooses to visually portray itself in their customers’ minds through:
- Company name
- Brand logo
- Colours, shapes and other graphics used in the marketing materials
- Brand tone & language, and much more.
Why Is Brand Identity Important?
1. Company Differentiation
Firstly, a well-designed brand identity helps a company differentiate itself from its competitors by capturing the attention and interests of customers towards its offerings.
Put simply, the brand identity is responsible for presenting a ‘visual’ summary of what customers can expect about your brand the moment they lay eyes on your products and services. It is the image you wish to present in order to influence their perception and expectations about your offerings before price and quality come into play.
2. Product & Service Positioning
Building upon the previous point, having a well-designed brand identity is crucial to a company’s ability to position itself, especially on its products and services.
Whether it’s being an affordable alternative or the ‘first-class’ choice, having a brand identity allows a company to solidify its market position in the industry vertical it’s operating in.
Moreover, a defined position helps pinpoint the ideal customer a company should target. For instance, narrowing down the customer base to demographic factors such as age and gender.
For instance, 'Cards Against Humanity' mainly caters to adults instead of children, not only because of how their game is played but in how their overall brand identity is portrayed as well. Thus, they prefer using neutral colours (black and white) for a more simplistic look to appeal to adults that have a preference for puns, crude humour, surreal comedy etc.
On the other hand, Lego ensures its brand identity is presented in a ‘colourful’ way to appeal to children’s natural curiosity towards bright colours due to the early childhood development of their eyes in distinguishing objects from one another as noted in this article.
3. Brand Consistency
When it comes to branding, consistency is key for both internal and external aspects of the company.
In the context of a brand identity, having one informs internal stakeholders within the business about how the company functions.
For instance, the marketing department:
When creating marketing-related materials, employees need a ‘central depository’ (or a reference point) to inform them on the types of marketing campaigns to create.
- Campaign theme
- Voice, tone & so much more
With regards to the aspect above, when a brand does not have its internal functions aligned (internal confusion), the external output it creates will most likely reflect that situation.
The core idea is to develop a brand identity that properly informs and empowers internal stakeholders within the company on its vision, mission, and values, so they are aligned with the main goals and objectives of the business. Doing so helps them create a consistent message across all marketing materials while transforming them into walking ambassadors of the brand with the right know-how to manage, grow, and protect the brand from any reputational damage.
When successfully implemented, it leads to a cohesive brand experience (both internally and externally) that proudly represents what the company stands for, while meeting consumer demand on a larger scale.
4. Brand Awareness
Next, when a brand identity is successfully implemented over the long term, it results in stronger brand awareness amongst stakeholders from various aspects:
Doing so helps stakeholders keep the brand at the top of their minds by instantly recognizing and remembering its offerings and the values it stands for.
5. Positive Brand Perception
Brand perception is essentially what consumers think & feel about a company. This can range from the quality of its products up to the very culture within the company itself.
6. Consumer Trust & Brand Loyalty
Last but not least, having a brand identity builds trust with customers, and eventually - brand loyalty.
Similarly, when the brand identity is consistently applied across every one of the company’s touchpoints (ex: marketing materials, product packaging design, website collaterals etc.), it creates familiarity for customers. This helps them establish and reinforce certain expectations about what the company can offer them.
In short, brand identity is an important aspect of any kind of business and shouldn’t be overlooked. As such, many often consult a branding agency as a starting point to help them achieve that, especially in designing their brand identity. This is largely due to their accumulated industry experience over the years, which makes these professionals the right specialists to help companies find their own direction to create a unique visual identity that helps them stand out and achieve their most important business objectives.