Brand identity is arguably the most important component of a company. It doesn’t matter if you provide the best product or service in the industry, if you don’t have a positive brand identity, it won’t sell. Before we talk about building brand identity, we need to talk about what it means.
It helps to break the two terms apart and look at them separately first. A brand is the overall perception of an organization or company. It involves several components that, when combined, evoke a specific emotion from the consumer. Identity is the visual components involved in defining a brand. There are two very important factors to consider when building your brand identity.
Is it consistent?
Consistency is mandatory when defining brand identity. Part of building a brand is demonstrating certain values to your market. If these values are inconsistent, your market will either distrust your brand or ignore it. A company that is inconsistent with its identity is one that doesn’t know itself, which results in uninterested customers.
There are a few ways to make sure your brand identity remains consistent. Before any work is done, decide what your values are, what message you want to send, and to whom you’re sending that message. Then you have to build a strategy that will guide you through the execution process. Every single component of the strategy should remain rooted to the original values and target audience. This means every word written, every image shared, and every social media post should be carefully thought out. The question, “Does this align with our values?” should forever linger in the back of your mind.
Is it unique?
Much of a brand’s identity stems from the visual components. If I look for your product on the shelf of a grocery store, is it going to blend in with the other brands? If so, don’t count on an increase of new customers. In a world of endless options, your brand needs to catch the eye of a consumer within a split second. Otherwise, their eyes will move on to the next catchy product.
It’s actually fairly simple to make your brand stick out. Look at what your competitors are doing, and don’t replicate it. Do most of them package their products in blue packaging? Use orange instead. Package your product in a way that allows the consumer to interact with the product before they buy. Also, focus on trends that your target audience follows. For example, “going green” is a common trend. Take your brand in this direction and make sure you communicate that to your audience.
Of course there are many more factors involved in developing brand identity, but these two components will help you determine if your company is on the right track to having a brand identity that will attract, impact, and hook the target audience.