Brand identity goes way beyond a good logo or tone you use in your marketing message. So what exactly is it?
And more importantly, how do you create a really powerful brand identity?
What is the brand identity?
It’s the collection of all brand elements that the company creates to portray the right image of itself to the consumer. It’s the message your consumers receive from the product or a service you advertise.
Some brand identities are tied to the practical elements: design, packaging, etc.
Some even move into the realm of the senses: how it sounds, tastes, feels, and even smells (e.g., cosmetics).
It includes components such as:
- colour palette
- photography / graphics
- design system
What is the purpose of brand identity?
Consistency – it really is as simple as that. For your marketing efforts to be successful, you need to maintain it in any message you send.
Your brand identity is what makes you instantly recognisable to your customers.
Your audience will associate your identity with your product or service, and that identity is what forges the connection between you and your customers, builds customer loyalty, and determines how your customers will perceive your brand.
How to develop a strong brand identity?
Know who you are
Before you know what tangible elements you want to make up your brand identity, you need to know who you are as a brand.
Who you are as a brand is made up of a few key elements:
- What is your mission?
- What are your brand’s values?
- If your brand was a person, what kind of personality would they have?
- What is your point of differentiation from your competitors?
- If your brand was a person, how would it communicate?
Keep things simple and focus on who you are
Now you know who you are, use this knowledge to communicate with your audience.
Your design assets are the tangible elements that will determine how your brand is perceived. Things like your logo, your packaging, your web design, your social media graphics, your business cards and the uniforms your employees wear.
Keep them consistent – all the time.
Be flexible and adapt to trends.
If you’re looking for an example of an established company successfully adapting to trends, look no further than McDonald’s. The fast-food giant was struggling in the era of clean and healthy eating, but it managed to stay relevant with a renewed brand identity.
Last year, McDonald’s announced that its most popular menu item, the chicken nugget, would be free of artificial preservatives, adding to the company’s artificial-preservative-free pork sausage patties and egg offerings.
By identifying food-specific trends, McDonald’s rebranded itself as a fast food chain for new, health-conscious consumers who still value convenience.