As a business owner or marketing professional, you're probably used to dealing with a myriad of issues, from promotion to stumbling blocks with your SEO.
However, some challenges can prove a little trickier to deal with, such as brand identity which you need to consider before you even build a website.
The internet is crawling with all kinds of brands with millions, if not billions, of businesses trying to make a name for themselves. Truthfully, unless you have a strong and recognizable brand identity to differentiate yourself from your competitors, you might be missing out on a sizable profitable market.
Some marketers totally ignore brand identity because they just don't understand its relevance. One of the most obvious problems is that many marketers are not willing to spend their hard-earned budget on improving it.
If you’ve ever felt this way about brand identity or you're working to develop your first brand identity for a client, or even if you're doing this for your own business, it's important to first understand what a brand is and why your company’s brand identity is crucial.
Let’s kick things off with a definition.
Brand identity is the collection of all elements that a company creates to portray a clear image that amplifies the company’s DNA to the public. It is made up of what your brand represents, what your core values are, how you communicate your product, and what you want people to think and feel when they interact with your company. In essence, your brand identity is your company's personality as well as a promise to your customers. Those visual elements—the product packaging, the website, the print materials—that’s brand identity.
Working regularly with business owners has led us to discover that there is often a misconception as to what brand identity, brand image, and branding actually is. Brand identity is different from “brand image” and “branding,” even though these terms are sometimes treated as interchangeable. To really understand branding, you first need to look at what exactly these terms mean.
Let’s dig a little deeper.
Brand are the tangible and intangible attributes of a company comprising the brand names, logo, colours, values, elements, customer service levels, and packaging, that helps people identify a company, product, or individual.
The word "brand" is used pretty loosely these days. For example, people might use the word "brand" to confuse things like logos, although a logo can be the symbol of a business, it is not the entirety of a brand. In fact, designing a logo is just the first baby step in establishing a distinctive brand identity.
The term branding refers to the marketing practice whereby a business makes itself known to the public by actively shaping a distinctive brand and differentiating itself from competitors.
Brand image is the perception of your brand in your customer's mind based on their interactions. It can evolve over time and doesn't necessarily involve a customer making a purchase or using your products and/or services. On the other hand, your brand identity is what makes you instantly recognizable to your customers. So let’s move on to the million-dollar question:
A brand identity, as the expression of practically everything your company is and does, can inspire customers and increase brand loyalty. As a result, brand identity is critical to the success of your company.
So, if your brand is more than just a logo, how can you achieve what Apple has done and incorporate other distinct components into your company's identity? We'll go over six elements of a well-developed, strong, and identifiable brand identity, as well as why they're so important for you to develop.
Your brand's logo design and colors are, for all intents and purposes, the "face" of your company. However, that face should do more than just look cool or attractive; a logo's contribution to brand identification should also be associative. It should be able to inform the public that [this logo] represents [your brand's name].
Having a strong, distinct brand identity is not just important for making your product memorable, but it is also necessary for developing positive customer relationships. If consumers feel that you both share similar values, they will be drawn to your brand and will be more inclined to choose you over the competition.
If you can maintain this connection, you'll be able to build a long-term relationship with your customers, which will lead to increased credibility among your competitors and trust among your consumers, as well as a better lifetime value (LTV).
Research has shown that customers who have an emotional connection to a brand have an LTV that is 306% higher.
Strong brand identity leads to enhanced brand recognition and awareness, which should help improve word-of-mouth recommendations for your organization. When your brand is top-of-mind for your customers, they won't hesitate to refer you to an acquaintance – your company's name will just roll right off their tongue!
Developing a brand identity allows you to deliver a consistent message across all marketing materials. Each piece should have the same basic styles and design elements, creating a cohesive branding package that would make impressions on potential buyers.
A brand identity is a template for everything you would include on an advertisement to create awareness for your business — whether that ad is online, in print, or a pre roll commercial on YouTube. Creating a brand identity package ensures that your brand image is prominently shown in all of your marketing materials, which helps increase brand awareness.
The more locations your brand appears, the more customer exposure it will have and the more memorable it will become.
A good brand identity can help to build customer loyalty and trust in a brand because it allows customers to draw a connection between a product and the firm.
Apple comes to mind almost immediately when one thinks about a strong brand identity. Despite its high price tag, Apple has a cult following that spans the globe. This is a direct result of the company's strong, dependable brand and long-term customer loyalty.
So, what can you take away from Apple? You, too, can attract high-paying customers by spending the money required to develop a strong, distinct brand identity.
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