What Is Brand Identity And Why Does It Matter?
What is brand identity?
You may hear the term “brand identity” and have a vague idea, but not a clear understanding of what that means. You’re not alone. Most people couldn’t give an explanation of what a brand identity is. It involves the logo, so why not just say logo design? There is a big difference. My goal is to help you understand the difference and how it impacts your bottom line.
When you think of Coca-Cola, do you picture their logo? Probably, but you also think of red and white, script lettering, brown, fizzy liquid, bubbles, a brown bottle, happy faces, refreshment, and joy.
We could go on and on with examples — brands such as McDonalds, Nike, Target, Starbucks and others that have invested in developing their brand identity and reaped the reward of recognition, association, and loyalty.
A brand identity is the combination of the visual elements including the name, logo, tagline, voice, color palette, image style, typography, textures & patterns, iconography, packaging and collateral.
All of these elements work together to form a visual system. An effective brand identity must be implemented creatively and consistently over a period of time to make an impact on people’s minds.
What makes a brand identity effective?
1. Accuracy. Does your identity communicate the right message to the right people?
2. Creativity. Does your identity engage people or is it just a bland, forgettable experience?
3. Consistency. Does your identity form a cohesive look that people can come to recognize and appreciate?
Whether or not you’ve ever thought about this or put any focus on it, your company has a brand identity. It may not be truly representative of your values and it may not be consistent, but it’s there. It’s put out by every touchpoint you have out there. Logo, website, business cards, stationery, collateral, signage, social media presence. Whatever is out there, be it accidental or intentional, is how your brand is represented to potential customers.
For more on this, read 3 Keys For Effective Brand Identity.
Can brand identity affect the bottom line?
Many times a potential customer will see your logo and branding before they set foot in your location, experience your product, talk to your staff or give you a chance to earn their business. It is the first touchpoint in converting the general public into a loyal customer.
The average person is bombarded with around 3,000 brands every day. That seems like an overwhelming number to compete with, but there is some good news. There is a very small percentage of them that are actually designed well. When you see a company that takes this seriously, it stands out.
If your competitors are doing well here, then you can’t afford not to invest here. If your competitors aren’t doing well here, then you have that much more to gain from your investment. In either case, you have an opportunity to make that connection with customers and build trust and loyalty by developing an accurate, creative and consistent brand identity .
Perception is reality. If the prospective customer doesn’t perceive you to be interesting, trustworthy or relevant, they won’t give you a chance.
Take some time to evaluate your current logo and brand identity elements. Does it accurately communicate who you are? Is it creative and memorable? Is there consistency in all of your brand touchpoints?