Your organization’s brand identity is more important than ever before because business competition is at an all time high due to the internet. Companies that don’t have strong branding risk getting lost in the shuffle or confused with other organizations offering similar products — not good.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what brand identity is, why it’s important, and how to develop it effectively. Let’s dive in!
A Definition of Brand Identity
Brand identity is your company’s name, its logo, the typeface it prefers, the content it publishes, and any other tangible element it uses to induce certain feelings within a specific target audience. Essentially, it’s the personality of your organization expressed through a collection of tangible company assets.
Developing a strong brand identity is important because it’s one of the main things that will separate your company from the competition in the minds of your target market.
The Difference Between Brand, Branding, and Brand Identity
To make sure we’re on the same page, let’s quickly cover the difference between brand, branding, and brand identity:
- Brand: Your company brand is the way that the general public perceives your organization, good or bad.
- Branding: Branding is the act of shaping public perception regarding your company. It’s an important marketing practice.
- Brand Identity: Lastly, your company’s brand identity refers to all the tangible elements that make up its brand.
Make sense? In the next section we’ll cover how to develop a strong brand identity for your own company.
How to Develop Your Company’s Brand Identity
As we’ve seen, developing a strong brand identity is important because it will help you differentiate your company from the dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of others attempting to sell similar products to the same target market.
But how do you develop brand identity? Follow these four steps and your company’s branding (or rebranding) efforts will find success!
1. Know Your Company
Before you can develop a strong brand identity for your company, you first have to know how you want your company to be perceived by its target market. Ask yourself questions like:
- What’s our mission and why are we creating these products/services?
- What do we believe in and what are our values?
- If our company was a person, what would his/her personality be like?
It’s also important to dig deep and understand what makes your company different from its competitors. What can your organization offer customers that others can’t? The answer is what’s known as a value proposition and can be anything from better products to cheaper prices to more friendly customer service.
Once you know your company, you can move on to step number two!
2. Understand Your Company’s Audience
Next, you need to have a solid understanding of the audience your company is trying to reach. Who is your ideal customer? What do they like and dislike? Why do they need the kind of product or service that you offer? What kind of daily challenges does your company help them overcome?
If you can’t immediately answer these questions, it’s time to do some research. Scour the internet, interview current and past customer, do whatever you need to do to gain an understanding of your target market. Then assemble the information you glean into clear and usable buyer personas.
If you’re not familiar with the term, a buyer persona is a fictional character that represents a specific segment of an audience base. It should include demographic information like the age, gender, occupation, and income level of your ideal customer as well as psychographic details like their hopes, fears, and regular challenges.
3. Nail Your Company Assets
Now that you know who your company is — the mission its striving to achieve, the values it holds, its unique value proposition — and the specific audience it serves, you can begin to craft company assets that align with both. For example:
- Logo: Your company’s logo is its most recognizable feature and the foundation of its brand. Which means it’s important that your logo accurately represents your company and the values it stands for! Make sure you design (or have designed) a logo that’s easy to read, visually appealing, adheres to industry standards, and won’t go out of vogue in a year or two. You’ll also want to ensure that you have your logo in multiple formats.
- Website: This is your company’s home on the internet. As such, it’s absolutely vital that it effectively reflects your brand identity. Make sure that everything, from the colors you use to the wording on each page aligns with your branding goals.
- Product Packaging: If you sell physical products, then you’ll also want to pay attention to the way you package them for customers. Many companies don’t and their brand identity suffers. Make sure your product packaging accurately reflects the company image you’re trying to develop.
These are just a few of the company assets you’ll want to make sure align with your brand identity, but they’re some of the most important!
4. Avoid Common Branding Mistakes
The last piece of the brand identity puzzle is to avoid the most common branding mistakes. Let’s cover a few of them now so that you can steer clear and make sure your brand identity is developed successfully!
- Sending Mixed Messages: Inconsistency is the arch enemy of good branding. Your target market needs to know exactly what your company stands for, the products or services that it offers, and the personality it has. If they ever get confused on these things, your brand identity will falter.
- Copying the Competition: There are many business circumstances where copying what the competition does well is a good idea. But you definitely want to avoid this practice when developing your company’s brand identity. The whole point of branding is to differentiate your company from its competitors, not emulate them.
- Not Analyzing Your Results: Finally, it’s important that you constantly monitor your brand identity, analyze the effectiveness of your efforts to develop it, and optimize your branding strategies for the future. Google Analytics, customer surveys, comments and reviews, etc. are all good ways to monitor brand identity.
Wrapping Up: Develop Your Brand Identity
Developing and maintaining a strong brand identity is important! Fortunately, if you follow the steps outlined in this article, it shouldn’t be too difficult to brand your company successfully and tell a consistent company story to your target audience.
Here’s each step again for your convenience:
- Know Your Company
- Understand Your Company’s Audience
- Nail Your Organizational Assets
- Avoid Common Branding Mistakes
Once you’ve been developing your brand identity for a while, you’ll begin to build an extensive library of organizational assets. These assets will need to be organized and stored effectively for future use and the best tool on the market for this purpose is CleanPix.
Our digital asset management (DAM) service is powerful, intuitive, and highly regarded by our many users. Try it for free for 14 days and see for yourself. We’re confident that you’ll love its convenient features like automatic file formatting, a robust tagging system for easy organization, and simple file sharing options.