From Nike to Coke and every company in between, what makes them tick is their brand identity. Marty Neumeier, Director of CEO Branding for Liquid Agency, defines brand identity as “the outward expression of a brand, including its trademark, name, communications and visual appearance.” So, what is your company’s brand identity? Simply put, it’s your reputation!
A brand is essential to anyone who wants to stand out from those around them. Remember that your brand identity is defined by your customer’s overall perception of your business (reputation). Make your branding unique enough that your competition doesn’t stand a chance. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, said, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Branding is the most important part of your business, whether it be large or small. Building a strong brand helps your company not only be financially stable but memorable. And, by being memorable, your brand will draw in more customers just by word of mouth. Your brand becomes your promise of service or high-quality goods to your customers. It is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.
So, now that we established your brand, how do you get the brand identity that you want? And, how do you maintain that identity? Follow these simple rules to get the most out of your branding and keep customers interested in what you are offering.
Consistency is Key
When designing your logo and text, keep it consistent so that your brand stands out from your competition. And, when reusing this logo, the colors should always remain uniform. Choose colors and fonts that represent your company’s goals and make sure to keep them emotionally available to your customers. Don’t choose red (signifying power or confidence) when you need a calming, inviting color (blue) to represent your company. Your logo and standards are what give your brand its uniqueness.
The same goes for any font used in your branding. Some fonts may be too busy for your branding message, while other fonts are too bland for making you stand out. Take Coca-Cola, for example. Their ribbon-like font lets their customer know that their product is intended for fun and whimsy. Maybe your service or product is a bit more serious, so make sure to use a font that accurately represents your brand identity.
Once you establish your brand identity, don’t change it. Let your customers soak in this identity so that they become used to it and learn to embrace it. This identity will keep your business going, so you don’t want to risk inconsistencies. Remain consistent so that your brand will stand the test of time.
Think about this: everyone knows the Nike tagline, “Just Do It.” And their mission statement is just as important, “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” With these two objectives always at hand, and their logo ready to go in their pocket, Nike literally rules the world in their business endeavors. And, by using the ideas Nike has used, you can figure out how to accomplish success for your brand.
Branding is more than a well-designed logo or a perfectly placed ad; you need to do more.
Your brand identity is more than your logo. While your logo helps your clientele know who you are, your identity goes so much farther than color or font. A brand identity is a visual, emotional and intellectual representation of your business goals and standards. Coca-Cola knew what they were doing when they started marketing its product. From their highly recognizable red to the swoop of their font, they are a company that understands brand identity. Likewise, your logo and identity should convey everything your business stands for.
Ultimately, your brand identity should be an accurate representation of what your company is about, and what you hope to achieve with it. Business branding is something that takes time but should be considered a crucial first step in launching your company. After your branding materials are in place, you can look back on these resources for years to come to ensure you’re always staying true to your mission.
Every detail matters, no matter how small it is. The branding process takes time and can be delicate. But, it is crucial to take it in stride. After all, you want a business that will thrive in your chosen market. You need to communicate to consumers what your brand wants and needs and, most importantly, how it can benefit them. Don’t get discouraged because developing your brand identity is taking a long time. It can take years of tweaking and adapting. And remember that not even multi-billion dollar companies get it right every time.
Know Your Competition’s Brand Identity
Research competitor brands within your industry. You should never imitate exactly what the big brands are doing in your industry. But, you should be aware of what they do well (or where they fail). The goal is to differentiate from the competition. Convince a customer to purchase from you over them!
We’re always thinking about how to make a brand stand out from what’s out there already. Don’t skip this step in the brand building process. Research your main competitors or benchmark brands. For instance, study how well they have gone about building a brand name. For a brand name to be effective, it needs to be easy for consumers to recognize and remember.
Your company’s identity is what makes you instantly known to consumers. This branding is what will help them to associate your business with your product or service. And when it comes to the time that they need what you offer or sell, they will remember your company because of your brand identity. It will help build your customer loyalty as well as your brand awareness.
So, make your brand identity your most effective marketing tool. But keep in mind that this branding process will never stop. It continues only as long as you make it keep working for your company. Check in on your branding practices continually to ensure that they are working appropriately. And don’t forget to integrate branding into everything you do for your company.
Start with the Correct Tools
Name tags and name badges provide necessary company branding. This branding is vital for all of your marketing needs. It distinguishes you from your competition and helps others to recognize your quality more readily. By using logos on name tags, you create a focus to help drive your business. But, don’t limit yourself to just your name tags. Don’t forget that signage and other identification products are there to help advertise your brand. From custom lanyards to award plaques and everything in between, get it personalized with your logo! And then start spreading the word.
The key is to remember that your logo represents your brand’s commitment to providing the best service or product to your consumers. Communicating your brand can be as easy as wearing a name tag. And using your logo on every name tag you use for your company will help to convey your brand identity. But it also takes effort to remember putting on that name tag. So, the next time you consider not wearing your name tag to work or any other work related event, reevaluate that decision.
After all, your name tag is basically a walking billboard for your company logo. No matter where your customer is, they should be able to see your branding. Your branding needs to be visible and reflected in everything that your consumers can see and hear. If a customer walks into your store or office, your logo and brand identity should be on display for them to see. Integrate your brand into every aspect of your business. Branding should not only be in your physical environment, but it should also reflect in your business and personal interactions.
- Business Cards
- Packaging and Product Needs (custom ribbons are a great resource)
- All Printed Materials
- Social Media
- Online Videos and Images
- Google Ads
- Greetings and Dealings with Clients
- Customer Thank Yous
- Welcome Signs
- Corporate Gifting
Creating a Brand Image that Sets You Apart
Your brand image reflects your business vision, which, in many ways, embodies your mindset as a business owner. Jay Abraham’s Strategy of Preeminence lays the foundation for mastering your mindset to distinguish your company from the rest. This strategy entails creating a culture of respect for your team, customers and partners. To create a culture of preeminence, make allies everywhere you go so that the message is clear: “I’m here to serve you and meet your needs.”
You’re here to add real value to your customers’ lives. To create this type of relationship dynamic, show empathy to everyone you interact with, and strive to understand what they really need. With this understanding, you’re able to create meaningful relationships based on trust and respect, which weaves you into the fabric of your target market.
From networking to marketing strategies, your brand identity should come first. You should always add a personal touch to everything your business does. Make sure that every consumer feels as if they are your only VIP customer. And don’t forget to say thank you for their business. A little gratitude goes a long way, especially in business dealings.
Why is brand identity so important?
Having a brand identity doesn’t just make your product more memorable; it makes your brand more authoritative in the marketplace. A brand that establishes a face, and maintains that face consistently over time, develops credibility among its competitors and trust among its customers. When you create an identity for your brand, you’re giving it something to stand for. That, in turn, gives your company a purpose.
Your brand represents everything your business does. No matter the situation, your logo is out there for the world to see. So, make sure that your presentation of your values, standards and goals is in line with your branding strategies. Because, if it isn’t, your brand identity may become something you don’t want. After all, this identity is how the world will see your business.