Brand Identity. What is it and Why Do You Need It?
When you think of a strong brand, a few likely come to mind. Coca-Cola’s classic white-on-red script. Nike’s punchy and bold slogan slapped across a black background. Apple’s softer and minimal yet equally recognizable logo.
All of these brands are immediately recognizable by their logos or slogans alone, and that didn’t happen by accident. That happened through deliberate, careful and clear efforts – all through a goal of creating a brand identity.
What is a brand identity?
OK, OK, sure, we started with some of the biggest and most obvious examples out there. But what exactly is a brand identity? For these huge, international companies, brand identity is protected and invested in. Brand identity is part of what these companies do, say and sell. It informs everything.
Brand identity is the very soul and personality of a brand. No, it’s not just the logo, but that might be a big part of the brand. Think about the small diner you’ve loved since your childhood; that diner might not have a logo. It might not even have a website. Its brand might be less of a look and more of a feeling: the feeling you get when you’re waited on by a server who knows your order by heart, or when you take a sip of coffee. Rather than defining a brand by its logo, think about a brand as the essence of how your customers perceive your products, services and the experience they get when they interact with your organization.
“A brand is not a logo. A brand is not an identity. A brand is not a product,” says author of The Brand Gap Marty Neumeier. “A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service or organization.”
That puts brand experts in a tough spot. How do you define a feeling? Well, you can start by looking at a company’s slogan, which gives you a stronger starting point than just the logo. Let’s go back to Coca-Cola, whose brand mission is “to refresh the world in mind, body and spirit,” “to inspire moments of optimism and happiness through our brands and actions,” and “to create value and make a difference.”
Those words become the foundation to create every other piece of the branding puzzle, from the logo, colors and typography to the communication strategies and business plan. Every one of these elements will inform what your brand means, what its goals are and what impact it has. And don’t get us wrong – we’re certainly not saying the logo isn’t impactful. Your logo shouldn’t just be aesthetically pleasing. Your logo is like the smile of your brand; it’s the first thing customers notice, so that logo must create a degree of trust between your brand and consumers. It must convey your investment in not just your brand’s future, but in improving some aspect of your consumer’s lives.
Sure sounds like a lot of pressure.
Why do you need a strong brand identity?
Let’s think back to Neumeier’s idea; that it’s less of an image and more of a feeling. If you’ve cultivated an effective brand identity, your consumers will truly feel something when they see your logo and interact with your brand. They’ll have an emotional connection to it, whether that’s the motivation they feel when they see an ad by Nike or the inspiration they get hearing about the latest Apple machine. And while that diner you love so much certainly didn’t invest millions into its branding, you know you have an emotional reaction when you walk through its doors.
A perfectly conceived brand identity will engage your audience as well as serve your business. When we’re helping to curate your brand’s identity here at Blue Laser Digital, we create visual designs and interactions that communicate who you are to your consumers, telling them exactly who you are and what your brand does. It serves many purposes: engages your customers, looks aesthetically beautiful and creates a strong foundation upon which to build your future. And, of course, that brand identity is creating measurable value for your business.
Building your brand
Whether you’re taking a shot in the dark when it comes to your brand or you’ve got a strong idea of what you want but don’t have the resources to capitalize on it, Blue Laser Digital’s branding experts can help. Give Us A Call today. We can get you on the right track toward a clear and perfectly formulated brand identity.