Brand identity is often defined as a logo; companies like Starbucks, Pepsi and Microsoft may come to mind. Yet, brand identity is more correctly defined as how a company is perceived by others. That perception can vary from person to person as well.
While no company can completely control how the public perceives it, it can control the attributed elements such as its logo, colors, fonts, style, tone and imagery. But brand identity goes well beyond flashy design and also includes your company’s culture and service offerings—the things that will keep customers coming back for more.
Why do I need a brand identity?
Brand identity allows your company to connect with current and prospective customers in an impactful and memorable way. It provides a visual or “face” for the company, builds trust and credibility, supports your values and mission, promotes your offerings and more. A company’s brand identity is powerful!
As you read this article, you may think:
- Does our company have a brand identity?
- Our company is too small/big. This doesn’t apply to me.
- I have a marketing department; this is their job.
- We’ve been in business for a long time. No one cares about my brand identity.
- I don’t have time for this.
- My company has a great brand identity; she’s not talking to me.
I am talking to you directly, my friend. Let me assure you:
- Your company does have a brand identity.
- Regardless of your size, the need for a brand identity applies to you.
- Development and management of the brand identity is not the sole responsibility of a marketing team, intern or individual.
- Your messaging and branding impacts your targeted audience, community, competitors, partners and team. They care about your brand identity.
- Implementing a branding plan can actually reduce wasted time and feelings of anxiety.
- While your brand identity may be great, this is not a “one and done” effort. It’s an ongoing effort that must be planned and cared for.
What Customers Want
As more and more companies compete for your audience’s attention, the need to manage your brand identity moves up on the list of priorities and becomes an important differentiator for your own organization.
A successful brand doesn’t just happen. It’s developed over time by purposeful action and continued maintenance. It’s a staple for all companies big and small as the hub of communication, service, relationships, promotional efforts and company strategy. Brand identity is important to your audience and requires the proper attention to analyze, strategize, plan, execute and measure.
At the end of the day, it’s the consumer’s opinion and needs that are important, because word of mouth will drive traffic to your business. Here are three things your customers are looking for from your brand.
Consumers want to do business with honest brands they can connect with and trust. Your messaging should be consistent and transparent and speak to the company’s values. According to a Stackla survey, 88% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding which brands they like.
Product experience is no longer the main driver of consumers. Many want to build long-lasting relationships they can rely on. Consumers seek brand value and the promise of a customer experience. Like No. 1 above, consumers want trust-based relationships. A Salsify survey found that 46% of consumers would pay more for brands they trust.
3. Brand Consistency
A consistent brand presence across all channels (e.g., website, email, snail mail, social media, etc.) has a positive impact on consumers’ awareness. Consistent presentation of a brand has been seen to increase revenue by 33%, according to a study by Lucidpress.
The benefits of a defined, consistent brand identity paired with the right strategy and plan are great both internally and externally. This will help guide your team, as well as create comfort and clarity for consumers, with a consistent, committed message that will result in success.
If you want more information on creating your brand identity, visit the author’s Medtrade East session, “Brand Identity in a Consumer Referral Driven Market,” on Tuesday, Oct. 25 at 11:30 a.m. in Atlanta. This session will provide takeaways on how to uncover, manage, grow and measure your brand, no matter your organization’s size or current location on the brand identity journey. Register for Medtrade East here.