What is Brand Identity?
Brands are all around us in our everyday lives. Just take a moment.
- Think about the car you drive to work.
- Think about the clothes you are wearing.
- Think about your favourite sports team.
- Think about where you might be going for lunch.
What do these things have in common? Brand Identity.
All of these things mentioned maintain their brand identity, an image that presents itself to the consumer in a powerful and consistent way. You need to stand out when you have a brand, you need to be noticed, you need to have an identity. How is this done?
Why is Brand Identity important?
Human beings desire consistency, especially when we are buying a product or using a service. Consistency establishes trust, and trust allows the relationship between the consumer and the product or service to grow and thrive.
Think about it like this.
You start a new job and you are getting to know all of your colleagues. You are dressed in a conservative manner that befits an office setting. The following day, you walk back into the office with a completely different look.
You sound the same, and talk the same, and walk the same; but now you’re wearing a denim vest and rocking a purple mohawk (not that there is anything wrong with that!). You sit down and start working away perfectly well, but everyone is sitting back, mouth agape, looking at you with much confusion.
The problem isn’t the mohawk, It’s not even the fact that you’ve sat in a corporate setting looking like a punk rocker. It’s the fact that you’ve presented yourself in two radically different ways.
People start to doubt your product or services when you’re constantly changing your image.
More and more small business owners looking to thrive are starting to realise just how important it is to manage their brand to keep their audience engaged and interested.
“Hi, I’m Dave!”
“Hi, I’m Dave!”
Dave couldn’t understand why people were looking at him funny on Tuesday…
So these are the two issues:
- You are presenting yourself incorrectly to the audience you are trying to win over
- You’re not presenting consistently, so you aren’t being recognised, and you struggle to gain trust.
So what do you do?
How to maintain a consistent Brand Identity.
One of the best ways to ensure your brand maintains a consistent identity is by creating a Brand Guideline. A brand guideline helps outline all the “rules” of your brand. Here are some of the things a good brand guideline should have:
- Logo Guideline – Examples of how your logo is allowed to be displayed.
- Typography – The allowed fonts, the correct sizes and the correct usage.
- Photographic Style – What type of photos are allowed to be used with your brand.
- Colours – The exact colours in RGB, CMYK, PANTONE, and HEX code.
When you think about the biggest brands in the world, you often associate a sort of “feeling” with them. That feeling is created by the 4 items listed above.
No brand would be able to maintain a consistent tone and feeling across all of their marketing collateral if their brand was inconsistent and erratic in its presentation.
Giving your Brand Identity a face
For those of you that already have a business, it might be time to start thinking about your logo. It’s the front of all big brand identities, and if it is looking dated, or maybe even a little out of line with the services or products you currently have on offer, people are going to notice.
If you don’t already have a logo, you will need to think carefully about what you want your logo to say about your company. It’s the face of your brand, and all other aspects of your brands visual design will be built from this logo.
If how you look on your first date is the most important impression you will make on a prospective partner, than your logo is equally so for a potential client or consumer.