A brand is viewed with two different perspective –
- How the brand wants to be perceived.
- How the customer actually perceives it.
Brand identity is the company’s side of the story. It’s how the company feels that it should be perceived by the consumers. Efforts like developing a brand outlook, brand personality, and brand design are some of the various strategies that are used to make the brand identify itself uniquely in the crowd of competitors.
What Is Brand Identity?
Brand identity is how a brand portrays itself to the customers. It is the set of all the branding activities a company indulges in order to be perceived in a particular way to the target audience.
Brand Image vs Brand Identity
Even though brand identity is often confused to be the same as brand image, both are very different.
Brand identity is how the brand wants its customer to perceive it.
Brand image, on the other hand, is the customers’ perspective of the brand which results from their interactions with the brand. It often stems from the brand identity but is not necessarily same or similar to it as the brand has little or no control over the brand image.
Importance of Brand Identity
Besides the rationale that brand identity is what makes the brand unique and identifiable in the market, here are some other importance of brand identity –
Helps Develop A Suitable Brand Image
While brand identity is the outward expression of the brand, brand image is how the customers perceive it. Having an identity is really important for the business as it gives rise to brand image. However, it’s a task for the marketer to make customers form an image of the brand which is similar to its identity.
Differentiates The Product From The Competition
Brand identity helps the brand develop its own unique stance and differentiate itself from others in the market. This differentiation also helps in developing a positioning strategy and getting a loyal customer-base in the market.
Consistency is the most important aspect of branding and brand identity is what gives rise to consistency. Developing a consistent outward expression is important to be perceived in a way brand wants.
Helps Develop A Personality
A brand identity is the visual identity and representation tool to express the brand’s personality.
The Elements Of Brand Identity
Brand identity helps a brand differentiate itself from others. It includes distinguishable brand elements that are used to promote the business. Even though the brand name, logo, and tagline are an important part of it, a brand’s identity isn’t limited to them. It includes all the visual and non-visual elements which give rise to the brand experience.
- Brand Name: A brand name is a name decided by the brand strategist to identify the offering and differentiate it from others.
- Brand Logo & Tagline: A logo is a textual and/or pictorial symbol representing the offering or an organisation, and tagline is a short memorable description that succinctly and clearly communicates the brand message.
- Brand Typography Style: Typography is the art and style of arranging letters and text which is unique to the brand.
- Colour Palette: Colour palette is the set of colours used by the brand in its marketing materials.
- Imagery: It is the set of differentiated images and visuals used by the brand to communicate its brand message.
- Brand Personality: Brand personality refers to the set of human traits/characteristics assigned to the brand. This personality is stems from the visual brand identity elements and customer interaction.
- Brand Associations: These are elements other than the brand which the customer feels is associated with the brand. These include famous personalities, partner brands, etc.
- Brand Voice: Brand voice is the uniformity in selection of words, the attitude and values of the brand while addressing the target audience or others.
Brand Identity Examples
Right from the early 20th century, Coca-Cola has had its brand identity strategies in place where it associates red and white colours and the feeling of happiness with its brand. The company also uses a unique shape for its bottles which makes it unique from the competition.
The brand message has also been the same – the high quality soft drink which relates to good experiences.
Apple has one of the most differentiating identities as compared to other brands. The use of the letter ‘i’ before every product, premium pricing, the look, the logo, and the voice makes it stand out.
McDonald’s is the world’s largest restaurant chain, with 34,480 restaurants in 119 countries. Yet the company has a really consistent brand identity where it associates the colour red and yellow to it, the tagline and jingle of I’m lovin’ it, and the mascot Ronald McDonald.
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A startup consultant, digital marketer, traveller, and philomath. Aashish has worked with over 20 startups and successfully helped them ideate, raise money, and succeed. When not working, he can be found hiking, camping, and stargazing.