The logo of your business is extremely important. It creates a symbol for your company that consumers will recognize at a quick glance. However, many people falsely believe that “brand” is synonymous with “logo.” So if there’s more to branding than just a logo, what else is brand identity made of?
What Does “Brand Identity” Mean?
Brand identity refers to the way a business wants to be perceived by consumers. This differs from brand image, which is the actual way consumers perceive a company. While brand image is ultimately subjective, there are ways by which the identity of a brand can be tweaked to affect consumers’ opinions and create a positive brand image.
What is a Strong Identity Made Of?
A brand cannot strengthen its future identity unless it recognizes its current identity. Many experts recommend performing a SWOT analysis, which takes an in-depth look at your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This helps to gain a deeper understanding of where your business is, and where you’d like it to be.
Segmenting the Audience
Before you begin to establish a brand identity, you must first understand who your intended audience is. A branding strategy for a restaurant should be different than one for an insurance company. By creating buyer personas that are reflective of your target audience, you can begin implementing the brand building process.
Leverage Identity with a Logo
The title of this blog post suggests that there’s more to the identity of a brand than just a logo. However, that doesn’t mean the visual aspect of your brand isn’t important. A great logo can create a lasting impression upon consumers and will be easily recognized. Think of the golden arches of McDonald’s or Nike’s “Swoosh.” The words “McDonald’s” and “Nike” don’t even need to be dispalyed with the logo for consumers to recognize the brand identity.
Set the Tone
A brand’s tone of voice is a direct reflection of the people who work for the company. By understanding the way in which you want your brand to be perceived, you can begin crafting a tone of voice. Do you want your company to be perceived as fun and playful? Or is your brand strictly business?
Social media is a prime platform for developing a tone of voice. Consider the case of JetBlue and American Airlines. They’re in the same industry and provide the same service, but have a different tone of voice. In response to customers on Twitter, JetBlue’s tweets are often peppered with emoticons and everyday vernacular, while American Airlines’ are a bit more businesslike.
Win with a Wonderful Website
Nowadays, people turn to the Internet to better understand the brands they patronize. Whether you realize it or not, your company’s website speaks volumes about your brand. Poor page layout, ancient typefaces and bizarre color schemes are things that are best left in the past. An outdated website says your business is not with the times. A responsive, mobile-friendly website is essential to establishing your brand as one that can be trusted.
Successfully establishing the identity of your brand doesn’t happen with just a logo. It takes a full-scale marketing strategy to define your company.