7 Things You Should Know Before Ignoring Your Brand Identity
What is brand identity?
When you create a brand identity, you're essentially applying your brand values to any visual elements that will be used to promote your business. This means that a brand identity is more than just a logo, and consists of a variety of marketing materials.
If you are looking forward to the consistent growth of your business, you cannot ignore the significance of brand identity. Brand identity plays a big role in establishing your brand as a household name. However, it’s not achieved easily. You need to slog for years in a consistent manner to see considerable results. Think of great brands like ‘Apple’, ‘Nike’, ’LG’ or ‘Facebook’ – their logos have already flashed through your mind, right?
That’s the power of strong brand identity. As you can see, people associate quality with these brand names. Therefore, a logo is for life. You should spend as much time on it until you get it right according to your satisfaction. Your brand is going to be the face of your company. You will be using your brand name and logo extensively on your letterheads, ads, emails, billboards and what not. You can use it as powerful tool send a message across regarding your brand. It can communicate a lot of things. It silently speaks for the values your company stands for.
Here are 7 things you should know before you commit the mistake of ignoring your Brand Identity-
1. Branding Is Commensurate With A Promise
Branding is an impression you give to your customers. It creates an emotional connection because branding is a legal tender of a promise which the customers expect you to deliver. The strength of a brand is normally built over time. As you become faithful to deliver on your promise, brand loyalty is inevitable.
Everything you do with regard to your business says something about your brand including:
Company logo and banners
Company mission statement
The look, feel and tone of listings and correspondence
The customer and supplier experience
Website and Social media content
Customers won’t return to you or refer you to someone else if you don’t deliver on your brand promise.You might think that you don’t have time to devote your energies on branding. But, the truth is, you are actually branding every day. It’s just a matter of what message you are putting across in all your business activities.
2. Credibility & Trust
Having a brand identity doesn't just make your product more memorable; it makes your brand more authoritative in the marketplace. A brand that establishes a face, and maintains that face consistently over time, develops credibility among its competitors and trust among its customers.
3. Generating new customers and delighting existing ones
A brand identity -- one with a face, trust, and a mission -- attracts people who agree with what your brand has to offer. But once these people become customers, that same brand identity gives them a sense of belonging. A good product generates customers, but a good brand generates advocates.
If you want your business to become a well-known and beloved brand name, it's going to take some work. The following steps will help you build a brand identity. They are simple steps; implementing them, however, is another story.
4. A well-defined brand will guide advertising and marketing
Because we already started talking about it, let’s move on to how a strong brand can make your advertising more efficient.
Once you know what kind of company you are or are not going to be, have that story in place and targeted what emotions your customers should feel when working with you, it’s only natural, then, that your marketing and advertising efforts will tighten up dramatically.
One of the first steps in our branding process is a communications audit. It’s generally unpleasant (though never surprising to either the client or us) because often what we identify is that the client’s past work has been scattered at best and self-destructive at worst.
Without a strong, clearly defined brand, it’s impossible to know what to say to customers or how to say it. What happens, then, is the shotgun approach. Blast out everything (sometimes into the same ad) and see what sticks. The problem, of course, is that marketing isn’t free. No matter how grassroots your company tries to be, marketing done well and done strategically will always require an investment. And money is the least important resource lost.
Time and missed opportunities are hands-down the greater damage. Often, by the time companies come to us, they’ve wasted years and tens of thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising with no clear brand strategy or emotional trigger, with few new customers to show for it.
5. A compelling brand attracts top talent
Closely connected, yet different, is the flip side of engaging current employees … attracting new talent. There are companies who come to us saying they will post open jobs and receive zero—ZERO—applicants. Today’s job market is so competitive, the labor pool so tapped out, that companies are taking orders for which they have absolutely no people in-house to fill. That leads to those who do work there having to pick up extra shifts, work mandatory overtime and just generally burn out that much faster.
People are attracted to companies that are good, do good work and win. Everyone wants to join a winning team. A strong brand will naturally position you as a winning company doing great things. And that means when a candidate has to choose whom to give her life to, she’ll likely pick you.
6. Brand identity clarifies and forces focus
The second reason why it’s hard to overstate the importance of branding was already touched on above. Once you tell someone who you are, you’ve also implicitly told them who you aren’t. And, when it comes to positioning your company to win, that is often much more important.
Brand identity becomes your purpose statement. Your positioning statement. Your north star. It becomes the thing you can always fall back on whenever a “great new opportunity” comes your way.
Does it align with who you are and what you promise your customers they can expect from you? Anything that doesn’t line up to a T with that can safely be ignored and discarded. It doesn’t matter how great it may sound. It’s not actually great if you can’t stay on target.
7. Strong Branding Filters Out Bad Leads
Curating a strong brand identity filters leads on your behalf. The reality is you don't want to do business with everyone; you want to do business with the people who are most aligned with your core values. The reason being? Those individuals will be your best customers.
For example, say you sell a premium coffee subscription service. Your ideal customer isn't Mike who gladly pays 79 cents a cup at 7 Eleven every morning. Your ideal customer is Susan who considers coffee an affordable luxury and has been eyeing slow drips on Amazon since last Monday.
A thoughtfully curated brand identity will simultaneously attract Susan and detract Mike, thus making it easier for you to close sales and develop long-term customer relationships.
I hope it's enough for you to change your mind for good regarding your brand identity.