The millions of businesses in the world are as unique as the fingerprints of the billions of people on Earth. Why do some stand out more vividly than the rest? It all comes down to brand identity.
Let’s first clear up some terms that can be confusing: brand vs. brand image vs. brand identity. While they may sound interchangeable, they are actually quite different and your marketing strategy will benefit from learning the distinctions between them to more clearly define and share what sets your brand apart.
- Brand = Who you are
- Brand Identity = Why you exist
- Brand Image = How the market perceives you
Still sound too close for comfort? Here’s an example for Apple Inc.:
- Brand = Apple
- Brand Identity = Exists to challenge the status quo by thinking differently
- Brand Image = Seen by the masses as an innovative company that develops exceptional products
While they all seamlessly work together, each has its own purpose when it comes to presenting your brand to the world in a professional manner. They paint consumers a picture of what your brand is all about, so that if your identity resonates with them, you can begin to establish relationships and build brand loyalty.
Now that we know the what – let’s dive into how you create a solid brand identity.
Understanding Your Touchpoints
What is a touchpoint? Every single thing associated with your brand. Have employees? They’re your walking, talking brand billboards. Company vehicles, business cards, website, social media pages, merchandise, storefront signs – when we say everything, we mean every little detail a consumer would associate your brand with.
Any point of contact between a consumer and a business
Your brand’s touchpoints affect your customer’s perception. A pleasant phone call between an employee and customer, or a user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing website will both have a positive impact on your brand’s image. Inversely, an outdated and hard-to-use website or an employee recklessly driving in a company vehicle will have the exact opposite effect, resulting in a poor brand image.
Understanding the vast amount of touchpoints your brand has and the importance of keeping your standards high in every facet will help your brand showcase its identity properly and develop a positive brand image in the public eye.
Consistency is a staple in solid branding strategies. Consistency makes it easy, almost natural, for consumers to recognize any aspect of your company and know without a doubt that it is your brand.
Why do you need to make it easy for people? To be blunt, a lot of people don’t care enough to look into what sets your brand apart. With so many options available to consumers in today’s world, it puts them in a position to require that the brand do the leg work to clearly and immediately tell them what you’re about and how your brand or product is going to solve all their problems. First, establish trust, and then build loyalty.
You know consistent branding when you see it, like this rebrand we did for one of our clients:
When it comes to your brand, make sure your standards are high and create guidelines for everyone to follow, both internally and externally. Set your standards and follow through to make sure the final product looks professional and properly represents your brand.
For example, at Stray Media Group one of the many things we recommend is that all businesses have logo standards sheets ready-made for everyone from your graphic designer to your screen printing vendor to follow step by step to ensure it’s represented correctly.
Making sure every single touchpoint represents your brand correctly can be overwhelming. This is where we come in; we are always in your corner to make sure each aspect of your branding professionally reflects your unique fingerprint, giving the best possible impression to new and current customers. Contact us to learn more about how we can help.