What Is Brand Identity?

Where to begin, let’s start by defining the term brand identity. Brand identity is the collection of all elements that a company creates to portray a specific image of themselves to its consumer base. Brand identity is different from “brand image” and “branding” (we covered branding in a previous post ) even though these terms are sometimes treated as interchangeable, they are different.

Your brand identity is what makes you instantly recognizable to your customers. Your audience will associate your brand identity with your product or service, and that identity is what forges the connection between you and your customers, builds customer loyalty, and determines how your customers will perceive your brand.

How to Develop a strong brand

When companies begin to build a brand identity for themselves, most start out asking themselves, “who are we”. All of the most successful brands know this and build their intangible elements to enhance and mimic this information. Let's look at the questions these brands had to answer before they can develop tangible assets.

Companies have to ask a few questions and address few key elements:

  • Their mission (what’s is the “why?”)

  • Their values (what beliefs drive the company?)

  • Their brands personality (if the brand was a person, what kind of personality would it have?)

  • Their unique positioning (how are they different from the competition?)

  • Their brand voice (if the brand was a person, how would it communicate with the world?)

The answers to these questions help to set the groundwork for development on all of the visual, auditory, and written elements that contribute to brand identity

Brand Identity assets

Brand identity is everything visual about a brand. It’s the way in which a corporation, firm, or business presents themselves to the public. Put simply, it’s what you, customers, and prospects can see on a daily basis on all platforms.

Brand identity consists of various assets that communicate with the world, including:

  • logo or word mark

  • different logo variations

  • key brand colors and color palette

  • type faces

  • typographic treatments

  • a consistent style for images and content

  • library of graphical elements

  • style guide

Large or small, most successful companies pay careful attention to their brand identity. In fact, many large companies have entire departments that focus on maintaining and building the identity of the business and making sure that corporate identity facilitates the corporate business objectives. Small companies don’t have entire departments dedicated to this, but it doesn’t make the need to adhere to a brand identity any less important. At the end of the day, the goal of brand identity design is to tell your company’s story in a way that creates loyalty, awareness, and excitement.

In short, brand identity is how you want your current customers and potential customers to perceive your brand or your products and services. It's crucial to understand that brand identity is important for companies of all sizes, not just the larger ones.

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