“Do you have any ID?” A flattering question to some, an annoyance to others, but let’s look at it from a different perspective. What identity does your brand have? This is a question that should be answered ASAP in every boardroom, every marketing meeting and every brand discussion. A company cannot be launched properly without a solid identity. A brand image is built after your brand identity, and takes a little more time to establish. Here, we will delve into what these two things are, how to build them efficiently and why they are so important.
Image/Identity – What’s the difference?
Brand image and brand identity often get confused and people often interchange them. Brand image in our definition is exactly what it says, the image the general public has of your brand. Whereas brand identity is controlled entirely by the company, the brand shapes the narrative. This means brand image is a little more difficult to control, but you can take measures to tighten your grip on the narrative. How do you interact with your customers? What are your company morals? How do you come across on social media? These are all things the public will take into account when thinking of your brand.
A brand-new start
Firstly, we need to establish what a brand is. A brand is typically known as being the name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that distinctively identifies the goods or services of one business, or a group of businesses. When establishing a brand, you should be identifying three main factors; Who does your brand represent? Where are you aiming to be? What are the goals for your brand? Once you establish these factors, you have a launching pad for the rest of your business plan. However, the next step is the really important part. You need to sell an identity, not necessarily a product.
With a great brand comes great responsibility
So, you now have a brand, but what is its identity? Once your brand is established, you need to be able to describe your brand in no more than a short sentence. In fact, try to start with three words; this method is called The Power of Three. Your brand should be so familiar to you that if someone asked you out of nowhere, “Describe your brand to me” you should be able to tell them right off the bat with three words. Nike, for example, would be something along the lines of ‘Performance, Empowerment, Innovation.’ This should give you a bit of inspiration on some words to use to describe your brand.
Ways to help build brand image
A mission statement is something that establishes your company’s goals, ambitions and priorities. It is something you can do before rolling out your brand identity that may help you towards having full confidence when it comes time to establish your brand identity.
A logo is the face of your company and is crucial to success, it is the first thing people think of when a company name is mentioned. So having a striking, relevant logo can catapult your brand into the minds of the public if it’s done well. Make sure your logo is relevant to your company and field firstly, then try to make it look nice after, not the other way around.
Advertisements are a great way to reinforce your brand image; they give a company the opportunity to be creative, funny, yet informative and ultimately increase sales. Advertisements can be used on multiple platforms like YouTube, all social media websites and of course physical billboards, giving your company a wide range of options to get creative.
Communicate with your customers! Whether it be on Facebook when someone leaves a review or on Twitter when someone asks a question, it is critical that you respond to your customers in a polite, friendly, but professional manner. This not only improves the brand image in the eyes of the customer you’re responding to, but also the countless people seeing the interaction on their social media feeds.
Strong social media presence
Having a strong social media presence is arguable the most effective way to improve brand image. The best companies find a way to merge humour, professionalism and familiarity into their social media posts. Establish what kind of social media presence you want to have and stick to it like glue in your posts, people will start to expect a certain post and don’t let them down.
Ultimately, brand identity & image are essential to every company, it is something that will make it simple to provide an ethos within every facet of your brand. It isn’t too difficult to get a brand identity into place, as mentioned previously, if you know your brand inside out then it should be easy to implement. Brand image is something that develops more over time and of course is ultimately down to how the public perceive you; so whilst it is not entirely in your control, some of the steps we mentioned and more can definitely help sway opinion.
Add some Gloss to your identity
Allow our team of brand identity & image experts to assist and explore with you what your brand is about and how it can grow into a business with the potential to flourish. We develop compelling brands with innovative thinking, agile work practices and ultimately, passion. Ask us a question about brand identity by filling out the enquiry form to the right of the page here, we would love to give you a helping hand! A member of our team will respond to you shortly to discuss your needs. Our branding specialists will spend the necessary amount of time with you to establish your business goals, unique selling points and your future vision. We look forward to talking with you.