What is brand identity?
Your brand identity is how you want to portray your business to your customers, and includes how you choose your business name, the design of your logo, the colours and shapes or graphics you use, and the type of language you use (your “tone of voice”).
Brand identity is different to brand image, which is the result of these efforts. I.e. a successful brand identity translates into a positive brand image.
The strongest brand identities are instantly recognizable – even to small children – and immediately convey a message about that business. Large companies like Apple, Coca Cola, Adidas, Nike etc spend millions of dollars, pounds and euros every year to promote and develop their brands, because they know it directly affects their sales and market share.
Why is it important to my business?
“But I’m not Apple!” I hear you cry. “Why’s this important to my business?”
You may not have a huge potential market like some of these big brands, but there are several well-established benefits associated with a strong brand identity that all businesses can enjoy;
Brand identity commands a price-premium. Why is someone willing to pay thousands of pounds more for a Lexus than for a Toyota? They’re virtually the same product with the exception of some additional options and accessories.
You could make the same argument for Apple products (whilst running the risk of being chased out of town by a group of Apple devotees with pitchforks); many of their competitors’ products are technologically just as good as theirs, but their iconic brand is often enough – on its own – to attract customers for life.
For smaller businesses, a strong brand identity positions you in the mind of your customer as providing quality worth paying for. If you want to attract more customers prepared to spend more money, getting your brand identity right gets them through the door, primed and ready to splash the cash.
In short: If you look the part, you can charge more
Perception of quality
This follows the age-old axiom of “you get what you pay for.” If a Lexus costs more than a comparable product, it must be because the Lexus provides better quality, right?
There are plenty of lower-cost, high-quality vehicles available, yet people still pay more for what they perceive to be a better or higher-quality brand.
The same principle applies to smaller businesses. There may not be that much difference between what you offer and what your competitors offer, but with a good brand identity, in the customer’s mind you’re positioned as better quality.
In short: Look better than your competitors and they’ll think you are better
Recognition and loyalty
With a strong brand identity, customers are much more likely to remember your business. A strong brand name and logo/image helps to keep your company in the mind of your potential customers.
If a customer’s happy with your products or services, a solid brand identity helps to build customer loyalty across your business.
People like to be associated with “good” brands. Customers are more likely to refer you to others if they have a positive feeling about your brand.
In short: A good brand sticks in customers’ minds
Experience and reliability
A strong brand identity creates an image of an established business that’s been around long enough to become well-known. A branded business is more likely to be seen as experienced, and generally be seen as more reliable and trustworthy than an unbranded business.
By extension, a professionally developed brand identity also positions your company to work with larger organisations.
If you want to get noticed by – and work with – the big boys, you need to get your brand identity into shape.
In short: A good brand identity makes you look more established and can help position you to work with bigger organisations
Companies are continually looking for ways to differentiate their brand’s identity from their competitors. A strong brand identity can make you stand out in a crowded marketplace.
Perceived quality can be used to differentiate, and by doing so, you can loop back to the first benefit and charge a price premium for your strong brand.
For smaller businesses, investing in your brand identity can help you leapfrog other, bigger competitors and start winning more of the business you want.
In short: A good brand makes you stand out from the competition
Still need convincing?
Here’s the rub; get yourself a strong brand identity and
- You’ll start getting more business and more of the sort of business you want
- Larger organisations will take you seriously
- A strong brand makes it easier to build your business to be the shape you want