Tips for Creating a Distinct Brand Identity

Tips for Creating a Distinct Brand Identity

What does your company say about you? Is who you are represented by your brand identity? Are you being transparent enough in your representation? These are just few of the dozens of questions to consider in the early stages of building your business, and creating a clear and well-outlined brand identity is a crucial part of building a company. Although it can seem overwhelming between establishing a mission statement, organizing your advertising plans, curating logos, and finalizing your core company values, breaking everything down into simple steps makes it seem significantly more manageable.

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Authenticity is key.

Think about it this way: in order to establish a strong brand identity, you have to remain honest and connected to your personal core values. What is important to you? Why are you choosing this industry? What is your end goal? Maintaining an authentic message will set you apart from competitors, and your customers will be able to recognize the difference.

Market yourself.

You are an invaluable asset when it comes to your company’s brand identity. You’re never just marketing and selling a product, you’re marketing and selling yourself and your brand as well. What does your specific business culture say about yourself and your client base? Creating a strong company culture will encourage customers to connect with you based on your company morals and values, not just your products.

Here are some examples:

REI: “At REI, we inspire, educate and outfit for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship”

Naked Juice: “Making the whole planet feel better. One bottle at a time”

Glossier: "More skin, less makeup"

Google: “Don’t be evil”

Each of these examples offers a different perspective on their business culture, and they all manage to convey a message about their values in a few simple words.

Make sure the pieces align.

But what exactly does that mean?

In this sense, it means to ensure that in the construction of your brand identity you remain consistent. This can refer to your graphic design, your copy, your marketing campaign, or your mission statement. Your image is constructed from all of these pieces, and if they are inconsistent or don’t fit together, your brand will seem ambiguous and disingenuous.

For example, millions of people around the world read and subscribe to the popular magazine, Cosmopolitan. The name itself, along with the content and imagery that they print, is intended to convey the image of sophistication, fun, and glamour. The publication is known for being hyper-sexualized, primarily targeting women, and offering fashion, sex, and beauty advice. In 1999, the company attempted to launch a line of yogurt. Yes, yogurt. It didn’t surprise most market analysts that the launch failed miserably.

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Why? It’s simple: because the launch didn’t align with their image as “The women’s magazine for fashion and sex advice”, and it came across to consumers as something that could never work.

Finally, don’t be afraid to change your mind.

Oftentimes, unnecessary stress can accumulate when creating your brand identity. In the beginning, it may seem like everything is set in stone and your decisions are final. But, don’t be afraid to remember that people change, values change, and your brand can change too. As Entrepreneur.com points out,” It’s perfectly okay to re-brand, particularly if you feel like you need to change your company’s perception in the eyes of potential clients. For instance, the venerable Ford is currently undergoing a major re-branding project to compete with modern car service companies like Uber and Lyft”.

Of course there are many other principles you can apply to the creation of your brand identity, but staying true to yourself and what you want is one of the most important things you can do for your burgeoning business.

 

 

Sources:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/289007

http://www.businessinsider.com/biggest-product-flops-in-history-2016-12/#1999-cosmopolitan-yogurt-13

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/289007

http://www.cosmopolitan.com/

http://www.nakedjuice.com/

https://www.rei.com/

https://www.glossier.com/