Brand identity is a common term when we talk about how businesses can stand out from the competition in a saturated market. Whether you are a global corporate, a small business, start-up, agency, non-profit, or even an internal support function within an organisation, a strong brand identity can be highly valuable.
In this article, we’ll look at how to develop a unique brand identity that resonates with different stakeholder groups (customers, employees, service partners, local communities, and investors).
What’s Brand Identity?
Your brand’s identity is the outward expression of your business. It is how the world perceives you and how you differentiate yourself from your competition.
Traditionally in this area, there has been a focus on the organisation’s name, trademark, visual language, and communications. All elements of written, visual and other forms of communication are part of your brand identity. It includes everything from your colours and fonts, infographic-style and palette, to your logo, name, and tone. However, it sometimes overlooked that the most reliable brand identities are a clear reflection of the organisation’s purpose and values. Admired brands such as Apple, LEGO, or Levi’s are more famous than the products and services they provide and have achieved this with a deeply authentic approach to developing their brand identity.
Crafting a strong brand identity is a critical step if you want to thrive in a dynamic business setting. And it is so much more than an icon or logo.
How to Develop a Unique Brand Identity
Be crystal clear about your Purpose and Values.
SERVICEBRAND GLOBAL is committed to helping leaders of progressive businesses establish a clear understanding of your purpose and values.
It is the first step in developing a consistent brand identity and customer service experience. We can help you define your “essence”: what you stand for, how you are different, and how you feel about what you do. Let your passion shine and represent your business the way you want to see it through someone else’s eyes.
Think about the personality of your business and define the visual language that represents this. Working closely with a designer specializing in branding can be a great help with this process. Is your brand confident and sassy? Are you techy and modern? Is your main trait to be caring, family-friendly, or progressive, creative, and pioneering? These traits should feed seamlessly into your visual language and every facet of the organisation’s processes.
Consistency is king
It used to be the case that organisations controlled their brand, from the design and use of the visual identity to the appointment of advertising or public relations agencies to deliver campaigns.
It is no longer the case because our super-connected world of the internet and social media, feedback, and opinions can be shared with millions of people all over the world in a heartbeat.
Consider your own experience: do you believe in official corporate messaging, your personal experience, or even other customers’ views? Organisations are no longer what they say they are, but instead, what others say they are. The successful brands of the future will be those who establish a sense of shared values with stakeholders. These values need to flow every representation of the brand in a consistent way, irrespective of time, geography, or channel. Your employees (directly employed, contractors, and outsourced) are an important part of your brand identity, and their decisions and behaviours will determine how others perceive your organisation.
Avoid These Branding Mistakes
A strong brand is hard to build, and all too easy to damage. Avoid these common mistakes to make sure your brand identity remains cohesive.
- Don’t give consumers mixed messages. Know what you want to say, how to say it, and use the tone you have chosen.
- Don’t copy your competitors. It can be tempting to replicate what’s proven to work. In the long run, an authentic identity provides a more credible, sustainable point of difference.
- Don’t be inconsistent between channels. Once your identity is chosen, you should represent it through employees, on social media, or in official communications.
Develop a Unique Brand Identity for Your Organisation
A clear purpose and values are the starting point for a strong brand identity. SERVICEBRAND GLOBAL can help you define the traits that make your business unique and develop strategies to build upon those values in employee engagement and customer experience. The SERVICEBRAND approach and associated Values Economy toolkit help align strategic thinking across these areas and coordinate the execution, leading to sustained performance.