A brand identity is how a company presents itself to the world. It refers to all the elements that a company might use to convey the essence of the business to customers, including their messaging, logo, website, landing pages, signage, and product packaging, as well as the colours, fonts, shapes, and language that appear on them. But brand identity is more than just the design; it’s who you are as a company. So, it also includes the company’s culture, values and internal and external communication. How do you successfully implement your brand identity? We’ll take you through five essential steps to help you out.
Step 1. Identify who you are as a company
Before you can establish a brand identity for the public, you need to know exactly who you are as a company. What does your identity look like right now? Perhaps you already have a consistent brand experience through your website and product packaging. Perhaps you need to invest some more time in establishing your brand identity. Examine your business plans, mission statement, strategic plan and other brand documents to answer questions like:
- Why do we as a company exist?
- What defines who we are?
- How are we different from other companies?
- What do our existing customers and employees think of us?
- What impression comes across in our current company materials?
The answers to these questions can help you identify who you are as a company.
Step 2. Analyze your competitors’ brand positions
In order to attract new customers and have them choose your brand over the competition, your brand identity needs to stand out. That’s why you need to do some research to find out who your competitors are and see what you can learn from their brand identities. What are the successful companies doing? And the less successful ones?
Obviously, you should not copy the brand strategy of your competitors, but it is good to know where they stand. What do you like about their identity and what don’t you like? Analyzing your competitors may also help you find your niche. What types of customers are choosing your company over the competition? You can use this information to develop a story around your identity and create a unique selling proposition (USP).
Step 3. Define your companies USP
We have already briefly mentioned USPs. Your USP is what makes your company unique and what makes it stand apart from the competition. What do you have to offer that your competitors don’t? This is your unique selling proposition (USP). And this is what your brand identity should express. To help you determine your USP, you can ask yourself questions like:
- What motivates us as a company and what motivates our customers?
- What frustrates our customers? And how do we take those frustrations away?
- Why do customers choose our products or services instead of our competitors’?
Step 4. Create a vision for the future
It takes time to build your brand identity. Therefore, it would be a waste of time to develop a strategy that only reflects what you’re doing today. It’s best to create a brand strategy that incorporates your goals for the next five to ten years, but without forgetting about the present completely! To help you create a vision for the future, you can ask yourself the following questions:
- Where do you want to be with your company in five years from now?
- What will the internal structure of your company and team look like at that point?
- What new products and services will you be launching?
Creating a vision for the future helps you ensure that the identity you’re developing is not only relevant in the years to come but will even help you get there.
Step 5. Implement your brand identity
Now that you know where you came from, where you are today, what your competitors are up to, what your USP is, and where you want to go in the coming years, you are ready to put your company identity into practice. This includes both the design aspects, like your company logo, website, landing pages, signage, and product packaging, as well as the colours, fonts, shapes, and language that appear on them.
How Textmetrics can help you implement your brand identity
The words, language, and messages you use all need to reflect your brand identity just as much as the design aspects do. Once you have defined your brand identity, you need to apply your new way of communicating across every medium you plan to use in your marketing strategy. Consistency is crucial here. If the way you communicate on your website and social media do not match, you could confuse your customers, and they might even think that you’re not who you say you are. A brand book can help you formalize what is and isn’t considered on-brand for your company.
At Textmetrics, we know that these brand books usually aren’t enough to guarantee the level of consistency you need. That’s why we have developed a number of tools that can help you ensure that all communication is applied consistently and in accordance with your company’s brand identity.