Does your target audience know what you stand for? More importantly, do you know what you stand for? Without a solid grasp of your business’s brand identity, you’ll never be able to communicate to potential and current customers what your brand is all about.
They won’t understand why you offer what you do, or what experience they should be getting out of being loyal to you.
A lot of marketers haven’t fully grasped brand identity, and many choose to ignore it completely. They believe that traditional marketing tactics all thrown together with everything but the kitchen sink will be successful enough. These businesses may be profitable, but they won’t be unified, consistent, or pull in die-hard fans.
So if it’s so important, then what is brand identity? (https://wotsthebigidea.com/branding/) Why do I need to figure out my brand identity before I do anything else? In this digital marketing tell-all, you’ll learn everything you need for business branding.
What is Brand Identity?
Put simply, brand identity is the complete profile of everything that makes up your business’s image for customers. It contains everything from the colours of your logo to the types of content you share on social media. (https://wotsthebigidea.com/social-media-marketing/) Every single detail is a deliberate choice that builds that identity and aims for a common goal.
For example, brands have values that they stick to and promote in all of their messaging. If a brand values family, for instance, their logo, name, and tagline will all refer to family in some way. Their content online will be family-oriented and use designs that feel welcoming and warm.
In other words, when a potential or current customer looks at any of your brand’s marketing materials, they should immediately grasp what your business stands for and what it offers. Anything that requires more than a few seconds of attention will likely lose a majority of people.
Why is Brand Identity So Important?
If you’re a smaller business, you might be wondering why you need such a concerted effort for brand identity. You’re aware that brands like Target and Apple have very specific messaging and looks for their brand, but do you need that?
Of course you do! Smaller brands become big brands when they start with a strong foundation. Even if your goal is not to expand into a massive corporation, you’ll need a strong brand identity to become a booming local business.
Become Synonymous With Your Product
With a strong enough brand identity, your business can become a staple in people’s homes. Ever heard of using a Band-Aid, or getting an Airbnb? These terms are actually the names of specific companies, but people now use the brand names as general nouns that represent all products under that umbrella.
Need another way of looking at it? Close your eyes and think about pink Cadillacs. Did Mary Kay come to mind?
If you did, it’s because Mary Kay did an amazing job of helping the world associate their career opportunities with wealth for women.
Essentially, a strong brand identity becomes a symbol for the services and products that are offered by the brand. When people need over-the-counter medicines, they’ll more often use a brand name like Walgreens than just say they’re going to the pharmacy.
You want your brand name to be the Walgreens of pharmacies.
Business Branding Makes You Stand Out
While you want your brand to become the symbol for your services, you also want it to stand out in the market. To become the go-to brand, you’ll have to first offer customers an identity that they can latch onto.
Your brand identity doesn’t have to be so crazy to be different, just different enough to be unique. For example, you don’t need to pick ugly combinations of colours just because every other brand has taken the good colours. Instead, pick the colours you know will communicate your unique message.
By acknowledging and setting your values, message, and unique selling point, you can build a brand identity that will set you apart.
Think about unrelated products and the leading brand names for those products. Identify how each brand in that area makes themselves stand out, and take pointers to apply to your own brand.
Then, identify your competitors and pick apart their brands. If there’s a bunch of brands already selling your kind of product, think about what they don’t offer but you do. If none of them targets a specific niche in the audience or adds a specific service on top of the product, use that differentiation to make yourself unique.
If all you can come up with is the location you’re in, that’s okay! Suddenly, you’ve just become the leading provider of that product or service in your specific area. Use that to your advantage.
Create The Perception of High Quality
When you go to the grocery store, what factors into your buying choices? If you’re trying to buy some snacks, for example, what makes you pick one bag over the other?
If you say you choose a bag based on brand, you’re not alone. In fact, one of the driving factors of purchases (https://smallbusiness.chron.com/people-buy-brand-names-69654.html) is the brand name for most consumers. People will often pick a brand over a generic version of a product regardless of price differences.
Why do something that seems so counterintuitive? There are a lot of reasons, but it all comes down to the perception of quality.
Generics are also called “knock-offs,” which come with a negative connotation. People usually see generics as lesser (https://knowablemagazine.org/article/society/2019/power-brands-conscious-and-unconscious) quality products that you buy only when your money is tight or the brand-name products are sold out. This is often not backed up by any proof, just accepted due to consumer loyalty to brands.
With a brand identity, you will be able to increase good perceptions of your business and communicate the quality of your products to your customers.
You want your brand to be so strong that people see it as a brand-name product rather than just a generic alternative. By building a strong brand, you will become the top choice for consumers.
Help Your Customers Connect With You
If you don’t have a brand identity, potential customers won’t be able to identify with your products and messaging. Current customers might not stay loyal because they don’t feel strongly connected to your business. Both issues will become disasters for your business’s growth.
One of the best ways a brand can strengthen a business is by helping customers relate to you in some way. Often, this comes with adding a human factor to your brand. Whether your business is a one-person operation or is run by a huge team, your customer needs to know there are humans behind the product. (https://www.marketingweek.com/how-human-is-your-brand/)
This human factor can come in the form of your values, your origin story, or your brand’s mission. You can also incorporate this human factor by putting a face to the name, such as by being personally present on social media and offering personal customer service.
When customers feel that your product not only solves a problem but is delivered with great intentions by someone with passion, they will begin to show brand loyalty.
People like to feel good about the brands they support. They will pick your product over another because they feel personally connected to your brand and will want to support you. If people don’t understand your brand, they won’t understand what they are supporting and why.
Guide Your Marketing Efforts
Finally, without a strong brand identity, your marketing efforts will be haphazard. If you don’t understand what your messaging should be, then there’s no way your marketing efforts will be targeting the correct audience and effectively communicating about your business.
Without a full understanding of your mission and values, you won’t know how to write effective copy that communicates your brand and convinces consumers to choose you. You also won’t be able to build a unified image of the logo, tagline, and other marketing content that consistently communicates your business.
In turn, you won’t have consistent and unified content to use for marketing. Your website, social media, and other forms of online presence won’t have an overall message. If you ever need to write a press release or do an interview, you won’t have much to say besides “buy my product, please.”
In conclusion, a strong brand identity equals growth. That’s why.
Build Your Brand Identity Now
If you hope to have your brand name become a general noun someday, or even if you just want your startup to take off, you have to embrace the power of brand identity. If you don’t have a full marketing team, it can be difficult to compile your thoughts and execute them in a comprehensive plan.
If you need help creating your brand identity so you can launch and grow your business, turn to an expert digital marketing team. WTBI Digital Innovators is a professional digital agency that can assist you in website creation, e-commerce, and digital marketing. Contact us to get started! https://wotsthebigidea.com/contact-us/