Brand identity is the visual and conceptual representation of a brand’s core message and values. It reflects the brand’s personality and considers its history, purpose, and target audience.
A brand identity can be made up of many elements, such as logos, colours, typography, taglines, imagery, etc.
It also includes the brand’s tone of voice, which can be seen through communication, website design, and advertising.
Why is it important
1. Establishing brand recognition
A strong brand identity will help customers easily recognise and remember your brand, leading to increased loyalty and brand awareness.
2. Creating a unique visual language
Brand identity allows you to create a unique visual language that distinguishes you from competitors. As a result, your customers can easily differentiate between brands in the same industry.
3. Connecting with your target audience
A brand identity that resonates with your target market can establish an emotional connection.
If strong enough, this prosocial relationship can build trust with your customers and make your brand part of their lives.
4. Building customer loyalty
A strong brand identity helps build customer loyalty by giving customers something they can identify with and feel connected to. This identification increases their likelihood of returning or recommending your business over others within the same industry.
5. Differentiating yourself from competitors
With so many businesses competing for attention, a well-defined brand identity is essential for your brand positioning.
A well-positioned brand, in turn, will yield a higher brand recognition value than most other brands.
How to establish a strong brand identity for your business
Creating a solid brand identity is a commitment for which great vigilance is essential.
Therefore, be sure to go through these guidelines for a better idea of a strong brand identity.
1. Understand Your Brand
Creating a brand identity for any organisation requires understanding the brand’s mission, values, and target audience. These elements help inform how to represent yourself to appeal to the group you set out to reach.
By considering your brand’s key values, formulating a brand message that resonates with your target audience is easier.
It also allows you to choose visuals, colours and taglines best suited to your brand, attracting more attention from your desired customer segment. Only then can your brand begin fostering brand loyalty and building meaningful consumer relationships.
2. Develop a Visual Identity
In Malaysia, creating a strong brand identity has become increasingly important to differentiate from the competition and stand out in the market. Your brand’s core values will help you better understand what images and colours are used and how they are presented visually.
The logo design should be consistent across platforms. Additionally, using a consistent colour palette for all your customer touchpoints would be best.
Maybank is the quintessence of a strong brand identity with visual consistency. Yellow colour and Malayan Tiger logo — those two visual elements are present across all its online and offline platforms.
Moreover, its logo is not without meaning, as it represents Malaysia’s national animal — Malayan Tiger.
3. Establish Your Tone of Voice
Your brand’s tone of voice plays an integral part in crafting your brand identity.
To ensure consistency, think carefully about what language you want your brand to use. For example, enformative and professional are the right choices if your brand is strictly formal and solemn.
You can create brand guidelines to mark out what tone should be used in different areas, such as speaking to customers over social media or writing emails.
Additionally, your brand’s values can be tied into your language to help strengthen brand recognition and impart a sense of reliability.
4. Craft an Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch for your brand identity is useful to give a concise, comprehensive overview of what sets your brand apart. It should be designed to make a statement that speaks to the brand and captures the listener’s attention.
To do so, you’ll want to include brief tidbits about your brand’s mission and values, its services or products, and even some customer stories highlighting its successes.
Above all else, highlight why customers should consider your brand over competing options. These highlights could be in terms of value-added services, unique features, or something as simple as easy accessibility.
5. Create Content That Resonates with Your Audience
Think about the type of conversation you want with your audience and use the tone that reflects it across all channels.
Pay attention to how you craft a story around your products or services. Your content should not stress much about the products or services but about how they can solve your customers’ problems.
In other words, avoid marketing myopia in your content.
Moreover, your content doesn’t necessarily have to be about your products or services.
For example, Duolingo, albeit an international brand, is famous among Malaysians for its TikTok content. It sets a strong brand identity among the millennials and Gen Z due to its clever usage of a specific Gen Z sense of humour and vernacular.
6. Monitor & Adjust as Needed
Once you create a brand identity, it is important to track its effectiveness.
You should monitor customer feedback and adjust accordingly. If customers are not responding positively to a brand image or message, it may be necessary to revise the brand identity.
Also, if customers are not responding to a certain language or tone of voice, you should make adjustments to ensure that the brand identity is resonating.
Consider using tools such as Google Analytics to measure website performance and A/B testing for marketing campaigns. These tools can provide insight into customer behaviour and engagement by looking at bounce and conversion rates over time.
Depending on which media through which you deliver your content, the analytics tool may differ.
However, you should focus on important metrics, such as sentimental analysis, the share of voice, media coverage, and brand impact.
7. Promote & Protect Your Brand Identity
You can apply good branding strategies across different channels, such as social media, TV commercials, and online ads.
Again, consistency is the key here. Make sure you audit every platform and customer touchpoint to have consistent messaging.
Consider leveraging influencers who can advocate for your brand among their followers. Your choice of influencers must also be congruent with your overall brand identity.
Furthermore, avoid watering down or changing tactics too often, as it can dilute the brand’s identity in the competitive market.
You should also secure your brand trademarks, copyrights, domain names, logos and slogans to ensure others are not exploiting them for profit.