In one of our previous blogs, we reflected on the true definition of brand identity and settled a few misconceptions along the way. A spoiler alert: in case you didn’t have a chance to catch that blog, brand identity is much more than a logo. If you’re scratching your head and wondering how that’s possible, we recommended taking some time to read that blog as well for a fuller picture of what a brand identity should be.
Now that we’ve debunked the myth that brand identity is only about visuals, we’re revisiting that conversation to dive a little bit deeper into some of the other important elements we briefly touched upon that help make up a cohesive brand identity.
Brand identity element 1: Brand mission
At the core of every brand and every business, there’s a brand mission – which is why it’s a critical element on brand identity. Sometimes referred to as “brand purpose,” the brand mission states a brand’s reason for existing. If a potential customer or client can’t pinpoint the “why” of your brand, your brand identity is off. Whether your mission is to serve small businesses with effective ala carte services or to provide eco-friendly products that save rainforests, it should be a clear and concise statement that’s easy for anyone to understand.
Brand identity element 2: Brand promise
While brand promise is directly connected to brand mission, the sentiments behind your promise to clients or customers can help your audience determine whether your brand mission is sincere or if your true brand mission is just to turn a profit. Your brand promise should set expectations on quality of services, products, how committed you are to your mission, and also give a glimpse of how you conduct business. These promises will essentially be the first elements of your brand identity.
Be wary, however, of some of the faux pas of brand promises! For instance, it’s nice to promise clients or customers that they can expect hard work and excellent service from you, but it shouldn’t be the only thing you promise. Why? Well, every brand should strive for excellent service, so what you’re really promising is may just be the minimum expected from any good business in your category.(K-Mart promises great service, but Nordstrom’s has built a brand around truly expceptional attention to the customer.) Differentiate yourself from mediocrity and dig deep into your processes and mission to find that unique quality you can consistently deliver to your audience.
Brand identity element 3: Brand voice
Now that your brand is starting to get fleshed out, it’s time for a little personality. The brand voice is one of the more tangible elements of brand identity and falls in a similar category to logo, font, and other brand visuals. Brand voice will also touch almost every part of your business from website content to taglines to social media posts and even interactions with clients or customers. Think about the content you see on a lawyer’s website as compared to the content you see on a cupcake shop’s website. Besides the topics being on opposite sides of the spectrum, the tone is likely a bit sweeter on the cupcake shop’s website as well. It’s important that the voice of your content matches the way you want your brand to be perceived within your industry and by your clients or customers. And it’s also crucial that your employees and vendors or partners carry the character traits of your brand’s personality as well. This way, there’s never a question on brand identity no matter who is representing your business.
Brand identity element 4: Brand positioning
One of the most difficult aspects of brand identity is differentiating your brand from other brands within your industry. Ever hear the phrase, “no two people are exactly alike?” It’s a little bit harder to dispel that statement within some industries, but it is possible. Coca Cola and Pepsi sell very similar products but have been able to distinguish themselves from each other. Think about the unique aspects of your business and revisit your brand mission. There’s a reason your brand exists and why you didn’t join the following of another brand. Make sure your audience knows the differences between you and your competition, even if the difference is subtle.
Brand identity element 5: Brand values
What your brand cares about says a lot about your brand identity. Even if you strip away every other element of brand identity – voice, promise, mission, etc. – there will be a portion of your target audience that makes the decision to purchase from your brand or work with your brand based on if your values align with their own. This can be an intimidating prospect; you certainly don’t want to alienate part of your audience, but you also want to be authentic. The best advice for this is that honesty is always the best policy. The more outwardly authentic you are, the more your brand identity will be perceived correctly and the more loyal your consumers or clients will be.
How Taylor Brand Group can help you build your brand identity
Although these elements are all significant when establishing a brand identity, it’s important to remember they’re not the only five elements of a cohesive brand identity. Fortunately, we can help your brand fill in the gaps.
Located in downtown Lancaster, PA, Taylor Brand Group offers a wide range of services such as rebranding, internal branding, brand development, logo creation and brand naming, brand awareness campaigns, and brand research as well as more traditional advertising and marketing initiatives. In addition to these services, we work with businesses to establish brand identity through our Brand Blueprint process, in which we analyze and interpret all elements of a brand. One of our unique research elements is our BrandStorm™ workshop, which helps businesses see their brand from the inside out in a collaborative setting that often reveals key opportunities for brand identity improvement.
As a branding agency, we’re able to help businesses consistently apply their brand strategy to advertising and marketing projects on an ongoing basis. If you’re searching for an agency that can help to improve your brand identity through trusted strategies, creative design, unique messaging tactics, and informed marketing, Taylor Brand Group can help. To learn more about the services we offer and how to take your brand identity to the next level, contact us today.