The term “brand identity” means different things to different people. Just ask a few business owners what they think brand identity is. You will certainly get ten different answers. A brand identity and a brand image are two completely different ideas. Creating brand identity is about how your company wishes to be perceived, while your brand image is how your company is actually perceived by customers and other businesses. We all know that perception is the only reality, so if your brand image does not conform to your brand identity, you could be in a lot of hot water.
If you view your brand identity and brand image as promises that you make to your customers, then you will realize that if you fail or falter in communicating your promises and fulfilling them, you will have to take responsibility for the failure and correct it immediately. For example, if you bake cupcakes and advertise them as being the best in town but your customers cannot say the same thing about your cupcakes, then there is a huge disconnect. Additionally, there’s the threat of competition. Regardless of your views about your own product, if you don’t convey the right message to your customers, your competitors will find the road wide and narrow to snatch away your customers.
Developing and delivering a powerful brand identity can make or break your business. Creating brand identity is not just about logos and websites; it encompasses every message, every piece of communication, and each experience every customer encounters. Delivering a consistent image, message, and experience to each and every person who comes in contact with your company is key.
So how do you go about improving or creating brand identity? Start from the inside.
Assess Your Business from Within
First, you’ll want to analyze what makes your brand unique from all the others that are supply the same product or service in the industry. This is critical because by doing this you are able to separate you’re business from the rest and show the clients that you are different. Employees, systems, and procedures are the principal business structures that should also be evaluated. Ensure that at all times these structures are understood, particularly by your employees, and represent your message and guarantee to your customers. Make sure that your employees convey your message and promise through those structures.
Dominate Your Field
Stake your claim and keep your business on the up and up. Track trends and stay on top of your changing marketplace. Stay updated on all media and social networking outlets, and never feel afraid to market to new or different customers you may have skipped in the past.
Improve or Create Your Visual Image
Website, logo and business cards are marketing materials that may come in contact with your client, so ensure that these items are reliable and consistent. Your business stability is communicated by reliability and continuity. Finding the correct brand style or voice is important because it gives your company a unique sense of identity and personification that is usually quite appealing to the customers.
Put Your Target Market to Work
Identifying your target market is a must so that your business will continue to prevail in your field. If you keep your eyes on this market, you will satisfy your customers’ needs and desires through the products and services of your company. Keep your customers pleased with your products and services. Those same customers will happily say good things about your company to others.
Just like all things, businesses and markets evolve over time. It is important that you consistently stay in touch with the market trends and changes. This is because the identity of the company has got to change and grow as the markets and customers change. This ensures that you remain relevant in your field and also show the customers that you listen to them.
By pinpointing those areas in your business that need reinforcement or strengthening, you are, in effect, sharpening your ability to forge a strong brand and message about your company. Don’t just stop at dissatisfaction – do something to improve your brand identity.