Use this guide to help you complete your Brand Identity questions. It will walk you through each question, providing:
- Explanation to each of the questions.
- Examples from other great brands to help you better understand these questions.
Before We Start
Understanding the Brand Identity
A brand is one of the most valuable assets of a business, and it needs to be carefully crafted to ensure it properly and authentically represents the business.
Your brand identity is the representation of your company’s reputation through the conveyance of attributes, values, purpose, strengths, and passions.
A proper brand identity will aid in:
- Explaining how the brand will support the organization’s overall mission and objectives.
- In forming a bridge to making decisions about more than just marketing. Successful companies use the brand as a filter for determining whom to hire, which businesses to participate in, what partnerships to pursue and more.
- To ensure consistency. As a result, creating a brand identity is one of the most important steps a company can take to ensure a consistent, enduring brand.
Brand Identity is meant for internal consumption.
Once developed, the best practice is to internalize it up and down the organization, so that everyone making decisions is working from the same understanding.
Strong brands have well-defined ‘edges’ – everyone in the organization knows where the edges lie and how to respect them.
Several market research questionnaires over the years ask some basic question about a brand / product.
These questions may be:
If xyz brand was a person, who would you compare him with?
If xyz brand was a person, what would its age be?
Is xyz brand aggressive, warm, humble” etc?
Brand Identity Should Be Motivating and Enduring
Unlike positioning which is inherently comparative, it is not necessary for the Brand Identity to be differentiating in each and every facet.
Brand Identities are meant to last.
They are not buffeted by changes in competition, product or consumer trends. While specific products and messages may change with the times, the underlying Brand Identity needs to be stable, to ensure coherence and to allow the accumulated impact of brand decisions to be felt.
An identity should stay in place five to seven years or even longer if there is no compelling reason to revisit it.
A vision statement describes what you want your company to become in the future.
- It should be aspirational and inspirational.
- Ideally, the statement should be one sentence in length and should not explain how the vision will be met. (Don’t worry, that’ll come later.)
When developing your vision, keep these questions in mind:
- What are your most important products and services?
- What products and services will you never offer?
- What is unique about doing business with your brand?
- How would your customers describe your brand?
- Where do you want your company to be in five years?
To give you an idea of what you should end up with, take a look at JetBlue’s vision statement:
“JetBlue Airways is dedicated to bringing humanity back to air travel.”
A mission statement defines the purpose of the company.
- It should be simple, straightforward, articulate, and consist of jargon-free language that’s easy to grasp.
- It should be motivational to both employees and customers.
When crafting your mission statement, keep these tips in mind:
- What are the specific market needs the company exists to address?
- What does the company do to address these needs?
- What are the guiding principles that define the company’s approach?
- Why do customers buy from you and not your competition?
To give you an idea of what a good mission statement looks like, take a look at The Walt Disney Company:
“The Walt Disney Company’s objective is to be one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information, using its portfolio of brands to differentiate its content, services and consumer products. The company’s primary financial goals are to maximize earnings and cash flow, and to allocate capital toward growth initiatives that will drive long-term shareholder value.”
The recognizable, physical aspect of the brand.
- Color Scheme
- Unique packaging
- Specific design patterns
- Design elements that are consistent from store to store
Could possibly be:
- Any iconic or anchor product
- Levi’s visual elements are: Their iconic pair of blue jeans and a distinctive red logo
- Axe’s elements are: Videos and Images of women being attracted to a man
Different stores have different looks and aesthetics. However, if there’s one or more elements that are consistent in your brand and carried through on all of your stores, it could be a recognizable part of your brand.
- Apple’s bright store aesthetics as well as microcomputers, being an important part of their stores and the most visible item
- Starbucks’s product oriented posters, it’s wide range of coffee and it’s cozy atmosphere
It is the personification of the brand.
Just as with humans, a brand’s personality describes the way a brand:
It is the personification of the brand: the application of human characteristics to a business.
Understanding who your brand would be if it was a person, allows everyone to have something to visualize when trying to understand your brand identity.
It is also the easiest way to describe your brand’s personality in short.
- Apple is young and hip
- IBM is mature and set in its ways
- Coca-Cola is happy, playful, refreshing, about sharing and having a good time
What about you? Are you?
- Are you lighthearted and fun?
- Are you serious and all business?
- Are you down-to-earth?
- Are you playful or matter-of-fact?
The essence of the company speaks to the intangible emotions you want your customers to feel when they experience the brand.
- A brand’s essence is the representation of the company’s heart, soul, and spirit.
- Best described with one word.
Do you want your customers to feel?
- In tune with his/herself
Here are some great samples of brands’ essences:
- Volvo is “safe.”
- Disney is “magical.”
- Lamborghini is “exotic.”
Refers to the relationship between people that a brand might symbolize.
One example would be a relationship between a mother and child, like Johnson Johnson. Or among friends, like Coca-Cola.
Most relationships are different. There’s different type of friends or parents.
It is important not just to understand what type of relationship you have with your customers but to understand how you behave in that relationship.
- Coca-Cola symbolizes an equal and friendly relationship among people in a community
- Apple symbolizes a friendly, emotional friendship with a heartfelt connection
- Billabong symbolizes a playful, daring and young friendship
The value system and basic principles on which a brand bases its behavior.
There is an intimate connection between a brand’s culture and its organization.
- Coca-Cola’s culture is based around socializing and sharing.
- Starbucks’s culture is based on commitment, respect (human and environment)
- Axe’s culture revolves around making a clear definition of their brand and giving their consumer what it wants
Understanding the kind of people that your company hires, helps you to understand your culture.
Do you want to hire people that are?
- Quality driven
A brand positioning statement or value proposition clearly articulates your product or service’s unique value, and how it benefits customers.
Your value proposition is the most important thing people will take with them in considering their brand.
- It is a one- or two-sentence statement
- It must define the audience
- Define the category in which the brand exists
- Cite a clear product or service benefit
- Set your brand apart from your competitors
- And instill confidence the brand will deliver on its promise
- It helps you to brand to your customers
At its core, your voice is your value proposition: the thing that makes you unique and better qualified than the competition.
To be heard above the online cacophony, your brand needs the strongest, clearest voice.
There are 4 different types of market segmentation and all of them vary in their implementation in the real world.
Demographic segmentation – Segmentation generally divides a population based on variables. Thus demographic segmentation to has its own variables such as:
- Family size
- and so on…
Behavioral segmentation – This type of market segmentation divides the population on the basis of their behavior, usage and decision-making pattern.
- Under Armour markets mostly to sports enthusiasts
- Apple launched their phone for premium customers who want to be a part of a unique and popular niche
- Blackberry was launched for users who were business people
Psychographic segmentation – Is one which uses people’s lifestyle, their activities, interests as well as opinions to define a market segment. Psychographic segmentation is quite similar to behavioral segmentation. But psychographic segmentation also takes the psychological aspects of consumer buying behavior into accounts.
In other words, it takes THEIR FEELING towards the world around them into accounts.
These psychological aspects may be consumers’:
- AIO: Activities, interests and opinions
- Urban Outfitters markets itself on the basis of lifestyle, where customers who want the latest and differential clothing can visit the UO stores
- Toms market themselves to individuals who wants to make a difference in the world
Geographic segmentation – This type of market segmentation divides people on the basis of geography.
- In cold countries, the same company might be marketing for heaters
- In hot countries, the same company might be targeting air conditioners
Usage-based market segmentation, price based market segmentation, all these different types of segmentation are a derivative of the above 4 types only.
Characteristics that your customers share.
You can have multiple buying personas or market segments but there will always be primary market segment.
Market segments are known to respond somewhat predictably to a marketing strategy.
- Coca Colar’s main market segment are millennials with a love for Sport between the ages of 18 and 35
The reflection of the consumer; in other words, the brand’s most stereotypical buyer.
- Chanel: The modern elegant woman
- Nike: Youthful and competitive
- Stabucks: Traditional, connected individual who appreciates quality
- Apple: Self-enhanced individual who appreciates quality
The consumer’s ideal self.
It’s kind of like a mirror the target persona holds up to him or herself.
Marketers and advertisers can draw on their target audience’s self-image to direct their strategy and approach.
- A Coca-Cola drinker, for example, might see him or herself as social, communicative, and the type of person who seeks adventure and pushes boundaries
- A Nike user, for example, might see himself or herself as an athlete, brand conscious and cool
Do you want your customers to feel?
- In tune with his/herself