Do you have an identity that suits you?
Let’s rephrase. Does your brand identity suit your brand?
You may say, “Duh! Yeah. What do you think?!” Yes. It should be an obvious ‘yes’. Shouldn’t that be? In reality, many companies / businesses don’t have identities that suit or represent their brands well. At the most, they may have a good logo. But that alone doesn’t comprise a brand identity.
So, what is brand identity?
Alina Wheeler in her classic book Designing Brand Identity defines it like this: Brand Identity is tangible and appeals to the senses. You can see it, touch it, hold it, hear it, watch it move. Brand identity fuels recognition, amplifies differentiation, and makes big ideas and meaning accessible.
Simply put, it’s a collective whole comprising your brand’s name, logo, tagline, colours, symbols, fonts, photographs, illustrations, sounds and so on. It is responsible to help the brand be distinct, cohesive, memorable, engaging, meaningful and inspiring. Most of all it should represent the essence of the brand. Not just one element of the identity system but everything.
People invest countless hours and a large amount of money creating a product, a company or even a brand. It involves defining and creating a vision, mission, core values, offerings, features, benefits, business strategy, pricing strategy, positioning strategy and so on. And that’s great. It’s absolutely essential. But what is as important as it’s very existence, is it’s identity and how it is expressed. And when it comes to creating a brand identity, companies or product developers don’t spend enough time. It could be because of the following reasons (these are only based on our experiences and observations):
Ignorance: Some companies / businesses are not aware what it actually entails. They think a logo and a business card is enough. When they get to setting up their website, social media pages and creating other marketing collateral they leave it to the respective service providers to create visual assets. The visual assets end up contributing to the brand identity accidentally. And that can be harmful for the brand as it causes inconsistency in the look and feel.
No budget: This is a common reason. It could be because of poor planning or mere ignorance. It is important for companies to allocate budgets for branding & brand identity. Marketing budgets would be just enough to get the word out. What goes out is also important.
Urgency: We come across this quiet often. They are in a tearing hurry. Either because their CA is after them to register their company name, logo and so on or they are simply impatient. To arrive at a logo the entire visual tone / language should be established first (especially if it is a brand that is multi-dimensional). That’s how we work at Gaius Creative. Our process is quite in-depth. It involves discovery, research, mood boards, concepts, etc.
Don’t see the value: Some of them put all their faith in things like their business model, features, benefits, sales skills etc and claim all success purely because of only that. Well, no doubt it works but it’s only a matter of time when a competitor with a better branding strategy and brand identity position themselves better and capture the audience.
Whatever maybe the reason, when the identity of the brand is crafted hastily without a clear process and strategy it tends to represent the brand poorly. It will fail to create brand recall. Before your audience could experience your brand they come in contact with it’s identity. It plays a vital role in establishing the emotional connection.
For example: Your brand could be a luxury clothing line but your brand identity ends up being loud and cluttered. Or It could be a sports brand for people in mid 30s with no visuals and messaging that are inspirational and motivational.
So, it’s absolutely essential for a brand, product or company to create a well crafted brand identity that truly represents it’s essence.
We want to conclude with a question. “What is at stake if your identity doesn’t suit your brand?”
Let us know.