Building a powerful and appealing brand identity involves a mix of both creativity and strategic thinking. As the brand needs to communicate image, personality and vitality to the consumer its identity is central to all other design considerations from logo to product packaging to website design. Equally, the components and rationale which come together when building a strong brand should be reflected in every aspect of marketing communications both image based and written.
At the very beginning of this process you need to be clear and concise about what you want your brand to say about your company and its products and services. Three components can be used to build the brief around which your brand identity can be built and then communicated:
- Brand Impact - this defines the objectives the brand needs to achieve against a target marketplace or group of consumers within a market. These goals or objectives need to be concise and clear as you will want to measure the impact of your brand over time as part of your overall marketing plan.
- Brand Values - here you define the proposition(s) and the supporting evidence for it. What should your brand do for the consumer and how you back up the proposition? This can be based on fact and logic or an intuitive, emotional appeal but should clearly state the value the brand transfers to a consumer.
- Brand Character - What distinct character, personality or feel do you want to communicate? This could range from long term financial stability to state of the art or any other unique tone which gets across the feel of your brand.
This important exercise allows you to explore and then build a meaningful set of components around which you can build a brand identity which not only relates to what you want to achieve as a business, but also one which can communicate well at both a claims and evidence level and the all important emotional level. If you follow this process, you will increase both the clarity and appeal of your brand and also create a series of objectives around which you can measure the impact of your brand identity across your range of marketing communication activities. The ability to measure impact allows you to fine tune and improve if necessary.
Working with the components you have evaluated and described during this process, you now need to develop and edit your findings until you have made it transparently clear what your brand needs to say about your company and its products and services. At the same time, you should also benchmark its relevance and impact in your chosen marketplace and, all importantly, how it stacks up against your competitors when competing for the attention of the consumer.
Finally, don’t be surprised if this process takes some effort. Given the number of times your brand has to do its own talking, it is vital to get it right.