Key Insights to Creating a Brand Identity That is More Like a Personality Than a Business
Your brand identity is its personality. The question is not whether your business has the right personality, but if it has one at all. Often times when people think about their brand identity they become fixed only on certain aspects. What color will it be, what will the logo look like, how will it be perceived online, and what will the slogan be? These are all great questions to ask and will help a company design a noticeable brand identity. But perhaps the best question of all is, “If your brand walked in a room how would it walk, talk, and dress?” Thinking about a brand identity in such a manner reminds us that first and foremost a brand must relate to the customer.
Brand identity insight 1: How will your brand identity walk?
Every person has a certain swagger to them, a distinguishable manner with which they enter a room. A person with a shy demeanor does not step boldly into the room. This person will enter unseen until they feel comfortable enough to let their personality shine through. Perhaps your brand will act in a similar manner. Facebook is a prime example of the shy persona. It started in a college dorm room as a simple idea, targeted a select group of young people, and waited until the opportune moment to let itself be seen. Since then, there has been no looking back and the brand has grown to hundreds of millions of users.
Your company brand identity is the soul and spirit of your vision. When is it done right it will connect with those of like minds and leave them with an experience worth sharing.
Other people tend to boldly enter the room; they want all eyes on them as they cross the threshold. Brands that are loud and directly challenge their opponents are the brands that enter the room with a BANG. But a word of caution to the brand that starts so loudly, it is not enough to just walk loudly into a room, you must also talk the talk.
Brand identity insight 2: How will your brand talk?
When a person speaks, they are saying more than just the words that are coming out of their mouth. Speaking involves body language, cultural cues, and understanding your audience. When a brand speaks it is about more than coming up with a great slogan. The old adage “actions speak louder than words” is especially true for a brands identity. If you tout great customer service, then your brand must deliver on its promises.
The clothing line Bonobos is known for allowing customers to return or exchange items years after the original purchase date. Why? Because they know that customers will return time and time again if they have great customer service. After a down site on Cyber Monday 2011, Bonobos re-designed their website to ensure that the site would function properly and maintain a 99.9% uptime. The result of a pristine e-commerce site is happy customers. By keeping their customers happy, and by making them feel special through a generous return policy, Bonobos’ perpetuates their image as an exclusive brand, which inevitably helps the store maintain a high customer retention rate.
Brands identity insight 3: How will your brands dress?
How people dress says a lot about who they are and what they think of themselves. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately (depending on your societal views), a person is instantly judged by the clothes on his back. The same is true for a brand.
Subconsciously people judge a brands identity based on a few simple factors, such as color and design. People are unwittingly influenced by colors; in fact, it is this very reason that a politician wears a red tie to signify power or a blue tie to signify leadership. For a brand, red is often associated with anger or a fighting disposition. The latter association is one of the reasons that Product Red was formed. Quite literally the brand is not only red, but it is directly fighting to end HIV/AIDS; the combination of these two subconscious factors encourage patrons to purchase the product and join the fight.
A brand’s design also has a powerful influence on whether it will be successful or resonate strongly with potential customers. For example, the Amazon logo contains a hidden smile that points from A to Z. Subconsciously people notice the smile and their mood is automatically elevated. The smile also points from A to Z to represent the fact that Amazon sells every type of product. And so, when you think about how your brand will dress, ask yourself what emotion your logo will subconsciously inspire.
Thinking of your brands identity as a person walking into a room propels you in the right mindset for success. A brand’ssuccess is based on accruing a following of customers. In the end, knowing how your brand will walk into a room, how it will talk, and how it will dress, sets you up to be seen not only as a brand, but as a person who wants to connect with other people.