Enough cannot be said about brand identity. Too many businesses attempt success with no brand identity.
While they may generate revenue, profitability eludes them because customers are not attached to the product or service.
Why? There is no identity.
DEVELOPING A BRAND IDENTITY
If any product or service is to be effectively marketed, you, as the entrepreneur, must first define the brand.
Brand definition builds a foundation upon which all other marketing strategies and tactics can be launched.
Brand identification is the litmus test upon which all marketing efforts are evaluated as viable or not.
Everything from the product’s or service’s logo, color scheme, font, font size, script, business card design, brochure size, and a host of other materials associated with the product are determined based upon brand identity.
Brand identity is the foundation of customer loyalty. Customers are drawn to a product or service for its purpose but sustained solely by its branding. The product becomes more than its purpose.
Branding connects the consumer to the product or service emotionally. What makes your best friend so unique?
What about the love of your life? What makes these people so cherished? Have you considered these qualities about your brand?
The product or service becomes a part of a consumer’s life when branding is effective.
Brand identity Includes:
- Visual Identification
- Word Choice and Voice (the tone)
- Value Proposition
These elements combine to create a distinctive look, tone, and emotion that separates your business from others.
It is your business’ unique stamp in the world, very similar to a fingerprint.
Many companies have a place in the consumer’s mind, but your business bears a fingerprint that identifies with the consumer personally – this is branding at its best.
SOLVING THE CONSUMER’S PROBLEM
Consumers shop around to other businesses because they have a problem or concern about one particular company.
Whether significant to you or not, people pay for problem resolution.
Your business’s brand identity should be intricately tied to the very nature of the consumer’s problem.
- It acknowledges the pain the consumer experiences, thereby validating the consumer.
- It addresses the problem concisely, careful not to inconvenience the consumer in any way.
- It alleviates the pain associated with the problem and provides swift resolution consistently.
When consumers identify your business’s acknowledgment, address, and alleviate their pain, a personal connection is made.
Your product or service identifies with the consumer emotionally.
The consumer is validated and supported. As a result, their perpetual investment in your business through loyal purchase.
A loyal purchase is different from a general purchase. The reliable purchase happens regardless of the price.
Other options may be available and may also be less expensive. However, your business’s product or service connects with the consumer and is a part of their life.
It makes them better.
Its reliability, coupled with its understanding of their problem, fosters a value proposition untied to price.
EVERY BRAND HAS A PERSONALITY
Think about what makes your best friend so unique to you?
Chances have nothing to do with their height, weight, eye color, or any other arbitrary human characteristic.
Your best friend bears such a status with you because of the innate qualities that cause you to connect.
Brands should function as best friends.
They have a unique set of human-like characteristics that make a product more than its intended purpose.
Brands make the product personally relatable. Consumers treat the product as a friend more than a commodity.
Archetypes help achieve brand identity. Determine which archetype your product or service is to bear:
- Hero – saving the consumer from impending danger or harm.
- Explorer – ideal for aiding the consumer in research or uncovering information and direction.
- Sage – provides information consistently and continually.
- Caregiver – supports the consumer in some significant way.
- Outlaw – defies the norm in addressing and resolving the consumer’s problem.
DOES YOUR BRAND HAVE AN EMOTIONAL IMPACT?
Effective brand identity, as stated earlier, fosters an emotional connection with the consumer. The product or service your business provides or offers is beyond the norm for the consumer.
It is a part of their life.
Intelligent marketers understand branding and the power it bears.
It would help if you considered what emotion your consumer would experience when engaging with your product or service.
Of the following examples, what emotional impact will your brand fulfill?
Knowing what emotion consumers feel will drive your branding initiatives. Everything associated with the product or service must uphold and encourage the sentiment of the consumer.
One of the best ways to understand what the consumer will feel is to ask.
Conduct marketing tests and have participants communicate what they feel before, during, and after engagement with your product or service.
Whatever emotion is predominant, proceed with it.
Gather about five or six people and develop a list of adjectives from which they will choose to articulate their experience with your product or service.
Leave space for them to write their own descriptive words too.
Look for similarities, variances, and identical associations. You are attempting to narrow the focus of a consumer’s experience with your product or service.
Follow the participants’ experience, not your anticipated response – this is called authentic marketing research.
PROPER BUSINESS ALIGNMENT
Market research will reveal some very insightful and exciting findings of the product or service you desire to launch.
Alignment is critical once the results are shown.
It is not a good idea to launch a product that does not align with the established business. In other words, homemade ice cream sundaes may not be the best product for Walgreens to launch.
There is no alignment.
Walgreens may shelf the product, sell it to another business, or create a new business unit or subsidiary to bring it to market if the profitability analysis is strong enough.
As it relates to your business, adjustments may need to be made to achieve alignment more often than not.
You want to make these adjustments to ensure your employees do not become frustrated, nor do you want confusion for the consumer. Consider the following:
- What does your business presently market?
- What intellectual capacity does your business presently have to support a new product or service?
- Is the new product or service evolving to the existing product or service? Is it similar? Too similar?
- What is the mission of your business? Does this new product align with it?
- What about the core values of your business? Does this new product contradict them in any way?
- When you consider your business’s tagline, does this product affiliate well with it?
- Does this product bolster the business’s present brand identity, or will it require a drastic change? Be honest.
If the new product or service requires any adjustment, which is more than likely, your organization can tolerate the change.
It should not be too drastic. It can require growth and stretching, but not breaking.
BUILDING THE BRAND
Once it is determined that the product will market, it is critical to establish brand identity – this is not a magical occurrence. It is a purposeful undertaking.
To effectively build your brand identity, consider the appropriate channels for marketing. How will consumers find and engage with your product or service?
- Digital Marketing
- Internet Search Engines
- Website Presence
- Search Engine Optimization
- Traditional Marketing
- Retail Stores
- Wholesale Outlets
- Word of Mouth
Once the channel for marketing is established, and the emotional connection understood, build an identity that makes the entire experience seamless for the consumer.
You do not want the consumer to endure rigorous access when the product conveys comfort upon use.
The consumer’s experience must be consistent. Do the following to build your brand effectively and efficiently.
- Understand the Present Competitive Landscape
- What products or services are presently available?
- What is the level of customer loyalty?
- Is there a degree of dissatisfaction? How much?
- What do online customer reviews echo about the product or service?
- Is the market expanding, shrinking, or stagnant?
- Create a Value Proposition Statement
The value proposition statement should embrace the emotions associated with the usage of the product coupled with the core values of your business. Make sure the alignment is precise. Pricing is not the object of this statement but value. In other words, what does it mean to use this product or service, and how does it enrich the consumer’s life.
- Acknowledge the Product’s Creative Prowess
- What technology does your product leverage?
- How efficient is your product at achieving its purpose?
- Is your product small for the benefit it gives?
- Is it mobile?
- Does color matter? How so?
- Does the product offer multiple uses?
- Conduct a Comprehensive Brand Audit
The brand audit comprehensively evaluates all aspects of the product or service with your business. Any variance or deficits will be exposed, and adjustments will need to be made. If the cost of adjustment exceeds the product’s profitability, a decision about the product’s viability must be made. If the variance is well within reason, make the necessary adjustments and proceed.
GROWING YOUR BUSINESS AT PITCH MASTER ACADEMY
The best businesses know they are more than simply an organization that offers a product or service; they are a part of people’s lives.
Their imagery evokes emotion and a response. Developing your brand identity is crucial to growth and enduring success.
The brand audit will also determine logo, color, font, language, tone, promotion, and a host of other things associated with taking the product or service to market.
Developing a brand identity is not a whimsical pursuit – it is very intentional.
Follow the data gathered and make sure your business leverages all its resources to build a strong brand.
Also, ensure your business’s brand identity is a happy marriage with the product’s brand identity. Alignment is critical to overall success.
Pitch Master’s Academy seeks to help entrepreneurs dodge the defeats so many do when bringing a product or service to market.
If you aim to foster investor support for your business, brand identity should be at the forefront of your mind. Contact Pitch Master Academy today and let us help you bring your vision into reality.