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What Is Brand Identity?

Aug 17, 2007
Brand Identity is a promise. One given from business to customer to expect certain things. Whether that promise involves product quality, service, price or a million other things varies from brand to brand. But the one thing common among all brands is the need to be a strong brand.

Why is brand identity so critical?

A strong brand identity can position a company above its competition all by itself. But having a brand that's strong takes time, money and effort to develop. It's not as simple as just redesigning a logo or rewriting a tagline. Brand identity is the reason you offer for your customer to choose you instead of your competition.

How to rework your brand identity

Successful re-branding involves "evolution," not "revolution." You must impress upon your existing customers that your new brand is just a new and improved version of the same you. It's important to not get too crazy with a re-branding effort because you could end up destroying fragile emotional ties and customer loyalty.

Brand identity is much more than marketing

Having a brand identity that resonates with your market is important, but not at the expense of the people within your company. They need to not only get it, but also be your brand's most fervent ambassadors. Do your employees believe in your company? Do they feel like they have a vested stake in its success? Companies with solid brand identities can say yes to these questions. Can yours? If not, here's some things you can do:

1. Get every aspect of your company on the same page: Easier said than done, right? Well, that doesn't mean it's not necessary. Get all your departments talking to each other and understanding each other.
2. Promote everyone to the position of brand ambassador: Give everyone a common understanding of the company, its mission and their part in it. They should feel like they have ownership-even if they don't.
3. Reinforce brand values and behaviors: To do this, use the tools you have, such as internal communications...and like a good basketball coach, consistently promote these fundamentals until they're second nature.

Your employees will ultimately determine your success or failure. That's why it's so important to have them buy into your company's brand identity. However, that's not something that can be forced. You, as leadership, must earn it. But once you do, you'll have a company that is full of happy, motivated successful brand ambassadors.
About the Author
Scott White is President of Brand Identity Guru a leading Corporate Branding and Branding Research firm in Boston, MA.
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