Photo by Daniel Jensen
What is it? No really, how do you define a so-called brand?
Let’s try an exercise in brand recognition.
Quickly think of three brands without hesitation:
Does that guy in the booth across the room who is eating a super-sized meal know about fast food brands?
Odds are, he probably knows all three of the major brands. He might also be a customer or brand ambassador.
Thinking about the last questions, you most likely thought of a specific fast food restaurant that’s known for super-sizing their french fries and drinks in past marketing campaigns, right?
That is brand identity in its truest form.
The Importance of Brand Identity
Successful brand identities are founded on the personal preferences and interests of customers.
What is the key to defining brand identity?
It is the customer’s user experience tied to the brand including its history. The data behind customer experience will pave the way in order to determine how customers think about brands. UX happens to be a major marketing key performance indicator.
Think about this for a minute. What does the phrase “Just Do It” mean to you?
It would not be a surprise if these things below were included in your thought process:
Health and Fitness
Professional Athletes and TV Commercials
Personal Development and Goals
Branded Clothing and Footwear
Back To The Future Shoes
Creating The Framework For Brand Identity
On the surface, creating the framework for a brand’s identity seems like a simple process. Well, it is not so easy for the newly proclaimed brand strategist. In fact, it can be a challenge even for a seasoned marketing professional at times. We are about to take a deeper look at what is involved when it comes to creating a successful and sustainable brand identity.
Kapferer’s Brand Identity Prism
A French professor of marketing strategy, Jean-Noel Kapferer, introduced the world to his brand identity prism in 1996 when he released his book, “Strategic Brand Management”.
Let’s dig into his teachings a bit. There are six distinct sections represented in the prism:
Physique - Certain emotions, images, and ideas are created by a brand’s physical attributes and main objectives. Analyze your service or product to determine how your brand is perceived. Use this data to find and close gaps between your brand and its customers.
Personality - Character or personality, refers to a brand’s presentation of itself. Whether or not you have a humorous side (and show it). Or, even a reserved approach when it comes to engaging your community, everyone will take notice.
Culture - The way your team members interact with each other, those they do business with, and community member engagements, set the stage for how your culture is defined and perceived. To create a positive culture, capable of being enjoyed by everyone, consider your brand’s core values and mission statement. This will ensure alignment with your “why” of starting a brand in the first place.
Relationship - If you provide a service, the relationship between your brand and customer is indicative of your future growth. If you provide a product, the same applies to your relationship with community members. Let’s state that again - Your relationship is indicative of your future growth. It’s that important, yet so many brands miss this vital step towards achieving a successful brand identity.
Self-image - Picture yourself standing in front of a mirror. This is your self-image staring back at you. Do you like what you see? If not, you have the invaluable insights required to pivot. Analyze your pain points, brainstorm ideas, and execute a strategy to create a more appealing self-image.
Understanding, identifying, analyzing, and executing on the creation of the framework to define your brand identity is important to your brand’s growth. If you decide to evaluate the positive and the negative aspects of the current state of your brand, remember the data is there to enable your team to move forward together. Stick to the processes and strategies that will push you beyond your current goals to create a strong brand identity.