Four Things Every Marketer Should Know About Building Brand Identity

Four Things Every Marketer Should Know About Building Brand Identity
SHARE
THIS



Brand identity gets thrown around a lot in the industry, but how do you know if you’re doing the right thing? Peter Harris (pictured below), CEO of franchise marketing platform Digital Stack, breaks it down for you, dear reader.

Peter Harris

Brand identity is not a new concept – it’s a fundamental part of any marketing strategy and has been for decades – but enforcing brand guidelines across new business models and evolving channels throws up new challenges.

Brand identity is the reason you haven’t changed phone brands in five years, why you won’t think twice about getting into a stranger’s car instead of a taxi, or how CRM sales software became sexy.

We all know its purpose and importance – what a good branding strategy can do for your bottom line – yet so many companies are getting it wrong.

Chris Murphy, creative director at branding agency Motherbird, puts it well: “A truly successful and powerful brand must do much more than look pretty – it must define your entire business, touching every aspect of it and all those who interact with it.

“It must be succinct, inspirational, memorable, measurable, and consistent.”

Here are four elements that are key to building an effective brand identity:

  1. Know your customer

Too often, brands don’t actually know who their target market is, beyond a few unfounded assumptions. The most important asset to a business is its customer. If you don’t know who they are, you can’t expect to build a strong brand identity that resonates with them. This is where market research is key. Speak to your customers, learn about who they are and what values they hold. Generate data sets about your customers, understand the trends and build them into your brand identity.

  1. Don’t over complicate it

Don’t waste your time on complicated, text-heavy brand guidelines and regulations. Instead, define the audience of your guidelines before you put pen to paper, keep the document focused and only include practical, relevant content.

Your brand guideline should be an easy-to-navigate resource that covers brand vision and mission, logos, colour palette and fonts, tone of voice for different purposes, approved templates, and basic procedures. It should be malleable and evolve with your company. Most importantly, it should empower the reader, whether it’s your marketing team, agency, staff or customer service team.

According to Murphy, marketers should “always consider who the guidelines are being created for, their technical capabilities, experience and their purpose. Effective guidelines should work in parallel with branded templates and should facilitate efficient, consistent and impactful application of your brand”.

  1. Be firm on the ‘non-negotiables’

While brand identity can be fluid and grow with the company, it’s important that it contains some ‘non-negotiables’. Consistency across messaging, tone and all external-facing content is key, particularly if multiple parties are responsible for brand management. Ensure you have a framework that can be easily replicated at scale. Something as simple as uniformity across fonts or logos can greatly impact the perception of the company. For example, Subway’s iconic yellow and green arrows are instantly recognisable despite thousands of global franchises.

Credibility and identity go hand in hand, so it’s important marketing teams act as custodians of the brand. Being too lenient will skew your image, but too many rules and regulations will throttle creativity.

All the non-negotiables – the logos, colour palettes, fonts and tone of voice – should be locked down, with some flex allowed for local content and offers.

Turn staff into brand evangelists by giving them the tools (such as templates, image libraries and buzzwords) to create approved content that aligns with the company image, but enough leeway to engage with customers genuinely.

  1. Give real-world examples

Where possible, don’t leave things open to interpretation. You can’t afford to have your brand misrepresented across different locations or franchises. Using staff as brand ambassadors is great for engagement, but keep in mind they aren’t marketing specialists and can use brand guideline gaps as excuses for going rogue.

The best brand identity guidelines give ‘show, not tell’ examples of brand-compliant executions, especially for channels like social media or customer service.

With the right research, frameworks and tools, branding can transform the way your company is perceived by customers and, most importantly, drive business growth.

Please login with linkedin to comment

brand identity Digital Stack Peter Harris

Latest News

Today Is National Sorry Day
  • Media

Today Is National Sorry Day

B&T would like to take time out from the usual programming to acknowledge National Sorry Day today.

‘The Sims 4’ Now Lets You Use Your Own Pronouns For Your Characters
  • Technology

‘The Sims 4’ Now Lets You Use Your Own Pronouns For Your Characters

The latest entry in EA and Maxis’ life simulation series, The Sims 4, has released a new update which allows players to customise their character’s pronouns. This new feature is available only in the English version of the game for the time being, with the developers saying that they will soon release it for other […]

Alexa Looks To Expand Her Knowledge Of Australia By Teaming Up With The Betoota Advocate
  • Campaigns
  • Technology

Alexa Looks To Expand Her Knowledge Of Australia By Teaming Up With The Betoota Advocate

Alexa continues to learn and lap up Australian culture, with Amazon today announcing the addition of new ‘Strayan slang to her vocabulary. From well-worn phrases like “Dog’s Eye” to emerging social-media slang like “Bachelor’s Handbag”, Alexa’s latest lessons are part of her ongoing Aussie education and make it even easier for her to understand her […]

Bastion Asia Solidifies Its Strategic Partnership With Adventi, Shanghai
  • Marketing

Bastion Asia Solidifies Its Strategic Partnership With Adventi, Shanghai

Asian marketing communications agency Bastion Asia has announced a strategic partnership with one of Shanghai’s leading PR agencies, Adventi, to drive greater digital and marketing innovation for Australian brands seeking to engage with Chinese audiences. Adventi, a marketing and communications agency specialising in luxury brands, is known for bringing some of Europe’s biggest luxury brands […]

Engine Creative Brings Innovation To The Lost Person Poster Using Modern Day Technology
  • Campaigns
  • Technology

Engine Creative Brings Innovation To The Lost Person Poster Using Modern Day Technology

Engine Creative has reinvented the missing person poster – re-thinking the standard design and introducing a high-impact live portrait – for UK charity Missing People to coincide with International Missing Children’s Day. The striking, high-tech digital posters show a ‘live’ image of the missing person appearing to move their eyes, smile and make facial expressions. […]

LinkedIn Puts The Spotlight On Indigenous Australians In The Workplace With New Campaign By Campfire X For Reconciliation Week
  • Campaigns

LinkedIn Puts The Spotlight On Indigenous Australians In The Workplace With New Campaign By Campfire X For Reconciliation Week

LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, has today launched the latest iteration of its #ConversationsForChange initiative with a new content series in partnership with Indigenous-led creative consultancy, Campfire X. The three-part series, titled ‘Change Starts With’, aims to highlight the often subtle, everyday moments that can impact Indigenous Australians in the workplace. The campaign encourages […]

Metarise Create Innovation With Australia’s First-Ever Web3 Incubator
  • Technology

Metarise Create Innovation With Australia’s First-Ever Web3 Incubator

Collective Campus, Australian innovation consultancy and start-up accelerator, is spinning off Metarise – a web3 venture fund and tokenized start-up accelerator focused on bringing web3 projects to life across Asia-Pacific. Having run numerous web2 accelerators in partnership with brands such as Microsoft, Village Roadshow, Charter Hall, and Mills Oakley, Metarise’s ANZ Launchpad will be run […]

TikTok Unveils A Whole New Field Of Marketing Opportunities Through #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt
  • Campaigns
  • Technology

TikTok Unveils A Whole New Field Of Marketing Opportunities Through #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt

The popular video sharing platform TikTok is showing agencies its unique potential as a place to share their products with its latest #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt campaign, which is becoming increasingly appealing with audiences and users. During the pandemic, TikTok became one of the breakout social media outlets, rapidly rising in account numbers as people all across the […]