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Why Establishing Your Brand’s Identity is Critical for Success

Stephanie Johnson

Vice President of Global Accounts, North America

Your brand’s personality is who you are, why you do what you do and what you stand for. And you should be able to articulate all that in a couple of sentences (a small paragraph at a push). 81% of consumers say they want to form a relationship with brands. When a brand identity is distinctive and memorable it makes a lasting impression on customers and increases the likelihood of repeat purchases and referrals. Establishing and engaging through your brand identity also provides a framework for all marketing and communication efforts, specifically your company’s values and unique value proposition.    

What is brand identity? 

Brand identity is the collection of visual and sensory elements that a company or organization uses to represent itself to its audience. It includes everything from the company’s logo and color scheme to its advertising messaging and tone of voice. All of these elements work together to create a distinct look and feel to create a consistent image that customers can easily recognize and remember.  

7 Elements of a strong brand identity 

The elements of a strong brand identity may vary depending on the company and industry, but typically include these seven: 

  1. Brand name: This should be memorable, easy to pronounce and relevant to the company’s values, products or services. 
  1. Logo:  Simple, unique and easily recognizable. It should also be scalable and versatile enough to work across different mediums and platforms.  
  1. Color palette: This helps establish brand recognition and create a cohesive visual identity. It is important to choose colors that are appropriate for the industry. 
  1. Typography: The right typography can convey the company’s personality. It should be easy to read and consistent across all marketing materials. 
  1. Brand messaging: Should be consistent across all marketing channels and communicate the company’s unique value proposition and key points/takeaways that it wants its customers to remember.  
  1. Imagery and photography: The use of consistent imagery and photography can help to establish a visual identity that is unique to the company and reflective of its values and personality. 
  1. Website and digital presence: A strong digital presence is essential for modern companies. A well-designed website and active social media presence can help to reinforce the company’s brand identity and engage customers. 

Overall, a strong brand identity should be consistent, cohesive and reflective of what the company stands for. Every design and editorial decision should be made with big-picture thinking, through the prism of strategy that focuses on the entirety of a concept or idea. 76% of customers expect consistent interactions across departments – yet 54% say it generally feels like sales, service, and marketing teams don’t share information consistently, which is the foundation upon which strong relationships are made. And it’s no different in business. If your messaging, values, or design elements vary across different channels, it can create a sense of instability or unprofessionalism that may undermine customers’ trust in your brand.  

Foundation of brand strategy 

Brand strategy refers to the long-term plan for building and managing a brand. A strong brand strategy should inform and guide the development of your brand identity. The brand identity should be designed to support and reinforce the key messaging points and values of the brand strategy. 

In other words, the brand identity should be a visual representation of the brand strategy. The brand identity should communicate the same values, messaging and personality that are outlined in the brand strategy making it recognizable and memorable to customers.  

Aligning the two should be an ongoing process that requires continuous evaluation and adaptation to stay relevant and competitive in a rapidly changing market. However, the foundations of the strategy should, for the most part, remain relatively stable, providing a clear route for growth and evolution and help re-center your brand if it veers off course.  

Build (while reestablishing) trust  

Once you’ve captured the attention of your target audience, you need to nurture and build credibility with new leads, while continuing to meet the needs of current and past customers. If your brand has a strong and clear identity, leads are likely to be more receptive to marketing messages that align with consumer pain points. 47% of British consumers, 46% of U.S. consumers, 44% of French consumers, and 30% of German consumers indicated that they pay more for a brand name they trust.  

Standout from competitors 

Let’s be real, you aren’t the only brand in the mix vying for customers’ attention. A strong and well-executed brand identity can help your brand differentiate itself from competitors by creating a unique and distinctive visual image, message, emotional connection, and customer experience. Research has shown that using a signature color can cause an 80% increase in a consumer’s recognition of your brand. Leads are going to keep circling back to the brand that is uniquely kindred to themselves – sometimes it’s a subconscious decision, but because the brand keeps delivering on its promise with consistency and authenticity, it’s certainly not an accident. 

A brand that exudes confidence is comfortable with its identity and knows its purpose and today’s consumers possess a higher level of knowledge and discernment than ever before. They have a keen ability to identify when a brand is attempting to present itself in a false light. We’ve seen this recently with the sustainability movement and brands being quickly called out for ‘greenwashing’. 

Therefore, it’s essential to maintain your brand’s true personality and values in every piece of communication, even if it means taking risks or unconventional approaches.  

To establish trust and recognition with your audience, your brand’s messaging must be genuine and consistent. Your brand’s personality should shine through in every facet of your marketing strategy, including your website, social media platforms, customer service and packaging. Need help understanding your identity and putting it to work? Hotwire is here to help unleash the potential of your story.