What is Brand Identity?
Brand identity refers to the distinctive set of features that display who your business really is to your customers. It is part of what makes up your business’s personality, and it extends well beyond just your name logo, and visual components. It encompasses what your brand says, its values, how products and services are communicated, and how customers feel when they interact with your company.
Your brand identity embodies every aspect of your company and helps shape the impression your business leaves on customers long after their interaction with your company is complete. It is the first step to take before moving on to marketing your business because it will set you on the path to marketing success.
How to Establish Brand Identity
1. Know your audience. One of the most important aspects of developing your brand identity is to fully understand your target audience and who your ideal customer is. This will help you make decisions regarding your brand identity to accurately target and connect with the right audience. All other aspects of your brand identity should appeal to this audience. Take a look at your buyer personas and identify the key targets of your business. This is who you will be aiming to appeal to through your brand identity.
2. Consider your name & logo. Your name and logo are the “face” of your business, and are typically included in all other aspects of your company’s branding efforts. Use your established name and logo as a starting point in establishing brand identity. It will be the most used and most important reflection of your brand so its colors, style, and overall feel should carry through all of your client-facing assets.
3. Develop your brand’s ideology/mission/values. Your brand’s ideology/mission/values are what make your business unique and distinctive from other brands. It tells your customers what you stand for, which helps you stand out against your competitors. Many brands have an established mission and use it internally but fail to incorporate it into their marketing. Using your mission statement and sharing your values in your marketing efforts is essential to differentiate from your competitors.
4. Establish a clear and consistent voice. Your brand’s voice is where you can really begin to inject personality. Is your brand fun, outgoing, casual, and spontaneous? Is it inclusive for everyone, or does it appeal to a niche audience and is therefore exclusionary? Is it serious, calculated, and factual? Deciding how your voice will appear is important to help customers understand your brand’s personality and can help appeal to the right audience.
5. Aim for visual consistency. Utilizing a specific color palette, a certain set of font families, and visual guidelines across all types of marketing and branding materials will help your visual brand identity remain consistent and identifiable for your followers. Brands that stick to certain visual elements, like Coca-Cola’s red color and script font, are quick to pick out amongst other brands and are easy to remember. Keep it consistent across social media platforms, marketing collateral, print materials, your website, and any other marketing outlets you may use. There should be some room for flexibility, but be sure to have key elements to stick to for the most part.
Why is Brand Identity for Tech Companies Important?
It can be difficult for customers to relate to companies in the tech space, so creating a strong brand identity that exemplifies your business’s personality can aid your audience in understanding who you are and how they should interact with you.
A strong brand identity helps establish authority and trust while improving the chances of being recognized and remembered. A 2015 global Nielsen survey revealed that almost 60% of shoppers said they actively buy from brands they know, and 21% said they bought a product because they liked the brand (source: HubSpot).
Businesses without a strong brand identity can miss out on these loyal returning customers because they offer no chance for customers to remember who they are and remain top-of-mind. Remaining recognizable and trusted can help you break into new markets and even become a thought-leader in the tech industry while boosting brand awareness.
How to Examine and Improve Your Brand Identity
1. Review all of your brand assets, such as your website, social media accounts, employee profiles, print materials, videos, etc. and identify opportunities for cohesion in your brand’s visual elements, content, and personality.
2. Ensure that what you are sharing accurately reflects your company, values, and mission.
3. Can people easily identify your brand with just a glance? If not, make some adjustments to whatever you need to make the brand instantly recognizable for your audience.
4. If your website content or marketing collateral is feeling lackluster, rewrite it to infuse some of the personality you’d like your brand to embody as a way to show viewers who you are and to cue them in on how they should interact with and feel about your brand.
Brand identity is specifically important for tech companies because it offers a way to connect with your target audience. Most of the time, the products or services that tech companies have to offer can feel distant and difficult to connect with.
Establishing a strong brand identity and providing your ideal customers with something relatable will keep your brand at the forefront of their minds, make it memorable and recognizable, and improve trust between the company and customers. Make sure your brand identity accurately reflects who your company is and what it has to offer.
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