What is brand identity?
In the current age of market saturation, there are thousands of companies which offer similar products and yet each can develop and maintain its own highly loyal customer base. How is this possible, when the services offered are broadly the same?
Brand identity. The brand identity of an organisation is made up of both the tangible and the intangible. It is what differentiates any one company from all its competitors – it’s the colour, the feeling, the experience that comes to mind when someone experiences any connection or communication emanating from the organisation. It might be a logo on a pack or a telephone conversation with a rep. This is an extremely diverse definition of an admittedly broad subject – this article aims to pin down what makes for a strong brand identity.
The different parts
A brand’s identity is made up of multiple different elements that we at Ice House Design call a brand tapestry. Each element of which must be carefully considered, thought through, designed and monitored across the brand in order to maintain brand consistency. These parts consist of the following:
● Design. A brand’s design consists of the both visual and intellectual image your company shows to the outside world – for example the logos, website design, employee uniforms, graphics, among others are the visual impressions but we are even more interested in what emotional resonances contact with them leaves behind. The impression of the design is in many cases what drive a company’s success. A hackneyed example, but an apposite one nonetheless, is Apple. Their brand and products are well designed with every part of the brand tapestry thought through and implanted beautifully. In part as a result of this attention to design, they now control 23.4% of the smartphone market, representing a massive chunk of a multibillion-dollar industry.
● Ideology. All of the visual aspects of the brand should have a single goal – to try to convey the ideology behind the company they represent. As a result of this, ideology must come first, you need to know what you’re selling, why, and how you want to sell it. Designing the brands’ identity without this in mind will make it appear fake and hollow, qualities which won’t attract clients even if they don’t know what it is that’s putting them off.
● Style. A style guide is a useful document to help describe to unfamiliar users of the identity how the individual aspects of your brand design coalesce into a coherent package. It shows users for example, how to use fonts, where to place logos on a page and what colours should be dominant in photo shoots. A cohesive approach to the company’s overall style and approach to the application of the visual identity is what creates brand consistency – without it, a brand’s identity can become confusing and split between different ideas.
A strong brand identity hugely helps to develop a loyal customer base. As well as a good product or service, there needs to be something other that clients can grasp, something they want to be associated with. A solid and strong brand identity is how companies can achieve this; it doesn’t need to be complicated, in fact quite the opposite, simple is often the way forward. It’s an art, but creating a powerful brand identity can be the key to success in any industry, and must be considered a priority. For questions relating to your brand design and visual identity or simply to talk to the experts on all things design, get in touch with our team for an exploratory conversation.
To se more of our brand identity work, please click here.