Determining your company’s brand is one of the most difficult parts of developing your business; it’s also one of the most necessary. Not having a brand is like not having a name – you become a “hey you” in a world in which you need to be known if you want to survive. Lesson 1: If you want to survive, don’t underestimate the importance of having (and knowing!) your brand.
So, what is a brand anyway? A company’s brand is something that gets all up in your feelings. It’s that psychological connection between the company and the customer. A brand is represented by the company’s core values, mission, visions, and business voice. Your brand is the way your company makes people feel. A brand is a vibe, a personality, a style, and a promise to your customers of what they’ll experience. Lesson 2: Figure out how you want your business to make people feel.
Determining your brand is one thing; you’ll need a brand strategy to determine the how, what, when, where, and to whom you’ll want to communicate it with.
A brand identity becomes part of the game at this point.
(Note: Some toss around “brand” and “brand identity” as if they’re the same, but they’re not. Let’s say your personality is hip, social, and insanely outgoing. You might wear clothes that are modern, stylish, brighter colors, and have a little pop to them. One is your brand; the other is your brand identity. Make sense?)
The brand identity uses visuals – including colors, fonts, logos, photography, graphics, etc. – to help us see what the brand wants us to feel. You absolutely need to have coherence between your brand and your brand identity. A company that wants to emote an upscale brand would never use Comic Sans as its font. Lesson 3: When you think brand identity, think TANGIBLE.
What other brands and brand identities would be terribly paired together? What are some companies that do a great job pairing their brand with their brand identity?