What is brand identity?
Think about the brands you like or those which are well-known. Identity is something that makes all of those brands different from one another, even though they all sell apparel, and probably have items that are more or less identical (t-shirts, tops, jeans, ect.).
Let’s say you are about to go and purchase yourself some new workout clothes.
There are brands such as Nike, Adidas and Puma, as well as shops that sell workout clothes like H&M or Primark… Design used in workout clothes is pretty much the same: black tights and a t-shirt (with motivational quote). Great. But which ones to pick?
All of these brands represent something different about themselves and their customers.
This includes company values and attributes, emotions, personality and passions, as well as purpose of existence.
When someone asks which brand is most ethical, which brand pops into your mind first?
Or which brand represents denim jeans?
How about most empowering brand?
(If you don’t have an answer to these questions, don’t panic, maybe you’re not the target group or haven’t paid that much attention, but as another example, if we cover Benetton logo from their ad, would you still recognise which brand the ad represents?)
Brand identity is the message the consumer receives from the product and the label, and uses that message to express their own individuality.
Why you need brand identity?
The brands consumer choose are connected to their personal lifestyle, and choosing brands that reflect their likes and passions is important. No matter is it being up-to-date or a hippie, we choose the brands we know speak to us and ones that agree with us. It more or less becomes the extension of ourselves.
Applying identity to your brand helps the consumer to understand what are you about and what you stand for as a brand. It also helps you to differentiate yourself from labels that offer similar products.
How to apply it?
Look at your competitors and try to see what are they missing, or think about your own strengths. Why are you offering your products? What makes you different? Or how can you make yourself different?
Being small (local) and independent designer and hoping that your designs will speak for themselves is not enough for modern day consumer. Applied identity will help you to decide the atmosphere, colours, strengths, mission and vision of your brand, that can be recognised not only from your clothing line, but also from the visual material that your brand will present to any viewer, and attract those to whom it is most relevant.
When you apply the identity, can your brand be recognised through:
- Store (Shop windows, lights, furniture, staff clothing ect.)
- Website (Does your website stand out from the crowd?)
- Customer service (Are you’re aiming to be known for the best customer service?)
- Label (Materials, colours, size, shape….)
- Packaging (Bag, box, papers, bubblewrap?)
- Images/Ads (Editorial photos, product pictures, ad placements…)
- Text (e.g. Facebook or Blog language and content)
- Colour scheme (Particular colour or a pattern?)
- Mission, vision and promise? (Ethical, sustainable, luxurious, high quality, best fit?)
In my next post I explain how to create a brand identity (step-by-step) for an imaginary brand as an example. But for now, here is Kapferers brand identity prism example:
Read more about this on: Compare the surfbrand