In this digital age that we are living, it is absolutely essential for your business to have an online presence. A strong and recognizable brand can help propel the success of a business, which is why creating an effective brand identity is so important. But what does a brand identity entail, and why is it so important?
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Just like your personal identity which makes you uniquely you, the brand identity of your business is the secret sauce that sets you apart from every other competitor.
A brand identity is made up of what your brand speaks of, what your values are, how you communicate about your product(s), and what you want people to feel when they interact with it.
To put it bluntly, a brand identity is the personality of your business and the promise you are making to your customers.
For business branding, it is not limited to just your company’s logo, website design, business cards, brochures, etc.
A consistent online appearance of your brand helps create brand awareness amongst your customer base, shareholders and even to other stakeholders like your employees.
Your business marketing scope and strategies are also contributing factors for building a strong online identity, as it allows your consumers to instantly recognise your brand.
In today’s world, having marketing collaterals that create visually and emotionally memorable impressions is essential in giving your brand an edge amongst your competitors.
Besides that, it also encourages your consumers to associate positive brand experiences with your overall brand tone and any other visual identifications.
All these factors will congregate in your audience’s minds to create a memorable brand experience.
Competition is fierce as customers are expecting more and more from brands. Humans are spoilt for choices; if they don’t find what they’re looking for from you, they will find it elsewhere, most likely from one of your competitors.
Customers want to engage with brands through multiple digital channels, and the experience has to be seamless and highly personalized.
This type of connection makes it easier to develop a long-term relationship with any customers, leading to greater customer loyalty.
You may have very complex and advanced communication channels, but if they are not user-friendly and not personalized according to your customers’ needs, they are redundant.
Once a strong online identity has been established, consumers searching for what you are offering are more likely to find you.
In order to scale up the business by driving the ideal target market towards your brand, you have to possess a strong online identity, while keeping track of your Search Engine Optimization.
Although a great deal have been spoken about factors like Social Media, how they can increase your influence, and the types of mistakes you should avoid while on them, we still want to stress on how crucial Social Media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and so on, can help to strengthen and facilitate your online identity.
Social media is a place where many people voice their opinions. Very often, it is possible to see what people have to say about brands by looking through the comments on their social network pages.
If your business has been receiving positive reviews, it should be shown and communicated to the public.
Customers use social media as one of the points of contact for customer service. The way your business is perceived can be based on how many positive or negative reviews there are.
Therefore, making continuous effort for tasks like answering queries with polite responses in a timely manner, producing relevant and engaging content geared towards your audience, and interacting with consumers directly, can go a long way towards helping you to establish a positive brand reputation.
Your online business identity definitely plays a major role for your revenue! Once you have established a positive online (and offline) reputation, your sales should continue to grow.
Building up the recognition for your brand also lays down the foundation to grow your business. Once your brand has made a name for itself, and continue to maintain the high standards set, you can comfortably expand your empire while watching your sales grow continuously.
You are different from any other businesses… because you are you! Your online business identity assures this. A consistent brand identity not only communicates your company’s purpose and values to the customers, but it also shapes your product development cycle and corporate culture.
A well-designed identity developed during the early stages will save you lots of money in the long run.
When your identity is strong and well-established, there is less need to constantly reinvent graphics and branding materials. The costs you may incur for now are the cost for logo, website, and basic brand positioning.
Isla Murray, Creative Director and Cofounder at Lama Six, also recommends investing your money in designing a beautiful deck: “It will set you apart and allow your message to shine through.”
There are a few things that you need to consider before going about creating your brand. First and most important: KNOW who you are.
Before you know what tangible elements you want your brand identity to be made up of, you need to know who you are as a brand.
Who you are as a brand is made up of a few key elements:
•Your mission What’s your “why”?
•Your values What beliefs drive your company?
•Your brand’s personality. If your brand was a person, what kind of personality would they have?
•Your unique positioning How do you differentiate yourself from the competitors?
•Your brand’s voice
If your brand was a person, how would it communicate?
These elements are what define your brand, and before you start building your brand identity, it is important that you have a clear understanding of each element.
Once you are clear on who you are as a brand, it is time to build the identity that will bring your brand to life, and show your true self to the people who matters the most: your customers.
Branding adds a personal touch to the business, and it is something that customers can relate to.
A good brand should be able to make the client feel good about the choice that they are going to make, and assure them of a quality product that is well worth their money.
When you build a strong digital identity, you pave the way for improved customer experiences and engagement through every channel. It may take time, huge efforts and plenty of persistence, but the payoff will be absolutely worth it.