A brand identity is like a personality of the company. It describes the company's ideals and targets in a flash with just one or two words. Brand identity has been defined as, 'A name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. The legal term for brand is trademark. A brand may identify one item, a family of items, or all items of that seller. If used for the firm as a whole, the preferred term is trade name'.
A brand identity is usually a unique and visually appealing combination of a brand name, a related tag line, an emblem or a symbol with specific designs, colors and fonts to suit the company's identity and preferences of the company's prospective customer base. Here is how a company's brand identity is established.
Creating a Brand Identity
Once the process of establishing the company begins, the promoters of the company need to answer some basic management questions viz. What are the company's goals, What are the strategies of the company to reach the goal, What is the nature of prospective market that might help the company achieve its goal. These questions might seem irrelevant to a layman. But to a company's promoter or manager, these very questions help to strategise the brand identity of the company. Steps followed to create a brand identity for the company are as below:
Select Brand Name
It is essential to go through the company's product line or services in order to come up with a fitting brand name. Ideally, the brand name should easily help the customers identify a product of the company. It is suggested that the brand name should be short and easy to read and write. The font selected for the brand name should not be flowery and illegible. The basic idea is to help the customers relate to the particular product just by reading the brand name.
A logo is a pictorial design used as an emblem or a symbol to complement the company's brand name. Marketing experts state that logos have a better recall value compared to any other components of branding. The customer's minds tend to retain the designs of the logo and can identify the product just by viewing the logo design. A logo should be visually appealing and in colors suitable for the product.
Managers generally opt for colors that are in sync with the current market trend, nature of the product or the age and preferences of target customers. e.g. Logos of eco-friendly brands are mostly in green color. Logos for brands meant for youth are generally in bright catchy colors. Some unforgettable logos that speak a lot for themselves are the Nike swoosh or letter 'f' in small caps for Facebook.
Drafting Tag line
A tag line does a major job of informing the customers about the company's goal or the nature of experience (perception) on using the product or service offered by the company. e.g. Philips used the tag line 'Let's make things better' and now uses ' sense and simplicity'. Both the tag lines are catchy and easy to remember. They share the company's goals for creating products with better technology. It also tells the customers to rely on Philips for simple and sensible products. McDonald's on the other hand uses 'I'm lovin' it' which ideally tempts the customer to try out the feel good experience of dining at McDonald's.
Creating Brand Identity for Umbrella Products
At times, a company may not always have just a single product in the market. When a company has a product line with multiple and varied products, it is essential to select a brand identity which can signify any or all the products at the same time. e.g. Johnson & Johnson is a leading company manufacturing baby care and health care products. However, all the company's products get identified under the brand identity called Johnson's.
Facts about Brand Identity
- It is first of all essential to select a brand identity that will continue to remain popular for years to come. Creating a new brand name once in a while is very costly and therefore, out of question.
- A brand identity is treated as a company's intangible asset. Its value increases as the company's goodwill rises.
- The brand identity of a company needs to be registered on incorporation of the company. Also, one needs to create copyrights to avoid illegal use of a company's brand identity.
- No two brand identities in this world can ever be same or similar. Brand names are meant to be unique. There are competitors trying to vie a company's customers by creating brand names that sound similar. However, this is treated as illegal and can attract some heavy monetary penalties.
- Some brand names have become so popular in their own right, that they have come to be associated with the name of the product. Here are some examples to help you understand this point better.
- Band-aid is an adhesive bandage strip manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. The product is so popular that people now refer to adhesive bandage strips of any competing brands by name Band-aid.
- Xerox Corporation is a leading manufacturer of photo copiers and printers. Their photocopiers became so popular that today, photo copiers manufactured by their competing brands are referred to as xerox machines. There is also a tendency to refer to photo copied documents as xeroxed documents. The word Xerox is now treated as a verb.
Brand identities often make the customers perceive that your company is selling the best quality products. It therefore puts an unshakable responsibility on the company and its management to live up to the customer's expectations.