In the world of marketing, buzzwords are like mosquitos on a camping trip - constantly flying around, causing frustration, and ultimately making you confused as to their purpose for existing in this universe.
Here’s the thing about mosquitos, though: They’re part of nature. They actually do serve a purpose in their ecosystem, and while their numbers seem to have gotten out of hand, they’re ultimately an important part of the big picture.
The word “brand identity” is a buzzword on the same level as those pesky insects - constantly flitting about, seen far too often (without being truly understood), and an absolutely imperative part of your business’ ecosystem.
Alright, what, exactly, does brand identity mean?
Well, again, that’s the thing about buzzwords - it’s hard to nail down one exact meaning. Here’s how we see it:
A brand identity is the culmination of your business model, branding elements, and consistent company messaging as a familiar relationship with your customers. It is how you communicate to the marketplace what makes you different, and across all mediums.
This doesn’t just mean your brand is your logo - no, while it’s definitely an important marketing element, a logo is only one visual piece of your brand. Other elements include your messaging, shared content, and even things as tactile as the texture of a signature fabric used in a popular brand of bean bags. All of these marketing items contribute to a company’s relationship to your customers.
Who needs a real-world example? You? Cool.
A while back, I (a very responsible, helpful son, of course) had to drive my mom to an appointment. The destination was one I had never been to before, and I was unfamiliar with the area. The brochure, with its logo prominently displayed, and a physical address were about all I had to go off of. As we approached the part of town we needed to reach, my eyes were immediately drawn to that same logo, displayed just as prominently on the building. Rather than driving around, actively searching and wasting time, I was able to head straight there, get parked, and get my mom to her appointment with time to spare.
It’s more than just the logo, though, right? This company had its visual branding on point - between the brand’s colors and font, there was no question whether or not I was headed to the right place. Once we were inside, the brand continuity persisted. It was easy to see we were dealing with a company that had the means and know-how to treat their brand with integrity and consistency.
What’s all this “messaging” jazz?
When I talk about “consistency in messaging,” I’m referring to the message you’re sending to your target audience through the information you share. Whether it’s a video of baby sloths or an aggressively-worded printed manifesto about the proper direction of toilet paper, you are sending a message to your audience about your company’s values, personality, and overall identity.
The importance of messaging consistency is ultimately tied to brand trust. Taking the time to ensure that all of your messaging - social media posts, business cards, pamphlets, tweets, etc. - conveys the same values will help you establish yourself as a consistent, trustworthy brand.
Let’s think about dog food.
Man’s best friend. Furbaby. Fuzzy Wuzzy Barkiekinz. It’s no secret that people love their dogs, often almost as much as their own human children. It should then come as no surprise that dog lovers mean business when it comes to the food they feed their canine BFFs.
In this search for dog food, who would you trust?
Would you trust the company that shares a random Funniest Home Videos clip on Facebook because the owner “just thought he should share?” Or the company that shares a study on vegetable protein in dog food in order to promote their patented formula?
When it comes to trusting someone with a beloved pet, the majority of dog owners will choose the company that consistently presents a careful approach to their products and customers, rather than one that haphazardly sends out confusing messaging.
Establish a brand identity, then build from there.
Establishing a brand identity isn’t just a hip step the kids are doing these days; it’s an essential foundation on which to build your entire business.
In fact, once you establish your company’s most important values, its visual presence, overall messaging, and marketing needs, you’ll have built yourself a structure to follow and build upon for many of your business decisions later on.
A company without an established brand identity looks like a hot mess. No one trusts a hot mess.
Give your customers a reason to trust you from the moment they hear about your company by making an established brand identity your top priority.
Mirata Marketing is a full-service marketing agency innovating the way businesses and marketing agencies work together. Using our unique approach, the Mirata Advantage, we are able to provide expert-level service in everything from marketing strategy, branding and logo design, website design and development, digital advertising, and more — all in an effort to provide the professional help that is not typically accessible for most businesses.
Make Mirata Marketing a part of your team and help us Evolve Expectations.