Think of brand identity as the intersection of the company personality and the consumer. To stand out in the flood of competition in the marketplace, advertisers have turned their attention to developing brand identity “intangibles” that include emotional branding; the development of a brand tone with targeted messaging and eyes on consistent message delivery.
Know Your Brand Personality
Every brand has a personality. The key is to make sure the personality reflects the culture of the brand while appealing to the customer’s emotions. Take a big brand like Apple, for example. Their internal culture dictates that everything must be done to perfection — every detail matters. Steve Jobs once painted all the equipment in the manufacturing facility bright colors to create the right aesthetic for the room. He also insisted that the circuit boards on all Apple machines were neat and tidy — even though no one looked at them. It’s this hyper-attention to detail that created the brand. And, it’s built avid brand fans who expect nothing but the very best technology - presented as a work of art.
What can we learn from Jobs? Your brand must be a major focus of your business. It is the representation of who an organization is and how you connect with customers. Fans are attracted when the culture of an organization, the product it produces, and the customer it engages all intersect in a triangle of “brand love”. Harley Davidson is synonymous with rebellion… even to the retired businessman in the midst of a mid-life crisis. What does he do? He buys a Harley. Their company culture focuses on “personal freedom.” And, it’s where customers turn when they want to break free of the things tying them down.
Great brands are purposefully built by people who know their organizational personality and are passionate about their product.
The Emotional Connection
Memorable matters. Super Bowl commercials are proof-positive that long after the game is over, the best (and worst) commercials are talked about, shared, and played over and over again. Meaningful matters. When a brand makes us feel something, we will tell our family and friends and share it on social networks—buying into the product or service. According to Psychology Today, “advertising research reveals that emotional responses to an ad has greater influence on a consumer’s intent to buy (more so than the ad’s content).” Paying attention to what your brand says to consumers is important to fostering real passion and connection—increasing a brand’s longevity and success.
The Right Message
Along with a solid emotional response, a brand must have the right message and tone to reflect the value of the company to the market. For example, if a dog sitting service spends time talking about cats, and uses harsh colors and stark images for its tone, how many people with dog sitting needs would that service attract? Few, if any. By targeting the strengths of the product or service through solid facts and focusing on using the right tone for the brand, consumers will immediately understand, recognize, identify with, and buy into that product or service.
Consistency is key. Brand identity must be evident and consistent in every place your business is represented, whether it’s your paid, owned, or earned media. Look at every aspect of your brand—your website, social media, your logo, business cards and even signage. Fonts, colors, and images should all show your brand being used in a manner that will not confuse consumers with a mixed-message or misrepresentation of your product or service. Your brand’s tone should be evident through all media platforms and present your product or service in the way that speaks to consumers and creates that successful buzz—and ROI—that you want and need.
Presenting a unified brand to potential customers is our strength at Martin Communications. We are brand identity experts and every day, we help clients grow their businesses and achieve success. Check us out!