In this short article, we want to explore the concept of brand identity.
Within our team, we very often find ourselves dealing with the theme of brand identity linked to our company: what it represents for us, what it represents for our customers and what those who know us for the first time perceive. It is thanks to this continuous comparison that we have discovered that our brand, although still young, has acquired its own personality and consolidated its own way of being presented to the public.
Caught up in the complexity and relentless day-by-day, we often forget that there are dimensions and structures that can help us understand the essence and nature of our company.
On the occasion of our review, we therefore offer you a small article composed ad hoc to review the basics of branding together.
Why invest time in enhancing your brand
In summary, an effective brand identity is the key to stand out from the competition and to create a lasting and profitable relationship with customers.
A good brand identity not only consistently represents the corporate image, but also conveys its values and personality. If managed carefully it can lead to customer loyalty and an increase in the perception of brand value. Investing in the creation and management of your brand identity can therefore be an important step for the success of the company.
What is brand identity?
As anticipated, brand identity is too often associated with the brand’s visual identity alone. According to a broader reading, it represents a set of characterizing elements of the company with which it presents itself on the market and to its consumers: name, logo, vision, mission, know-how, products, prices, content and much more.
Whether it is a brand in its infancy stage or a company that has already started, the creation of a brand identity is essential for structuring a coherent communication strategy on each touch point controlled by the company itself.
Corporate identity and positioning
The concept of brand identity is closely connected to corporate identity and they can often coincide.
Speaking therefore of corporate brand identity in 1966 the American researcher Jean-Noël Kapferer creates a holistic model called prism of brand identity where he defined the 6 fundamental elements of brand identity and which are always in dynamic relationship with each other.
The six points of the brand identity prism
- Objective and external characteristics associated with the brand, such as physical appearance and visual identity.
- Character of the brand, we mean the personality that is expressed through a defined tone of voice and design. In practice, here we talk about the character, the perceived aspect and the way we present ourselves of our brand, just as if it were a person.
- System of values and the fundamental principles on which actions are based: the mission and vision of a company are contained here
- Type of human relationship of the brand with the market. Example: do you relate to your customers as a historic family business that carries on tradition like Barilla or an innovative, tech and google company?
- The ideal customer self reflects the aspirations of the target, that is, it represents the image of the most stereotyped buyer of that brand.
- The ideal self of the consumer refers to how the consumer feels through the use of the brand. Example: buying Apple evokes “think outside the box”, “think different”.
All these six points taken into consideration at the same time allow the definition of an identity and positioning of the company on the market.
How much is a brand worth and how can we measure its effectiveness?
A socio-constructivist perspective is David Aaker’s theory of brand equity, a fundamental concept of modern branding theory. Brand equity refers to the added value that a brand brings to a product or service compared to its competitors.
According to Aaker, brand equity is a set of brand, name, or symbol assets that add to or subtract from the value a product or service provides to a company or that company’s customers.
According to Aaker, therefore, brand equity can be divided into four dimensions:
- brand awareness, i.e. the ability of consumers to recognize and remember the brand;
- customer loyalty, which refers to the consumer’s preference for the brand over its competitors;
- the perception of quality, and therefore the perception of consumers on the quality of the product or service offered;
- brand associations, which are represented by the images, feelings and values associated with the brand in the consumer’s mind.
Translate brand equity into value
The concept of brand equity therefore gains importance because it directly exposes the benefits that a company could have from the correct management of its brand.
In daily practice it must therefore be considered as an investment that will produce results in terms of sales, profits and the value of the company.
To increase brand equity, Aaker suggests that companies should invest in building a strong brand, create a positive brand experience for the consumer, and effectively communicate brand values and associations.
Two important aspects are certainly that of differentiation and the strength of identity:
“Give a child a sheet of paper, some colors and ask him to draw a car: he will surely make it red.” – Enzo Ferrari
A strong identity increases brand equity and can make a company less vulnerable to market changes and competition.