What is Brand Identity?
A company’s Brand Identity is a visual representation of ‘who it is’ and how it wants to be perceived by everyone who sees it.
The identity of a brand begins before any talented designer starts to create a look and feel for it. It starts with a strong brand strategy to lay the foundations for the brand and the story it wants to tell about itself. A brand needs to know who it wants to be before a successful brand identity can be built.
Your Brand Identity is the collection of the visible elements of your brand i.e. the combination of marks, colours, design systems, photographic or illustrative style, iconography and symbols, livery, typefaces etc. When these various elements are pulled together, they identify and distinguish the brand in the consumers’ mind.
If you want to think about this on a personal level. Your own identity is everything that you personally decide that you are going to do, say, wear, work at, support, drive etc to help project the image of yourself that you want everyone else to see/believe. For some people this comes naturally, they’re very authentic and don’t have to think about this too much to get it right, for others it’s not quite so instinctive… and they think about this a little more in advance to get it right before acting. Same goes for brands. And the brands with truly great Brand Identities work hard at it.
Here are some examples of what Brands to life® consider great Brand Identities. Some are global and just about everyone would recognise them, a great example in Australia that we (aww shucks) developed is SEEK. there’s no mistaking that pink and white visual style… and here are some others you’d be less likely to know but their target audiences are certainly impressed.
Just remember that with strong Brand Identities, familiarity doesn’t breed contempt. Businesses are responsible for building up their identity through consistency and having the discipline to stay on brand. But don’t forget a healthy dose of creativity is required to deliver it well of course.
Finally, a point about Brand Identity versus overall branding. Brand Identity is something that permeates through every visual touchpoint but a strong brand will also have consistency right throughout it’s tone of voice, company culture, who it partners with, everywhere it comes in contact with it’s audiences. A Brand is an emotional connection between customer/audience and company/product/service – a good brand identity helps in creating this connection but it’s certainly not the only thing that builds a great brand.