Strong brand identity is associated with some of the most successful brands in the world. What exactly makes a strong brand identity is harder to quantify. Even more difficult to quantify is how exactly your brand identity and brand personality have an impact on customer loyalty and business growth. These concepts are certainly intertwined, but how? Understanding fundamental brand and marketing in relation to customer loyalty allow businesses of all sizes to make well-informed decisions moving forward.
Today, we will examine brand identity, brand personality, branding power, and customer loyalty with some examples of iconic brands to show exactly how brand identity can be the basis of a lasting business model.
What is Brand Identity?
According to investopedia.com, brand identity is defined as “the visible elements of a brand, such as color, design, and logo, that identify and distinguish the brand in consumers’ minds. Brand identity is distinct from brand image. The former corresponds to the intent behind the branding and the way a company does the following—all with the goal of cultivating a certain image in consumers’ minds”. This really can be broken down into two fundamental categories:
The nuts and bolts of brand identity include the aforementioned brand name, logo, artwork, color schemes, and more. These are the literal branding design choices that will appear publicly to your existing and potential customers.
The purpose behind brand identity is where branding strategy gets tricky. Should your materials be bold and youthful or austere and subdued? Will your audience love a bright red logo or would that send the wrong message? Brand identity should be a representation of your brand personality as well (more on this below).
Brand Identity is the Cornerstone of Branding Power
Brand identity is the first interaction your customers are likely to have with your company. Even before they walk into your store or click on your link, the language, visuals, and overall presentation are sending conscious and subconscious messages that may impact their view of your brand. Here are a few ways to build a strong brand identity to make a favorable impression:
Make an effort to keep your brand identity unique. Market saturation and information overload are very real things in the 21st century. Customers are as savvy as they are tired of being inundated with the same old thing. Brands are often rewarded for taking risks and sending a unique message.
Keep your brand personality consistent. There is no question that brand adaptability is an essential component of modern marketing strategies. What is even more important is maintaining a core consistency when it comes to your brand’s identity and personality.
Match brand identity to brand personality. As we mentioned earlier, these two ideas are part and parcel. If you are selling sneakers to teenagers, boring, matter-of-fact branding materials don’t fit your personality. If you are selling luxury cars, sticking to the facts and the technology makes far more sense. Know your audience and know your personality!
Brand Personality, Brand Identity and Customer Loyalty
This brings us to the question of how brand personality and brand identity can drive customer loyalty. The answer is somewhat simple: customers are loyal to the brands that they know and trust. Brand identity is all about building customer awareness. Brand personality is all about selling an idea to customers with which they can relate or by providing a product/service that fits their individual needs.
If your brand personality and brand identity are strong, customers are more likely to remember your products the next time they are in the market. The best products in the world are easily forgotten if the underlying branding is weak. This is why our list of strong brand identities below features some of the most loyal and outspoken customer bases on earth!
Examples of Strong Brand Identities
Perhaps the most iconic brand identity on the planet is the simple coca-cola bottle. The red label with the cursive white lettering might as well be visible from space. What is perhaps most impressive is how consistent the marketing materials have remained for well over 100 years with such prolific success. This, alongside coke’s personality of fun, family values, and nostalgia for better days, has kept them in the conversation for most powerful brands to this day.
Think different. Sometimes brand identity is not wrapped up in a color scheme or a product design. Sometimes a slogan can be so recognizable that it needs no introduction. In a world where technology was viewed as somehow inaccessible and only for corporate stiffs, Apple chose to market to the rest of us. Think different sets the stage for Apple to become the second most valuable brand in the world.
When you combine iconic ads, a recognizable slogan, and one of the most brilliantly simple logos in modern history, Nike had no choice but to become such a strong brand. In an already crowded market, Nike dominated with brand identity and brand personality. To this day, there are loyal customers who will buy nothing buy Nike’s out of love for the brand.
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