There’s one misconception among business owners that tends to destroy their brands. Many of them believe that brand identity is all about the logo. A brand identity isn’t just that. It is visual. But it is also emotional, and it communicates just how trustworthy and relevant your brand is. A brand identity isn’t easy to build if you want it to be truly effective. However, once you do build it, it will help you on your path to success.
When you set on a path of brand identity building, you need to be aware of the fact that every single detail is relevant. Building a brand identity is a complex task where you need to walk the thin line between your core values and market trends. Sounds easy? Say that to some of the ex-largest companies in the world who were on top one day, and bankrupt the next.
A well-developed brand identity can help you to develop your business beyond your wildest dreams. It can make people think about your business every time they see a certain colour or shape.
Just think of Apple, Windows, Samsung, or Amazon. These brands have a presence throughout many verticals and different products, which is far from being an easy feat.
In our opinion, they have achieved greatness thanks to very strict brand guidelines and a laser-point focus on what matters most — keeping your brand above others.
Since this is a large topic, we’ll separate it into two parts. In the first part of this article, we will take a look at some of the dos of building a brand identity. Since we believe that any claim needs proof, we will demonstrate the relevance of these through examples of some of the most successful companies in the world.
# Do – Be Adaptable
One of the best examples of this rule is McDonald’s. They are an international giant, a successful company that regularly adapts to trends. This fast-food franchise had some difficulties in this era of healthy eating. However, they have found a way to remain relevant — they renewed their brand identity and added value to their offer. For example, now their most popular menu item, chicken nugget, is free of artificial preservatives. That also goes for their pork sausage patties and egg meals.
By following food-related trends, McDonald’s has managed to rebrand itself as a health-conscious company. They announced that they would make a shift to using only cage-free eggs by 2025. In addition to that, this fast-food giant also started using sandwich buns that contain no high fructose corn syrup.
Through all of these actions, McDonald’s had managed to attract new, health-conscious consumers. That still doesn’t mean that their food is healthy, but it is a good example of how an established brand can adjust to changing trends. Thanks to this new strategy, McDonald’s shares have surged recently, as have their sales.
Brands should always scan the market for new trends and emerging changes in consumer needs. Don’t just focus on your own product or service. Pay attention to what your competitors are offering, and try to offer something better. Look for issues that your consumers have that need resolving, and try to resolve them.
Once you manage to do this, your brand will significantly benefit from it — it will be current, and it will be more relevant than ever to your target market.
# Do – Focus on the Basics
Your company’s core values should always be the starting point for everything you do.
Last year, voice assistants were incredibly popular. Every company relevant in that field had launched at least one model. Amazon’s Echo products dominated the market completely. For this company, voice assistants are a way to get closer to their mission statement of becoming the most customer-centric company in the world.
Amazon is known for its focus on customer experience. However, that means more than having friendly customer support and a lenient return policy. With voice assistance, Amazon is underlining its brand identity. It is emphasising its core value — being customer-centric — by making buying whatever you want whenever you want it easier than ever before.
Moves like this one are the reason why people put their trust in Amazon. The company constantly works on making people feel like it will put them first no matter what. At the same time, they keep delivering a simple shopping experience.
Determine your company’s core values. Once you do this, your brand identity will become glaringly obvious, and your message will shine through.
# Do – Follow the Numbers Without Ignoring the Emotions
Although you need to rely on your data, ignoring consumer emotions can be catastrophic. It can also be nearly catastrophic like it was for Netflix. You see, when this company decided to change its offer, they followed the data, but completely left consumer emotions out of the equation. First, the company increased the price of its services. Then they announced that they will split DVD-by-mail rental service and their online streaming services and that these will be delivered by two separate companies. This combination was almost disastrous. Netflix lost over 800.000 subscribers over the course of just a few months, not to mention the goodwill of its users. And why? Because they forgot to take consumer emotions into account when making changes to their brand identity.
However, Netflix is also a living proof that you can recover from anything if you accept that you made a mistake. They rectified their mistakes, their CEO had publicly apologised, and the company bounced back. Now, they’re one of the dominating forces in the video streaming industry.
When you’re running a data-driven company, it’s hard to get lost in the numbers. And while numbers are important, don’t forget to check how your consumers will react to the changes data suggests. Beta tests and surveys are the best way to test the public.