The First Step In Defining Your Core Brand Identity
A brand is more than a name, a logo, and a trademark. It is the essence of your company’s image and message to the outside world. It is tough to create a distinguished brand that sticks in the minds of people. After all, most would not care if 74% of all brands disappeared for good. If the other 26% disappeared, you can be sure people would notice, and there are reasons for that.
As Keith Bete, founder of Ubuntuism, explains “Companies simply speak to our minds but brands steal our hearts. That’s why we love them.” Your brand can’t be just a logo and a company. His branding advice, from his experience in starting Ubuntiuism, goes further :
“In African culture we have a proverb, ‘stand for something or fall for anything’ – what your business stands for is what the brand should reflect.”
It is important to establish a significant, actionable identity for your company’s brand. Put simply, your brand identity is the image that you create, allowing others to perceive it in a specific and memorable way. Your brand identity represents your company’s reputation and is comprised of its attributes, values, mission, and essence.
The most successful brands, usually household names, are easy to recognize — their mission is straightforward and their brand identity is openly communicated to the public.
To start defining your brand, you can use a SWOT analysis.
Use a SWOT Analysis to Craft your Brand Identity
A SWOT analysis is a common and effective way to take a step back and examine the strongest and weakest parts of your brand. When crafting a SWOT analysis, it’s important that you work together with different individuals in your company (ideally, from various departments) in order to get multiple opinions on your brand’s strengths and weaknesses. Breaking it down, here’s what to think about when creating one:
- Strengths: These are the elements of your company that give it an advantage over competitors or other industry experts. Consider your strengths from both an internal perspective, from the point of view of your customers, and people in your market.
It’s always a good idea to think about these elements of your brand in advance. The analysis of your company as a whole can help shape your brand identity in a wise and well-thought-out manner. Use these elements to determine both future plans for your company and the identity and core values of your brand.
Start Interacting With People As A Brand
It is not enough anymore to simply be known to be memorable. The demand on brands by customers is ever increasing. People love brands that care about their well-being and take an active, influential, part in their life.
Take any opportunity you can to interact and delight with people. Social media is good for this, as are charity events, sponsorships, and special community actions. Remember that you need to not just put your brand in front of people, you need to put your brand’s core values in front of people.
After your SWOT analysis, take some time to think about how your brand will interact with people, and which avenues to use. How will your interactions communicate your company’s core values? What types of people will most appreciate them?
It is a long road ahead, full of blood, sweat, and tears. Every major brand has been years in the building, but as in everything, it starts with the first step.