What Is Brand Identity & Why A Strong One Matters To Your Company

Whether you’re scrolling through your social media feed or walking through a busy subway station, strong brands catch your eye and stand out from the crowd.

No brand starts out fully formed – not even giants like Apple or Nike. It develops over time as your business matures and you get a better sense of what your brand means and what it represents for your customers. The starting point of your branding journey is the foundation of any established brand strategy: your brand identity.

A strong brand identity helps build trust and recognition within your target audience and market by making it easier for internal teams, external collaborators, and partners to achieve consistent messaging, tone, and visual style.

What Is Brand Identity?

Brand identity is the combination of your company’s values, principles, and vision – think of brand identity as the spirit of your company or your brand. Brand identity is expressed and communicated through the visual elements of your brand, like your logo design, color palette, fonts, and icons, as well as your messaging and brand voice.

There are several key elements of brand identity:

  1. Company mission
  2. Company or brand values
  3. Founder and executive values (these often contribute to company values)
  4. Brand personality
  5. Brand positioning and how you differentiate yourself from your competitors
  6. Your brand voice and communication style

Brand identity is owned and developed by everyone in the company – it’s not something that’s defined by your marketing team or the CEO as a top-down branding initiative. To achieve an authentic, consistent brand identity, you first need to understand how everyone in the company views the brand, then develop and refine a shared vision of your brand image over time.

What Makes a Strong Brand Identity?

A strong brand identity is:

  1. Co-created: Everyone in the company should be involved in creating and defining your brand identity over time. All departments have different viewpoints on the brand and different roles to play in co-creating and maintaining the company’s identity.
  2. Authentic: Many companies have an idea of what their brand identity is, which doesn’t match up with how their customers perceive the brand. The strongest brand identities align customer perception with their ideals of what the company wants its brand to be.
  3. Defined: Successful brand identities are ones that you can define and document. This is because everyone in the company has a clear understanding of the brand identity, so you can easily communicate it within the organization.
  4. Consistent: A strong brand is consistent across different channels, mediums, and departments. A strong brand identity helps you to achieve visual and messaging consistency.
  5. Evolving: A strong brand identity will evolve as your company develops, matures, changes direction, or expands into new markets. Your brand identity should be clearly defined but not set in stone.

On the BTX podcast, .........., Senior Director of Marketing at ....., shared how different departments play a role in creating and maintaining your brand identity.