Brand System – The Identity

As mentioned before, brand identity provides the information consumers use to make determinations about whether to purchase your products or services and what they should expect from the experience. It’s the calculated way you characterize, package, and position your offering.

AllAboutBranding.com defines brand identity as a unique set of associations that the brand strategist aspires to create or maintain. These associations represent what the brand should stand for and imply a potential promise to customers. It is important to note that a brand identity refers to the strategic goal for a brand; while brand image is what currently resides in the minds of consumers.

Identity is fact… the effective sum of the facts that can be used, in the minds of various audiences, to distinguish a given entity from all others. To manage identity is to manage these facts.

There are just three core aspects of the leadership responsibility a company needs to focus on:

1. Destination — short for who we are and where we’re going (includes vision, positioning, corporate purpose and mission statements)

2. Culture and personality — How the company must behave to get there

3. Composition — How best to express our defining components, to help get there.

Situation factors are other possible facts about the company (real or merely perceived) which can serve in the minds of key audiences as identifying factors. HQ location for example. Sometimes they’re even stronger than the name and logo; examples are Transamerica’s tower (architecture), and Bill Gates (management). These “situation factors” including products, brands, and subsidiaries must be understood in analysis and planning; like all other identity tools they can be reshaped, changed, ‘spun’ and leveraged.

Third, there are the verbal and visual Identity System elements we more directly manipulate… names, theme lines, logos, taglines, colors, typefaces, signature systems, association models and other verbal or visual tools.

The presence of a leader is signaled by an identity system visibly managed to express the institution’s defining destination, culture and composition.

A company’s brand identity can be applied to anything from business cards to websites, from TV ads to fleets of planes. It is repeatedly communicated, in a variety of ways, and it affects how the company is conveyed and perceived.

The look and feel of company’s communications is not only carefully designed, but also consistent in a way that shows that the company is a focused and confident one. Brand identity that is able to get your message across quickly and easily.

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