Can your company survive without a brand identity?

Well…. yes it can.  Someone will also win the lottery.  Running a company without a clearly articulated and execute brand identity makes the future of your company an issue of luck instead of skill.  Creating a clear and consistent brand identity significantly reduces the amount of luck your company needs to rely on.  It allows your success to depend on skill, strategy and hard work.

So what is brand identity?  It is how you want your customers to perceive your company.  Ideally, it also means how your customers will perceive your company relative to what ever alternatives they have.

The components of brand identity do include visible representations of your brand, such as logo, name, colors, etc. but it goes far beyond that.  Brand identity also identifies how your products should be developed, priced and marketed.  It clarifies the functionality that your products should have and the overall level of quality in which you need to invest.  It tells you which channels are appropriate for your business, which partners fit and which promotions make sense.  Basically, it is the yardstick that can be used throughout your company to tell if any individual action is measuring up.

A brand identity should be short, a sentence or two, clear and be used to align the rest of your business.  It needs to state what you provide, how your product differentiates from the market place and identify key aspects of your target customer.  It can also include what your company is values above all else.  It should read like, “We provide quality decor at a luxury price to upper income customers with classic taste.  Every aspect of our customers’ experiences will be best in class.”  In this case, the company needs to invest in customer service, product quality and training.  Employees need to be empowered to make quick decisions that are customer oriented.

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