OnFleek –thought station : Insights


‘What's In A Name?’ William Shakespeare wrote eons back in his play Romeo & Juliet but little did he know that in future all of it and more WILL BE ABOUT NAME and guises. Identity is the essence that separates one person from another – creates a factor of differentiation.

Yes you guessed it right! Your identity will let people know who you are-the correct name - as name will define how people perceive you, especially if you are a business. Just as your individual identity makes you unique, a brand identity is the distinctive life-force of a business that sets it apart from every other business in the marketplace.

In this article, we will deliberate more about how you can determine your own brand’s identity, use it as a leverage to enhance your marketing communication, and thus in turn increase your consumer base.

Before that, in a modern day market place, WHAT IS A BRAND?

Till date, many people consider the word “brand” to be a swanky management term for promoting a product or service but it is not only that . In fact, American Marketing Association defines brand as, ‘"A name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. The legal term for brand is trademark. A brand may identify one item, a family of items, or all items of that seller. If used for the firm as a whole, the preferred term is trade name." To put is simply, a brand is a set of relations that a person (or group of people) makes with a company, product, service, individual or organisation. It is what they talk about when, ‘you’re not there in the room’.

Thus makes it important that a perception be made so they recall and talk about you. This is where creating a brand identity comes in. Creating brand identity builds your business a personality that consumers can recognize and relate to. Without a professional brand identity, individuals might and will question your ability to provide them with a result they are seeking based on their first impressions of your business, both online and offline. Now as a business, you don’t want to take the risk of letting potential clients go with an unprofessional brand. Herein, the need of building the identity of brands via brand conversations arises. A brand conversation can be safely termed as the sum total of the ways in which your business is communicating with your present clients and potential clients both online and offline. Every time you communicate to the TG under the pretext of your trade, you’re contributing to brand conversation. The content is key aspect of your brand conversation. It comprises of the content of your blog, website, social media, the tone of voice and language you use, as well as the visual elements chosen to represent your business.

In general, the touch points, that define your brand identity and increase brand visibility, include:

Millennials, also known as Generation Y, are the demographic group following Generation X and preceding Generation Z. While defining them several studies and research have stated the early 1980s as starting birth years and the mid-1990s to early 2000s as ending birth years, with 1981 to 1996 a widely accepted defining range for the generation.

  • • Advertising, that is, all forms of advertising – TV advertising, radio advertising, newspaper/magazine advertising, online advertising, outdoor/transit advertising and so on.
  • • Social Media marketing
  • • Media coverage
  • • Promotional partnerships
  • • Visual branding
  • • Email marketing
  • • Website design and content
  • • Retail or office locations
  • • Customer service interactions
  • • Purchases and packing materials
  • • Industry events
  • • Publications

Brand architecture: How it forms the skeleton of brand personality

Branding is something that defines how the business is going to shape itself and everything related to brand aesthetics, brand communication and brand palate.

As per, David Aaker, who is hailed the “Father of Modern Branding, “The brand experience, the essence of a relationship, is created by brand touchpoints. A brand touchpoint occurs any time a person in the marketplace interacts with the brand.”

Also according to him, there are five steps to enhancing your Brand Experience –

  1. 1. Identify all existing touchpoints, as well as those that should exist
  2. 2. Provide an internal evaluation of all the touchpoints to determine which are managed well and which are deficient.
  3. 3. Look to past, current, and future customers to determine which touchpoints have the greatest impact on their decision and experiences.
  4. 4. Prioritize and balance three dimensions
  5. 5. Develop a touchpoint action plan
  6. Why is it important to see branding as a function which forms the base framework for marketers?

    Every business is strives for profit but now it is also striving to build brand that resonates with its TG. Loyalty concept is of no use from a consumer point of view if it’s just any generic business offering generic product. The rule of perception is what the brands play and build on. But Brand building is not just a one off case study or a few businesses having an outlook towards a B2C product/service but it’s also now being taken up by B2b businesses. Brands have a voice and resonance much more magnified than we can ever imagine. An arch defined Mc Donald’s across the globe; a swoosh of the brand Nike makes up the cult of Nike users. The colours of Benetton or the prints of Louis Vuitton is a signature of the brand and its personality communication that the consumers relate and imbibe with - even if it is a brand jingle or a symbol or a tagline or even the colours - identification is no longer a generic need but a planned strategy of a business.

    Brand development is the long term ultimate business strategy that attracts the consumers and in the long run facilitates the running and ROI of the varied business models. Profits are now brand valuation which investors understand in terms of perceptive audiences and investors who understand the stocks also understand that perception is a very strong qualitative aspect of a distinguished data analysis that creates stability or volatility in the consumer behaviour and patterns.

    Now-a-days, Brand ethics govern a lot more in digital online space these days as compared to other times. Discrimination across different race, colour, caste and creed is no longer a hidden fact and people have high speed connectivity across the globe and the ethics a brand personality exhibits actually eventually translates into increase or decrease of the brand valuation.

    There are formulas and technical calculation methods for brand valuation and brand assets and all these meters are now proving even more and more detailed and elaborative in today’s times. Brand property is being created very strategically for the companies to chart out the trajectory of the brand.

    Now, let us discuss on this need to create a brand a little more in-depth; how is it beneficial for your business–

    • • Brand Identity gives the customers a perception of quality of the product and services that your company is selling. With a competitive marketplace, gone are the days, the early axiom of “you get what you pay for” used to prevail. Now, brands need to look better than their competitors and they’ll think the goods/services you offer have a better value.
    • • Brands now follow a brand culture which distinguishes them from the rest apart. Rebranding has actually seen revival of many dead brands with an innovative idea or any new look and feel that changes the perception or tilts the perception or makes the brand more relevant. It’s very important for the brand to have a brand vision and not have a drifting path .The brands have now an aim to become iconic and that is the vision that aligns the entire company and business to a single thread of thought.
    • • Brand Identity gives the customers a sense of credibility increment. Consumers buy more from companies they believe in. For instance, think of all of the well-known brands that you recognise and automatically perceive them as credible and trustworthy simply because that they are big, well acknowledged brands. Brand Identity can help increase your credibility by improving the perception of your business.
    • • Brand Identity gives the customers a notion of stability and constancy. Professionally conceptualised brand Identity goes a long way towards establishing a sense of trust among customers
    • • Brand Identity helps you in connecting with the right people. Every individual likes a sense of involvement and even better if possible a sense of bonding with the things they associate. Consumers are people at the end of the day and are no different. Creating a connection with consumers is of utmost importance for all organisations and a professionally created brand identity can embody elements which consumers will feel drawn to. Moreover, not everybody is your customers. Your Brand identity will help you distinguish your brand message and help sort out the right people – the proper Target Audience
    • • A compelling brand has the competency to appeal and retain skilled employees a longer tenure A brand’s image in the marketplace also affects the motivation and focus of the employees.

    Although many consider that the necessity for a clear corporate identity is a recent notion but the fact is that it actually developed back in the 1960s. The industrial revolution paved the path for a numerous new organizations to burst forth throughout the world, and they needed to adopt an approach to portraying their corporate brand identities. Not only did creating a business logo become really important, but having clear brand standards to adhere to became part of daily life and showed employees exactly how the company wanted to represent itself to the populace. The same hold true till date – it is more evolved and specific now-a-days.

    As established earlier, every company, no matter how big or small should have a brand identity. So, how do you find and create your brand identity? There are a few key aspects you should consider:

    • • What is the big idea aka the core of your company?
    • • What Values does your company believe in – you vision?
    • • Where are you going?
    • • What is your brand personality?
    • • Do your existing brand identity and marketing properly communicate your core identity?
    • • Conduct market research and perform a competitor analysis to understand
    •  o How big is your market?
    •  o How has your market changed since the time you started your company?
    • • Who are your customers?
    • • What are their goals and annoyances?
    • • Where do they spend their time?
    • • When they’re the most active?
    • • Why they make certain choices? &
    • • How they relate with your products or buy your services?

    Building a brand identity is a multi-faceted strategy and every component of the same needs to support the ‘umbrella message’ and business goals. Remember, if you have a brand, you have a flourishing business.