what is brand identity?
Brand identity is the look and the feel of your brand.
It is a composition of logo, style and content. This includes specific fonts and colours, carefully curated images (graphics, illustrations and photos) and writing (in a specific tone and style).
Its elements trigger a connection with people’s values and recall a memory based on a previous interaction.
what is brand?
Brand is simply your reputation. It is what people think and say about your organisation.
why is brand identity important for your organisation?
Brand identity is more than a logo. It communicates organisation’s personality and shapes your clients’ perceptions of who you are.
Your brand identity should project the expectations and promises you extend to your customers and/or beneficiaries in terms of quality, service, reliability and trustworthiness and create trust and loyalty from those who interact with you. Potential advocates, partners and funders are not an exception.
Furthermore, brand identity supports recognition and memorability of your organisation, helps you to build your reputation, creates and maintains relationships with your clients, beneficiaries and peers. Good brand identity even helps to attract competent employees and maintain their loyalty.
In summary, brand identity is a reflection of your organisation’s values, intentions and behaviours which is crucial for the creation and forming of long-lasting relationships with people you would like to connect and work.
Socha Design can help you create a strong and recognizable brand to support and build upon your organisations hard work.
Learn how well crafted brand identity and visual communication can help your organisation to get where it wants to be.
To help us understand the importance of a brand identity and visual communication better, also explain why organisational image has to be consistently aligned with organisation’s values and behaviours, please read the following story and participate.
Imagine an Educated Environmentalist who has been protecting the natural heritage for 25 years, at the same time highlighting our dependency on it. Organising community events and rallies, publishing articles and papers, lobbying government whilst encouraging people to change their consumerist habits.
Now the person is standing opposite you.
What does the person look like? What does this person wear and in which colours, fabrics and labels? What are their most used words and phrases expressed with importance? Does the person have any evidence to support their claims, values and beliefs? What hobbies and interests do they pursue?
Think about it for a while. Use your imagination and create or draw the person.
You should have a picture of the environmentalist. We might call it simply ‘an image’. This is actually a ‘brand identity’ (tangible) in design jargon.
Keep the Educated Environmentalist at the back of your mind and now imagine a Corporate Capitalist of a similar age, who has been accumulating profit by exploiting cheap labour and natural resources in developing countries whilst enjoying a lavish ‘high status’ lifestyle.
Describe the face of the person? And the clothes they wear – which colours, fabrics and labels? Are there particular words the person utters again and again? Does the person have anything to indicate their inclinations and past achievements? Any hobbies and interests
There s/he is.
By now you may have a better understanding of the ways we present ourselves to others visually, verbally also through our behaviours and how important this is to create and maintain a perception (brand-intangible) about us and enhance, or not, our relationships with those around us.
It is important to remember that there is little difference when an organisation presents itself to the outside world. The principles are the same.
misaligned brand identity
What happens if ‘brand identity’ is not aligned with an organisation’s values, intentions and behaviours?
Keep the ‘image’ of the Educated Environmentalist in mind but instead, assign to them the behaviours and values of the Corporate Capitalist.
How would it feel if you saw a bookish person wearing a green eco t-shirt (visual), claiming to be an environmentalist (spoken word and/or copy of text), yet blowing the smoke of an expensive Cubanas cigar into your face (behaviour), saying that our planet is in an ecological crisis? Then having to cut the story short to drive to a grouse shooting competition with theirs gun? (behaviour)
Would you trust the ‘Educated Environmentalist’ and still want to connect?
The example played with stereotypes to help us understand it quickly.
However, if an organisation is applying for a grant, or bidding for a commission or trying to get a prospective customer/beneficiary involved and its brand identity is not aligned with its values, intentions and behaviours, what do you think about the chances of the application to be successful? Are they increasing or falling down?
In some cases even slight visual and contextual inconsistencies picked up unconsciously, might affect the outcome.
Many organisations and businesses don’t make it beyond five years of existence also due to poor brand identity and visual communication. It’s important to realise that customers, collaborators and prospective funders or supporters (especially in the fast moving world) will form an opinion about your brand in seconds and adjust over time.
advantages of strategic positioning
In a time of information (and sensory) overload, people have a natural tendency to discard unclear or unwanted information. It’s important to position your organisation, in peoples’ minds, carefully so they will remember you and come back to you.
Strategic or brand positioning can differentiate you from others on the market and/or align you with organisations with similar objectives and values by creating associations of ideas around you, your goods and/or services.
The associations then occupy a place in people’s minds, that you may want to connect with.
In our industry, the widely accepted definition of ‘positioning’ is; “a mental device used by people to simplify information inputs and store new information in a logical place”.
On a simplified perceptual map (ABC) each letter represents a different brand positioning. Can you suggest any brands for A, B or C? Where do you see your organisation?
*high cost/low cost and profit/ethical could be replaced by collaborative/competitive and small/big or classical/flexible and serious/friendly etc.
strategic positioning can
• give you clarity on your specific values
• guidepost your mission and vision
• amplify your storytelling and messaging
• make effective design choices
• facilitate easier connections with your audiences
Socha design can help your organisation to strategise effectively and deliver tangible results.
what it is?
Online presence is the existence of a person, organisation or business that can be found via a web search engine.
A website is an integral part of web presence but not web presence itself. Other parts include social media, blogs, reviews, news articles, profiles, wiki pages and directories.
Without it your organisation wouldn’t be able to be found online.
Boosting positive online exposure and raising awareness about your organisation builds a good brand image, attracting meaningful relationships. These ‘leads’ have the potential of eventually becoming your clients or advocates.
what it is?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a process of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic to your website or other online touch points. It excludes the purchase of paid placements which are known as ‘natural’ (or ‘organic’) search results that appear after ‘Googling’.
Socha Design can help you build a good online presence and refine SEO keywords to make it easier for people to specifically find and connect with you.