When thinking about the term “brand," we often think about the logos of our favorite companies. We know that we feel a certain way about the brands we support, but what makes us pick favorites to continue to support time after time?
According to New Breed Senior Growth Strategist Nick Frigo, it all starts with taking a hard look in the mirror at your company’s reflection and thinking about your company’s brand identity.
What is a Brand Identity?
Brand identity is the reputation or manifestation of your brand itself.
“Your brand identity is how people feel about your company when you’re not around,” Nick says. “It’s your company reputation, and it should reflect your values, beliefs and positioning against the problems you solve.”
If you think about the brands you love and ask yourself, “why do I support these brands?”, the answers probably have something to do with the trust they’ve built with you, the way their views align with yours or the dependability of their product or service.
Regardless of what you feel about a brand, you probably feel that way because the company is making a conscious effort to project themselves that way. That is their brand identity. Those companies are focused on building a loyal base of customers through their actions and the way they present themselves.
When branding your company, you want to be sure you aren’t setting expectations or promises that you can’t uphold. You need to be sure the image you are projecting through your social media, website and the employees you hire all truly align with your brand.
“You have to be careful about what you promise to yourself and the business community because they are going to hold you accountable,” says Nick.
At New Breed, we are a service-led company, and our brand is a reflection of our product. We are experts in our industry, and our employees are the product we are selling. We aren’t going to explain things to people at an elementary level, and our content and the way we talk about our business reflects that.
We make sure that we bring people onto the New Breed team that align with our brand in terms of personality and vision, and we also make sure our website and the physical elements you see from us do too.
The vision and goals you have for your company also play a role in your brand identity.
“It's not always just a self-reflection on what you do and who you are. It can be projecting those things out into the future. Your brand can be forward-thinking, especially at a new company,” says Nick. “You have to think about being visionary, without overextending.”
If a company positions itself in a way that doesn’t actually reflect who they are, consumers will see right through that. This can make your customers feel deceived and cause them to take their business elsewhere.
How to Create a Brand Identity
When it comes to actually creating your brand identity, you need to take a hard look at your values and goals as a company. Your brand identity shouldn’t be something you necessarily create; rather, it should be a reflection of who you are and who you are striving to be every day.
When positioning your company, be careful not to oversell yourself. You don’t want to end up disappointing customers by not meeting the expectations they had of you based on the brand you portrayed.
Consistency is key when it comes to any form of branding. Once you have identified your company’s brand identity, you can start focusing on how you are going to communicate that to your prospects over time across your channels.
“There are lots of stylistic brand choices you have to make — the look and feel of visual assets, logos, layouts, interfaces, your writing and speaking voice — but every decision needs to be underpinned by your top-level goals and how you want the market to perceive you,” says Nick.
Creating a brand style guide for your company helps you stay consistent and uphold the integrity of your brand.
A brand style guide is a rulebook that explains how an organization presents itself to the world through its logo, font and color selections, language and more. It keeps everyone on the same page and ensures that your brand identity remains intact.
For help creating your company’s brand style guide download our DIY Brand Style Guide.
Weslee Clyde is an inbound marketing strategist at New Breed. She is focused on generating results using inbound methods and is driven by the customer experience. When not at the office, you can find her binging a docu-series on true crime or perfecting her gluten-free baking skills.