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How strong is your brand identity?

Author's avatar By Gabrielle Wright 26 Feb, 2021
Advanced Advanced topic

Make your brand identity the central organizing principle for everyone and everything in a company rather than just the products, services, logos and imagery

Brands are assets that create sustainable wealth, both for businesses and wider society. Every successful brand has a clear positioning expressed through its name, logo, and identity. But, more than that, a strong brand identity has the potential to influence all aspects of a brand's omnichannel presence, including its products, services, and staff behaviors.

In fact, McKinsey's nine traits of a future-ready company found that employees who say they are “living their purpose” at work are four times more likely to report higher engagement levels at work. People reach further when their energies are channeled toward a purpose. This shows brand leaders can capitalize on brand purpose to enthuse both their customers and employees.

Brand positioning and identity are integral components of the overall brand strategy. Having a strong brand identity means integrating all marketing channels and every marketing communication for your customers throughout their lifecycle. That's why we recommend applying the RACE Strategy to develop and integrate your identity at the core of your business.

Apply the RACE Framework to strengthen your brand

The RACE Framework is a step-by-step process that empowers brand marketers and managers to plan, manage and optimize their digital marketing strategy across the customer lifecycle.

By applying the Framework you can rapidly implement customer-centric data to inform and tweak your marketing strategy at each stage of reach, act, convert, and engage. That means you can focus on improving your customers' experiences of your brand.

We've got frameworks, training, and templates to help you strengthen your brand identity at all touchpoints across the customer lifecylce.

Omnichannel customer lifecycle

Digital Transformation within the branded consumer goods sector has been accelerated by COVID-19. This means more of your customers are making their purchase decisions online than ever before. As a result, competing online is harder than ever for branded consumer goods marketers. You need a strong brand identity, informed by the latest industry best-practice and data, and integrated across your customers' omnichannel experiences of your brand.

Join Smart Insights today for marketing solutions and advice tailored to your branded consumer goods business. Strengthen your brand and win more customers. Get started today.

Can your branded consumer goods business compete online?

With so much competition, you need to stand out

Get started now

What is brand identity?

The brand identity is the unique set of brand associations that represent what a brand stands for and promises to its customers. Brand identity is organized around 4 perspectives with 12 dimensions:

  • Brand as product: product scope, attributes, quality, uses, users, and provenance
  • Brand as organization: organization attributes, local vs global
  • Brand as person: personality, type of brand-customer relationship
  • Brand as symbol: visual imagery/metaphors and brand heritage

As defined by David Aaker, the core identity is the central, timeless essence of a brand and is most likely to remain constant as a brand travels into new markets and product categories.

The extended identity includes all brand identity elements that are in the core. The core identity is often a short description of a brand. The extended identity provides texture and completeness, eliminating the ambiguity generated by using just the core identity, in the creative development phase.

Brand identity system

Brand identity models

Below, we will explore 2 contrasting models for approaching your brand identity strategy. Business Members at Smart Insights can read more about these models, plus other elements of brand strategy in their Digital Branding Toolkits.

Join Smart Insights today for marketing solutions and advice tailored to your branded consumer goods business. Strengthen your brand identity and win more customers. Get started today.

Can your branded consumer goods business compete online?

With so much competition, you need to stand out

Get started now

The classical, strategic approach

David Aaker coined his classic brand identity process. This process begins with a deep-dive analysis of the market, the brand’s customers, its competitors, performance and all available bespoke market research. At this point objectives and strategies are generated to kick-off brand identity actions.

We've got marketing tools to support you at every stage of this process including:

  • Our ever-popular situational SWOT/TOWS matrix
  • Integrated RACE competitor benchmarking template
  • Personalized digital strategy success checklist

As you can see from our SWOT/TOWS matrix below, brands have a great opportunity to create strategies around their threats, opportunities, weaknesses, and strengths. Full situational analysis tools and training, including the TOWS approach, are available for Business Members through our RACE Practical Digital Strategy Learning Path.

brand identity SWOT marketing plan

More of your customers than ever before are making their purchase decisions online. As a result, competing in the branded consumer goods sector is tough. You need a strong brand identity, informed by globally-renowned marketing models, and you need to stand out.

Join Smart Insights today for marketing solutions and advice tailored to your branded consumer goods business. Strengthen your brand and win more customers. Get started today.

Can your branded consumer goods business compete online?

With so much competition, you need to stand out

Get started now

The challenger approach

Eat Big Fish created the Challenger approach - see their 8 challenger credos. Here the brand invites the customer and/or consumer to navigate by them. They behave as, what Eat Big Fish calls, Lighthouse brands with a Lighthouse identity.

Success as a challenger means developing a clear sense of who and/or what you are as a brand/business and why – intuitively. In the challenger approach, your Lighthouse identity is tested for:

  • whether your target audience notices your brand
  • if they know where you stand
  • if they will be attracted to you if

This approach focuses on finding what people in a company think and feel the brand stands for and then shining a light beam on this to create a communications strategy, the positioning, identity, and strapline.

We've got marketing tools to support you at every stage of this process including:

  • Relevance and differentiation weighting template
  • Message hierarchies template
  • Skyscraper content technique

As you can see from our relevance and differentiation weighting template below, brands must consider all of the features and benefits of their products. Full relevance and differentiation tools and training, including market segmentation, are available for Business Members through our Campaign Learning Path.

brand identity

More of your customers than ever before are making their purchase decisions online. As a result, competing in the branded consumer goods sector is tough. You need a strong brand identity, informed by globally-renowned marketing models, and you need to stand out.

Join Smart Insights today for marketing solutions and advice tailored to your branded consumer goods business. Strengthen your brand and win more customers. Get started today.

Can your branded consumer goods business compete online?

With so much competition, you need to stand out

Get started now

Brand identity processes for large and small businesses

The value of brands to large, international organizations is well understood. But, even for smaller businesses, branding is critical and similar concepts can be applied to define brand identity. Ultimately, consumers and businesses are often making the choice between one brand and another. This makes improving brand identity is relevant to all businesses.

So, what are you waiting for? Find out how Smart Insights can help your business achieve a brand identity to outpace your competitors and win more customers.

Author's avatar

By Gabrielle Wright

Gabrielle Wright is the Smart Insights blog editor, managing the company's SEO and social media strategies. With specialisms in marketing for the pharmaceutical/healthcare industry, financial services, manufacturing, IT/high tech, brands and e-commerce, Gabrielle can generally be found in her second-floor Bingley terrace home office, with a cup of tea, reading and writing about marketing theory and its practical application in the global economy! You can connect with Gabrielle on LinkedIn.

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