How to Define Your Brand Identity (And Why You Should)

“To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.”


Socrates probably wasn’t thinking about a company’s brand identity when he spoke these words, but the philosophy behind them still applies to businesses. How do you market yourself when you don’t even know yourself?

A clearly defined brand identity is a key component of a company, particularly from a digital marketing standpoint. Simply having a great product or service isn’t enough to tell your potential customers that you are the brand they should be going to for their needs. By not giving the proper due to creating a brand identity and producing an awareness around that brand, your business will be missing out on reaching its fullest potential for success. Better decision making and better engagement will come after you pause and take the time to define what your brand identity is.

What Does Brand Identity Mean?

A brand identity is who your company is, not what you’re selling. It is the foundation of your organization, similar to the foundation you need when building a house. Without a strong foundation, the walls and roof will not hold up as well as they could.

Today, your brand identity is the perception or feeling that a consumer will call to mind when they see your logo or an advertisement for your product or hear your company name. Your company identity is formed with the target consumer in mind, and when crafting it you should consider the following:

  • Providing a clear message
  • Establishing your credibility
  • Incentivizing the customer to buy
  • Creating loyalty
  • Connecting your targets emotionally with your product or service

As you keep these considerations in mind when thinking about your company persona, you might be wondering what the necessary steps are to develop it and where these considerations fit in.

Steps To Define Your Brand Identity

If you’re reading this and thinking that this is easier said than done, you’re right. So, we’ve made it easier by outlining the necessary steps. Here is how you can start developing your brand identity.

Research your Competition

When you have a great idea, there’s a chance that someone else has already had a similar idea. The good news is, this doesn’t have to be a bad thing! Businesses thrive on competition. Researching what other organizations and products or services already exist in your industry can help you identify yourself. It might lead you to realize that your original idea can be produced even better to fill a gap in the industry. Keeping up with the latest news and updates from your competitors will help you define who you are.

Define your Offering

Details are important, especially when you are explaining what product or service you’re offering. State what the qualities of each offering are. Be specific. If you are providing graphic design as a service, don’t say graphic design. Instead, try for phrasings like graphic design with expertise in logo and brand design.

Define your Why

A business should not be solely out for profitability. There should be a why behind every decision you make and products or services you offer. If you are ready to tell people that you provide the best of the best, be prepared to explain why. Not just the functionality of a product but why yours is going to make the best and most positive impact on the customers’ needs. Think about your values as a company regarding what is important both to you and your customers.

Define your Niche

There are a lot of players to compete with inside every industry, and you need to establish yourself as a go-to resource for a specific part of yours. No one can do absolutely everything. Even if you offer a variety of products or services, defining your niche area will give your identity a focus. For example, if you are in the home furnishings business, maybe you will want to create a more focused awareness about the living room furnishings you offer, even while still providing other products.

Define your Target Audience(s)

Defining your target audience(s) is a crucial part of creating your brand. There isn’t one product or service that works best for every person, so define who your people are. Who will get the most out of what you have to offer? This can be determined by age, location, education, family status, and a variety of other factors. Also, just because you can’t serve everyone doesn’t mean you can only help one audience. Consider all determining factors to find out what groups of people your business can provide value to.

Consistency is Key

Above all be consistent. If your company has a different personality across every medium you promote on (social, e-commerce site, in-person), it will be difficult to keep anyone engaged. Defining and promoting your brand should have a consistent tone and theme to it across all of your marketing efforts. It ensures that the information people receive is not confusing or misleading, as well as making your brand instantly recognizable.

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