Your business won’t survive because it has a cool logo. But it will survive if it has a cool logo AND a mission that people identify with. Building a brand is all about making that identity. It’s about who you are and the rules your company follows to always be true to that identity.
When you go to market, people start to think and feel things about your company. Building a brand through an identity will allow you to be in control of that voice and define what people feel is true about you. It allows you to declare what it feels like to be part of your brand, to start making it desirable to become part of the tribe of your brand, and to garner an audience based on that feeling. The stronger the identity, the stronger the loyalty and instant recognition.
Start to do this is by thinking about why your company exists. Go to the mission and make a list of the things your company feels passionately about. Outline the things your company stands for. Take that list and get feedback on it from people invested in your vision.
Now, take some time to think about what feeling you want to inspire in people, known as a brand promise. This stands outside your product, although people should make the leap to your product easily. For example, Nike’s is “to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world” and Coca-cola’s is to “refresh the world in mind, body and spirit and inspire moments of optimism.” Everyone, while engaging with anything Nike should feel the empowerment and anyone who engages with Coke should feel like it brings happiness. These companies use this identity as a foundation and craft and reinforce it in every marketing piece they do without fail.
To keep your marketers on track with the identity you create, you need to take the identity you’ve created and give them a way to measure their work against it. Marketers need clear brand guidelines to follow and use against the things they create that are crucial for consistency following your identity. This is key. Without it, your consumers will feel brand dissonance, when they come expecting one thing they’ve seen before and instead get something else. It’s hard for people to become loyal to something, when it’s constantly changing faces and messages. Give them something consistent and recognizable, that they can easily register with you and your brand identity.