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Brand Identity: Definition, Elements, and How to Create It

Last updated: Nov 10, 2023

Brand Identity: Definition, Elements, and How to Create It
Cover image: Illustration of a brand identity as the face of a brand.

What Is Brand Identity?

Brand identity is a collection of elements that form the identity of a brand to make it unique and distinct from other brands. In the modern business world, this aspect plays a crucial role in increasing brand awareness

This identity can be conveyed through logo design and colors, typography, writing style in content and advertisements, Unique Selling Proposition (USP), or many other elements that can reinforce a brand's positive reputation.

Each brand identity element reflects the values, vision, and mission of the business, as well as the image the business wants to project to the target audience.

Furthermore, it also enables the target audience to build a specific perception to better understand a business entity through various elements presented, both in terms of writing, visual, and even audio-visual aspects.

Why Is It Important?

The answer is simple. It is the face of a brand. Therefore, its existence plays a central role in shaping the perception of the target audience toward the brand.

Through clear and memorable presentations, a brand can become an authority or even be recognized as an icon in a particular business niche. Intriguing, isn't it?

Furthermore, it is also crucial because the majority of customers tend to be attracted to brands that demonstrate a high level of professionalism and consistency when introducing their identity.

Difference Between Brand Identity and Brand Image

Although the concepts are closely related, it's important to note that brand identity and brand image are two different concepts.

In the business context, identity is a set of elements that make a brand more recognizable to the target market. Furthermore, the identity of a brand is generally something that can be directly built and controlled

On the other hand, brand image is how the audience perceives, evaluates, and responds to a brand and is naturally evolved from customer experiences, the customer journey, and various interactions with the brand.

6 Brand Identity Elements

According to the theory proposed by Jean-Noel Kapferer, an expert in brand management, six brand identity elements should be maximally developed.

Kapferer represents these six elements in the form known as the "brand identity prism." Here is the complete explanation of each element:

1. Physique

This element refers to the physical aspects or appearance of a brand that come to mind when consumers think about it.

It encompasses various factors such as product design, packaging, logo, and other visual elements that shape the brand's physical image. 

When consumers think of a brand, they automatically imagine the physical attributes associated with it.

2. Personality

Also known as the character or personality of a brand, this element covers how a brand communicates with consumers through various platforms.

According to Kapferer, a brand can exhibit diverse personality traits such as humorous, serious, friendly, or professional. This character can generally be strengthened through the brand's communication style and writing in advertisements or distributed content.

3. Relationship 

This element describes the relationship between a brand and its target market or consumers. A brand that successfully builds a strong relationship with its consumers will have a loyal customer base.

4. Culture 

This element reflects the values and principles underlying a brand's behavior. It is often reinforced by brands that identify with a particular culture or country to create an emotional connection with consumers who share similar values. 

5. Reflection

This component reflects how consumers view the brand and what it represents in their mind so the identity of a brand is often influenced by stereotypical images of users.

6. Self-Image

This element refers to how consumers perceive themselves when using a product.

Some strong brand identities can even make users identify themselves with the brand's identity or status. 

Therefore, if a brand identifies itself as exclusive, consumers may also feel that they are part of that exclusivity.

The Benefits of Having Good Brand Identity Prism

This business identity can make your brand more recognizable and gain the trust of potential customers. From a business perspective, here are some benefits you can get:

1. Creating a Positive Impression for the Brand

Brand identity element is a crucial factor in determining the first impression your target audience has of your brand.

If your brand can present a consistent, unique, relevant, and memorable identity, it will earn a positive perception from customers.

The brand's ability to convey a strong brand identity prism can also make customers view your business as more trustworthy and dominant compared to other brands.

2. Increasing Brand Awareness

Most importantly, it helps the brand raise the level of customer awareness of a brand. As to attract new customers who are curious and want to learn more about the brand, the brand needs to create a logo with distinctive color combinations and include a captivating and memorable slogan in every campaign, whether through traditional or digital campaigns.

3. Setting the Brand Apart from Competitors

As the name suggests, it also functions as a differentiator between one brand and another.

This differentiation is not limited to visual aspects like logos; it can also highlight the business values, brand history, or brand stories to make the brand stand out from competitors.

It can also make it easier for the target audience to identify and remember the brand in a market with numerous options.

4. Becoming a Top-of-Mind Brand

A top-of-mind brand is the one that first comes to mind when you think of a product.

For example, when you're thirsty, you've probably mentioned one of the well-known bottled water brands instead of just saying "mineral water," right? This phenomenon is what makes a brand become the so-called “top-of-mind brand”.

Besides ensuring the quality of your product or service, to become a widely recognized top-of-mind brand, you need a strong and distinctive identity.

5. Increase Customer Loyalty

It also plays a crucial role in building an emotional connection between the brand and customers.

The relevance of the message conveyed through this identity can make customers feel connected to the brand, leading to repeat purchases and increased business revenue

How to Create A Brand Identity

If you are wondering how to create a brand identity that can attract your target audience, see the following steps below! 

1. Conduct Research

In this process, you need to explore various aspects that will help you gain a deep understanding of the market and your potential customers.

Start by identifying the demographic, psychographic, and behavioral characteristics. Then, focus your research on the solutions needed by customers. 

2. Identify Business USP

When identifying your business's uniqueness, you need to know how your business is perceived by consumers, what your business offers, and how you want your business to be seen by consumers.

A specific foundation that can strengthen your identity is defining unique values that differentiate your business from competitors.

When consumers see or interact with your brand, these unique values should be evident to help consumers identify your brand amid a competitive market.

3. Design Your Logo

It's important to remember that logo is one of the most important visual elements that should be determined from the outset of the brand launch.

This logo will represent your brand across various media such as websites, business cards, and product advertisements. Therefore, you need to make sure that the logo is in line with your business values.

4. Determine Colors and Typography

One way potential customers understand the identity of a brand is by paying attention to the colors and typography of a brand.

Each color has psychological meanings that can influence consumer perceptions of your brand, as does the choice of typography.

For example, blue is often associated with calmness and trust, red symbolizes passion, and yellow signifies positive energy. 

These colors should be aligned with your brand values and consider contrast and compatibility for visual appeal and easy memorability.

Selecting the suitable font style or typography can also help your brand communicate the character, message, and brand values you want to convey.

5. Maximize Communication with Target Customers

As a business enthusiast, you are likely aware that social media has become a highly influential medium in the world of marketing and business communication.

Therefore, one method to strengthen your business identity is by enhancing the quality of interactions with the audience through these social media platforms.

You can create messages that match your brand's persona to ensure your brand shines through effectively.

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