A brand identity is simply how customers perceive your product. Your brand is reflected in everything presented to your customers, from design of your product, to communications, to how your employees interact with them.
A brand identity can make or break a company — think about what happened to products or companies when something went wrong (a recent example was a Japanese car company that refused to acknowledge their responsibility in a faulty vehicle design — their sales plummeted). On the other hand, there are companies whose brands evoke perceptions of confidence and strength, and their sales reflect that. That should be your goal.
To establish a brand, you have to do the following in tandem:
- Develop a company name (easy to understand and remember is always best!)
- Secure an Internet URL with the name
- Determine how you want your customers to think of you (what’s your personality?)
- Design a logo that matches your desired personality
This is just the beginning, though. As you develop your product or service, you must make sure that your entire company, from the product, to how it is distributed, to how it is serviced, to your employees (how they speak and dress), delivers on the promise your customers expect from you.
Resources to get started:
- Entrepreneurship.org (search on “Branding”)
- Entrepreneur.com (search on “Branding)
- American Marketing Association (go to Resource Library, select “Brand Management”)
- Branding for Dummies