Hear what Kyle & Cass have to say about Brand Strategy & Brand Identity, and why it is so important for your business to have them.
Brand Strategy and Brand Identity are often overlooked by businesses. We often find ourselves explaining to our clients that your brand is not necessarily just your logo – that is just the mark to identify your brand.
Brand Strategy vs Brand Identity:
One of the analogies that we have been using lately to explain the difference between the two is that of The Naked Man. Imagine a naked man, he has no earrings, no tattoos, and no hair. You can’t judge who that person is because you don’t really know what they are about. All you can see is a man.
Only once you start asking this guy some questions, can you start realizing that there are a couple of different things that make him who he is, which is essentially what is in his head and his heart. Questions like what is his purpose? What is his mission? Why does he live? What makes him happy? What makes him sad? The tone of his voice. All of the things that really make you who you are.
When we look at Brand Strategy, we start going through everything from your brand name, why you exist, to who your competitors are, and what makes you different to them. We start unpacking why your business is different and what makes you unique because this ultimately becomes your Brand Strategy. It is important to understand your brand in order to know why you exist and how standardize your communications with your customers.
Okay, back to The Naked Man. Let’s say once we start talking to him we realize that he’s a hippy, and he likes going to festivals and dancing. Now we know what’s in his head and his heart.
Automatically, we can start imagining how we would dress him in colourful tie dye clothing that will represent him correctly. That’s where Brand Identity comes in, where we are now able to start creating visuals that allow a brand to identify who they are. We start looking at things like the logo, the colours, what the website looks like, the fonts, and other brand elements. All of these elements evoke different emotions and they are very much relevant to what that strategy is.
Why do you need a Brand Strategy & Brand Identity?
Your Brand Strategy and Brand Identity become the foundation for everything else that you do. It’s the difference between a fast food takeaway and a fancy restaurant. They don’t look the same because they don’t have the same target audiences or demographics that they talk to, and they don’t represent the same thing.
We have often dealt with clients who want to use our services to help with their website or social media and we go, sure, let’s do it! First of all what is your marketing strategy? (Even that is a whole other topic). But once we ask for them to give us their logos or fonts, you’ll be surprised at how many brands don’t have that. The saying that goes, marketing from the hip or shooting from the hip, and you often become that way because that is how your brand comes across when don’t have strict guidelines for your look and feel, tone, or voice. Only once you have those in place, we can start looking at what marketing channels to use and how to use them. After that we look at campaigns and how we go about your actual marketing.
In the same way, once you realise you have a hippy, and you have dressed him in tie dye clothing, you have to decide on his budget. Is he going to a Wacky Woods down the road or Tomorrow Land overseas? It really depends on the budget and what it allows for because there is no perfect solution for every single business, but have that brand strategy and brand identity gives us a starting point which is critical.
So, let’s say your business outsources its social media. You need to have a brand guideline document to hand over that outlines your Brand Strategy and Brand Identity. It explains why you exist, what makes you different, and keeps everyone in check on how your brand needs to be represented.
Two companies that both sell shoes can have two completely different brand guideline document because they have different objectives, speak to different people, have different tones, and are different brands.
So, that’s our take on brands. Hopefully we have given you guys a little something to think about. What is your business’ brand? Who are you customers and how are you talking to them?