Ask a Marketer: What Is Brand Identity?

what is brand identity?

We use our expertise to answer this question.

Brand identity, much like a person’s sense of self, encompasses all the unique traits and characteristics that distinguish it from others. This includes tangible, visible elements like design elements, color palette, and logo lockup. As well as intangible aspects like personality, values, mission, and the overall feelings that are evoked. When you combine these elements, they pack a powerful punch that sets your brand apart from competitors.

The magic of brand identity is in how it represents and pulls out your brand’s unique qualities, allowing you to connect with your target audience on a deeper level. In other words, a strong brand identity shapes how customers perceive and engage with your brand, fosters loyalty, and increases awareness of your products and services.

When you consider branding, names like Nike, Disney, or Starbucks often pop up. What is it about these brands that piques interest? We’ll create a mock brand identity for a surfboard company to illustrate the point:

Tangible Brand Elements

Example Company: Colorful Waves, Inc.

Logo: The logo features a stylized wave symbolizing energy and movement. It incorporates vibrant colors like blue and yellow to evoke feelings of optimism.

Colors: The brand’s primary colors, electric blue and sunshine yellow, represent positivity, brightness, and the ocean. They’re used consistently across all brand assets to maintain recognition.

Typography: The brand opts for modern and sleek typography, reflecting its forward-thinking approach to surfboard shaping. Fonts like Montserrat and Open Sans are chosen for their readability and accessibility.

Imagery: They use high-quality images and graphics aligned with their brand values of innovation and creativity. Images often feature dynamic compositions for movement (like riding a wave) and bright colors for excitement.

Intangible Brand Elements:

Tone of Voice: They use a positive, friendly, inclusive, and conversational tone to inspire and motivate their target audience. Saying things like, “Surf’s Up!” and “Positive Vibes for Everyone!”

Personality: The personality is innovative and optimistic, and a passion for surfing is fused into everything they do. They position themselves as forward-looking and impactful. They want customers to view them as a brand that embraces change.

Values: Their values include creativity, integrity, and collaboration. These values inform their decision-making processes, guiding their interactions with customers, employees, and stakeholders to reflect their commitment to surfboard craftsmanship.

Brand Story: Their brand story highlights transformation and growth, tracing their path from visionaries working out of their garage to global leaders in surfboard innovation with manufacturing plants worldwide.

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