Brand identity is really important when creating a marketing strategy.
To be authentic means to be original, a one of a kind, something unique.
Branding is what makes your business stand out from the crowd.
Identity is all about what it looks like and how people see it.
Put all those three components together and you’ll have yourself an authentic brand identity, but how do you actually create this…
It’s all about the story.
You want your story to be one that the customers trust and rely on, it’s how you build a connection with your audience.
You want your customers to have an experience through your story that they don’t get from other brands.
“Brand stories are not marketing materials. They are not ads, and they are not sales pitches. Brand stories should be told with the brand persona and the writer’s personality at center stage. Boring stories won’t attract and retain readers, but stories brimming with personality can”
Susan Gunelius, Forbes.
People trust people.
Your story should be all about those who create and build the company, those who give the brand its success.
Make it about a personality to make it feel relatable for the customer.
Customers are likely to develop trust and will want to continue using your services if your brand message is heartwarming, nothing far-fetched but something that demonstrates your company has good beliefs.
Keep your story concise, it needs to talk about you, why you started your business and what your about.
The end goal of your story is to explain 3 simple aspects…
This is what will drive your authenticity, the story will take the steering wheel.
If it’s strong enough it will take care of your brand and others will share it.
Customers will read your story and appreciate your brand for what you stand for.
So, we know it’s about the story but what are the qualities that make a brand authentic.
Firstly, you want to demonstrate you’re being genuine and real, this is then a contributing factor to giving your customers respect and protecting customer privacy.
You are not just a screen and keyboard; you are a small business owner who wants to make their customers happy.
Show them respect by delivering on your promises and you can do this by maintaining and providing high quality.
All the qualities interlink making you one step closer to building to the authentic brand identity.
Here are some top tips on how to create and maintain an authentic look for your brand:
1. Think about what is important to your consumer, what brought them to you in the first place and what will keep them with you.
2. Be original. Be something you don’t find often, as I said sell your brands personality within your story. Don’t be shy to stand out in the crowd and achieve your goals!
3. Visuals. Utilise visuals to suit your brand. Use a logo, images and graphics so that when somebody see them again, they think of your business! Think about engaging with your audience, post pictures of yourself and your team.
4. Build a community. Use your platforms to create a community with your customers. The more you appear like a sociable and friendly space the more your customers will trust you.
5. Tell your story. Once you’ve established your values and brand story it is key to ensure you remain consistent with it.
Amanda Bowden’s article from crowd spring explains “When you get to know someone, you start to develop opinions and impressions of them based on your interactions, your customers and prospects approach your company in the same way”
Treat your brand identity in the same way you treat meeting a new person.
Often a brands authenticity is sourced from real situations, real strengths and weaknesses.
This makes it more relatable for the customers.
So be honest, admit when you’ve had a setback show the ‘behind the scenes.’
A study done by Harvard Business Review revealed customers prefer values such as openness, relevance empathy and emotion. The more you give the more they take.
Customers are what drive a business to success at the end of the day.
Without customers you don’t get very far so make every decision made, in mind if your customers.
Nearly all businesses are battling within their industry for the ‘top spot.’
Authenticity comes from the way in which you choose to sell your product, not the product itself.
So now we’ve covered the ways to make your brand authentic and what it takes to be an authentic brand, let’s talk about your brand identity.
Why is your brand identity important?
Not only does your brand identity help with the authenticity you’re looking to create but this also helps contribute to the growth of your company.
Your brand identity will help establish understanding and a feeling of reliability.
This then turns into loyalty, engagement and the end of goal of long-term success.
So how do we do this?
Firstly, you want to mark your brand identity and tie in the authenticity, we’ve already mentioned the story.
You also need to define your core values.
By addressing your core values as a company you’re saying that you’re more than just the sales.
You need to know your demographic and who you’re targeting, don’t aim for a broad scope, do your research and find out your target market.
Then there’s the obvious things that go into your brand identity such as colors, logos and tone of voice.
Try to go for styles that haven’t been used anywhere else.
Big branded companies don’t have similar colors or logos, each one stands out and we all know who they are for.
Find this for your brand.
When designing your logo don’t just think about the pretty image.
Think about the story behind it, think about why your customer will appreciate it and what it represents about your company.
Build your personality.
Most people look for honesty, friendliness and advice, so, be the company that provides that for them.
To summarize, be honest, be original and tell your story.
The more you appear as a friend the more your customers will build trust with your company.
Prove to your customers, old and new, that your more than just a business, talk about the downfalls and show them your strengths.
It’s about breaking down those barriers, so you show the foundations of your company.
It’s not an easy task and consumes a lot of time but once you’ve built all these components, slowly but surely, you’ll have your very own authentic brand identity.