A brand’s identity is its pinnacle. It’s the greatest “portrait” one can offer and the hardest to achieve. It defines the brand like nothing else and it makes people remember it either for greatness or for everything people despise. A brand people don’t remember for anything has no identity, while one that only stands out is a complete different story.
Regardless of its kind, be that visual or psychological, as long as it exists it reflects the brand and defines the quality it comes with.
Your brand’s identity is the portrait of the “value” you’re offering to the public.
When to Start?
Unlike a brand that is built up with years of hard work, an identity should be “designed” during the very early stage of a business planning. While the idea is under development you should also focus on its identity. You can regard it as a concept for what you would like the brand stand for while you turn your idea into reality or ways for achieving it.
The number of “successful” businesses out there that don’t have any kind of identity, not even a negative one, is huge. Yet, you can’t compare them with the ones that developed their identity because they’re playing on a complete different level and the term “successful” means something entirely different for them.
You can always build on and develop further an identity, but it takes some serious effort and creativity to insert one into an existent product or brand and make that work out well.
How to Start?
Define, clarify; set up rules, principles, directions and standards.
Focus on building your brand, not on competing with the other ones. Maybe the reality doesn’t reflect it, but it’s definitely true: you compete only when you can’t offer something good enough or original. If that’s the case, you need to compete to succeed, I give you that, at least at the beginning.
How to continue?
Play by the rules. Don’t let anything stop you from following your visions.
You should always try to stay on the top of the world of updates, world changes, people change, your brand must change too. Adapt your brand’s VALUE to fit your customers’ evolving requirements, yet ALWAYS remain faithful to its core DNA. If you don’t take this effort everything you worked for so hard for so long will either go in the wrong direction or fade away like it never even existed. When the identity fades the brand starts to fall.
When everything is against what your brand stands for, you must find a way to get through because if you quit focusing on its identity it can easily become one of the meaningless ones in the eyes of your potential customers.
You should always know when it’s time for a change. Developing a complete new identity after many years isn’t easy, yet in rare cases there is no other way to continue.