Brand Storytelling

Is Your Brand Identity Craving a Revamp?

It’s a New Year, and that doesn’t just mean overly optimistic gym memberships: it means rejuvenation. A chance to rethink who your brand is, what it’s trying to achieve, and how it’s being perceived in the marketplace.

Is your current brand identity working for you? And if it isn’t, this is the year to do something about it.

What is brand identity? Brand identity is who your brand is, what it looks like, how it talks to its audience. It’s an amalgamation of your messaging, visual elements, content, and values, being filtered through the eyes and hearts of your audience.

How do customers, and potential customers, see you? How do they feel about you, and what distinguishes your brand from its competitors?

An inconsistent, weak, or conflicted brand identity creates confusion in the marketplace, it dilutes your presence and your bottom line. Let’s take a look at how to spot-check your strategy for identity crises, and outline the best strategies to create the new you.

Identifying Brand Identity Problems

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How do you know when it’s time to reconsider your brand identity? How do you know when there’s a problem?

There are two distinct phases of figuring out which brand identity problems you’re struggling with. The first phase is figuring out how your brand is perceived.

What’s Wrong with Brand Perception and Consistency

Step one: know how your audience sees your brand identity. How you feel about your brand is largely irrelevant, and is rarely accurate. Surveys, customer reviews, and social media interaction should be monitored and analyzed regularly. We wrote a whole article about how important social listening is, and how to do it.

This collection of customer sentiment will let you know the state of your current brand identity, who is interested in you and your product, and which parts of your target audience you aren’t reaching.

Step two: check your brand consistency. How clear is your brand identity across all of your platforms and marketing channels? Inconsistent messaging will lead to inconsistent branding, and a muddled brand identity. If you’re funny on Instagram, educational on your website, and dry in your newsletters, people are going to lose a sense of who your brand is.

The second phase of pinpointing your brand identity problems is to look at the gaps in your strategy.

What’s Wrong with Brand Identity Strategies

Step one: review what you’re saying and how you’re saying it. Be on the lookout for outdated visuals, bad information, and misaligned messaging. All of these create confusion about your brand.

A thorough audit of your content and campaigns will help you find the areas that need work. The rubric for these audits should be your style guide.

Step two: analyze how consumers feel about your competition. You should know who your competitors are, but do you know how they’re perceived by their own target audience? This information isn’t always easy to come by, but using the same social listening practices you use for your brand can give you this data on the competition.

Once you know how their audience sees them, you compare it with their success. Are they finding their audience? How does it differ from your audience? Where can you learn from them, and where can you contrast to bolster your brand identity with the segments they’re missing?

Strategies for Boosting Your Brand Identity

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Now that we know how to tell if there’s a problem, and where growth opportunities are, we can move to the fun part: fixing, improving, or clarifying your brand identity.

Revisit the Brand’s Purpose and Voice

What are your brand objectives and values? When building, improving, or revamping your brand identity, it’s smart to go back to the drawing board. What is your brand doing, what problem is it solving, and what does it believe in?

This should be a team effort for an important reason: if no one within the team can agree on what your objectives and values are, there’s no chance the audience will know your brand identity.

Align on the brand’s mission, values, and vision to figure out your brand’s purpose. Build this into the style guide that we’re holding all of your content accountable to. These are your guiding stars.

What is your brand’s personality? This will help you find your voice, the voice you should be using consistently across all your content. Is your brand fun, funny, or irreverent? Is it educational, sophisticated, or dignified? There are no wrong answers here, as long as your team agrees on the same answer.

Well, there is one wrong answer: a voice that doesn’t resonate with your target audience. Revisit how your brand is being perceived, how your competitors are being perceived, and how that perception is affecting customer purchase intent.

Create a Cohesive Brand Identity

Time to move out of the conception and into the details: what content can you create or change right now to improve your brand identity?

Update and/or align your visual elements. These elements include colors, typography, logos, and images all across your channels. Unifying them under the style guide is absolutely necessary. Creating new visual elements all united in purpose and look can recharge your brand identity in the minds of the audience.

Make your branding consistent and immutable. Every marketing channel must feature the same look and messaging, even down to the smallest or seemingly inconsequential channel. Social media and your website are obvious, but your brand identity has to be consistent on your brand t-shirts, the gifts you send out during the holidays, and even your email signatures.

Create brand guidelines and enforce them across all of your departments. Everyone should know where to find the style guide and have access to it, and they should be given the education and the motivation to consult the guide during the creation of any content.

Even if it’s a piece of paperwork, your brand identity should shine through.

Keep Listening, Keep Adapting, But Stay True

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Before we go, a final word on maintaining a strong brand identity:

Stay flexible, because nothing lasts forever. Even the longest-lasting, most successful brands in the world have to bow to the fickle tides of time. No brand identity will resonate forever: audiences change, industries change, and styles change over time. The brands with the strongest brand identities are, ironically, not afraid to change those identities to reflect new eras.

In the world of social media, where trends and sensibilities change in the blink of an eye, this flexibility is only more crucial than ever.

However the accoutrements of your brand identity change, your core values should stay strong and shine through. That’s the key to real impact in the minds and hearts of consumers.

Related Reading: Rebranding: How CPG Companies Package New Identities – Inspira Marketing

If you’re looking to revamp your brand identity, let us help. Click on the button below to send a message to the team at Inspira Marketing.

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