Customers associate brands with emotions. Take the golden arch of MacDonald - many of us may subconsciously crave a burger just by looking at the logo.
Such is the impact of brand identity.
But, what is brand identity?
Brand Identity is the personification of a company through different visual, audio, and textual elements that lend it character. These elements represent the business values, making it more humane and appealing. Brand allure is essential for businesses to be successful because it creates perceptions, encourages engagement, and ultimately leads to better market recognition among competitors.
A powerful brand identity requires standardized and up-to-date brand assets available on demand. And a consistent brand experience across channels is possible only by centralizing your digital assets. This is exactly what a Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution does. A DAM ensures your business maintains a compelling brand presence amidst competitors who provide look-alike products and services.
Understanding the importance of brand identity
Most of us think of ‘sophistication,’ ‘state-of-the-art,’ and ‘easy-to-use’ when we hold a sleek Apple device. Its brand identity stands for clutter-free designs and user-friendliness.
Brand identity is the strategic composition of visual, auditory, and textual elements, reflecting a company's personality aligned with its vision and values. It ensures immediate recognition across diverse assets, allowing customers to identify and connect with the company through distinct sensory elements, whether a post on X or a video on YouTube.
A logo is probably the most recognizable part of a brand identity, yet many more elements shape it. These commonly include the following:
- A logo is a graphic symbol that embodies the brand, like the Nike swoosh, which stands for speed and movement.
- A color palette is a select range of colors that creates a recognizable visual signature since colors symbolize feelings or qualities. The iconic green color of Starbucks is instantly identifiable and appears on its cups and aprons.
- Typography consists of distinctive fonts. Coca-Cola is written using a unique and instantly recognizable font that is part of its heritage.
- Imagery refers to photos or illustrations that reflect the brand's essence; Companies like Cisco and American Express avoid using artificial lights or filters in their imagery for a more human and natural look.
- Messaging comprises taglines and brand voices that communicate values. L'oreal's "Because You Are Worth It" makes a consumer feel pampered and valued; MacDonald's "I'm lovin' It" has a fuzzy, feel-good factor.
- Design elements encompass layout and style for uniform aesthetics. Uber's black and white and clean modern design gives it the image of efficiency and speed.
- Signature tune or sonic branding consists of sound logos or audio expressions. The four-second sound clip of Netflix sets anticipation for a great viewing experience.
These elements shape the brand experience, connecting with the audience and fostering recognition, loyalty, and market differentiation. But, the work does not stop defining these brand elements but lies in managing them efficiently.
7 reasons why brand identity is important for any business
Brand identity is more than just a collection of design elements; it tells a riveting story reflecting the core values of a business.
Differentiation: Standing out in a crowded market
A creatively crafted brand identity sets you apart from your competition and strategically positions your brand as the preferred choice. It shapes customer perception and builds trust and respect. Consider Canva’s brand identity. The company believes in ‘empowering the world to design’, making it more than a mere design platform but a force that has democratized design.
Purchasing decisions: Winning over customers
The importance of brand identity lies not just in helping sell products or services, but in creating experiences, emotions, and ideologies that resonate. People choose Rolex over other luxury brands as a lifestyle statement because of its brand identity around prestige and excellence. The essence of branding lies in its ability to influence the purchasing decisions significantly.
Consistency: Creating a uniform message across marketing materials
Brands that maintain a uniform message throughout their marketing endeavors create audience stickiness. In fact, branding inconsistency can cost a company dearly. A well-defined brand identity guarantees the same style and design in every material by mandating specific fonts, colors, tones, and designs to build coherence and transform your brand into an instantly recognizable and trustworthy entity. For instance, when you visit Starbucks, you can expect a familiar (hence comforting) environment with a consistent café design.
Visual representation: Creating a personality embodying values:
Brand identity serves as the visual embodiment of brand values and personality. It conveys the brand's character and story, aiding consumers in grasping its personality. If you look at Amazon’s logo, not only does the name stand for the large size of the company but the arrow between the letters ‘a’ and ‘z’ indicates it sells everything from a to z. Additionally, it gives the impression of a smile.
Brand awareness: Increasing visibility
The importance of brand identity is appreciated the most in cultivating awareness for products and services by prominently featuring in advertising and marketing materials such as media coverage, visual branding, email marketing, and publications. The heightened visibility translates to increased exposure, promising to boost potential customer engagement and sales.
Customer loyalty and trust: Fostering connection with company and brand
An effective brand identity not only builds trust but also facilitates emotional connections and transforms customers into loyal advocates. Branding adds a human face to a company, making it relatable and going beyond commercial transactions, fostering lasting relationships and loyalty. A great example is Johnson & Johnson, whose customers trust its products globally because of its consistent dedication to quality, safety, and innovation.
Employee pride: A thriving internal culture fuels favorable external interactions
Branding shapes a reputable workplace, fostering employee pride and attracting talent. When employees love their work, they become effective champions for the company. For instance, Google's brand identity cultivates a dynamic, innovative, and inclusive culture, making employees its best brand ambassadors.
Digital Asset Management Software - A tool to elevate your brand identity
Digital assets, including brand assets, go through a five-stage life cycle - creation, management, retrieval, distribution, and archival. A software that manages these different stages by storing, organizing, and distributing different digital assets, including images, videos, audios, and documents, is known as a digital asset management solution. It offers several features that empower businesses to ensure their digital assets are safe, always available, ready-to-use, and used optimally - everything a company needs to ensure an impactful brand identity.
How DAM software helps strengthen brand identity
Have you ever gotten frustrated for not finding the right template for a presentation when you have a deadline staring at you? Or got the “You do not have the necessary permission” message, when you need access the most?
Effectively managing brand assets is challenging, with dispersed files, retrieval issues, risks of misuse, collaboration hurdles, and version complexities. Overcoming these challenges is crucial for a cohesive and impactful brand presence.
A digital asset management solution is a highly effective tool for managing brand assets, and here is how:
Providing a single source of truth for brand assets
Employees feel confident in maintaining brand consistency internally and externally across various touch points when they have a single authoritative source for the brand assets they create. A DAM software offers this centralized repository for both storage and organization.
ImageKit for eg. is a cloud-based DAM platform has the capacity to host and manage a wide range of digital assets with the capability to expand storage on demand.
With ImageKit your digital files can be organized not just into folders but also virtual collections supported by metadata and tagging to build your company's own organizational scheme. When searching for assets, you can rely on regular vocabulary because the search function is AI-powered and human-friendly.
Colloboration with stakeholders is simple using the DAM, as you can share folders, files and media collections to both individuals and teams. This means no emails or external file hosting services to share files that sit on the personal computers of different employees — which invariably leads to confusion over which is the right file and who has it.
Facilitates easy collaboration for brand development
When different team members from branding, design, marketing, or IT departments work simultaneously on a brand campaign, having streamlined workflows and seamless collaboration become critical to ensure cohesive outcomes.
Why ?— Because each of these teams have different roles, even if tied by a common objective.
A DAM system mitigates these challenges and streamlines creative workflows by centralizing and simplifying asset management. To boost teamwork both inside and outside the company, a Digital Asset Management (DAM) system can set up custom permissions for both individuals and teams. These permissions match the unique workflows needed for each job.
Ensuring consistent use of visual elements
We already discussed how a DAM keeps all your visual elements in one place, making sure everyone uses them the same way. And how custom permissions help both individuals and teams work smoothly. But this feature not only streamlines workflows but also reinforces brand asset consistency across various projects and departments.
With a DAM, you can manage every asset's feedback and approvals, so all your marketing collateral is constantly under the radar, and nothing gets missed. The "Draft mode" lets your team members handle feedback and revisions better, which helps maintain brand consistency.
DAMs also provide a version control feature. This ensures only the final, approved versions of your brand materials are available for use, keeping your brand's image consistent across the platforms you market the assets.
For a successful business to thrive under its brand identity, the role of DAM is important because it simplifies brand asset management and acts like a guardian to the brand.
With ImageKit you not only secure your brand assets a centralized home, but you power your stakeholders with best collaborative features in the market, to help build and establish your brand . Our solution ensures that every asset you publish across your every marketing channel remain consistent and true to your brand's identity, so that you can continue enjoying a business that thrives.
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