When clients define “identity”, their first response is often “it is what the company looks like; the logo and the colors we use.” Some include the professional service they sell and the manner in which they sell it. Yes, Identity is all of this . . . and more. Much more.
Identity is everything about your business and the company you manage: from your message, to your market, to your logo, to your employees, to your proposals, to your website, to your social connections . . . See what’s happening here? Identity is the all-encompassing sphere that is you and your business. Even your internal policies and procedures take part in reinforcing your identity. If your identity is muddy, it’s likely that more than just your logo is outdated.
In a study conducted by Harvard Business Review, a strong identity matters: “…companies with a strong identity — the kind that is backed up by the ability to deliver their promise — tend to win.” Your identity is so much bigger than just your logo. Which is why we don’t start with logo design (or redesign) until we’ve completed some research. Alina Wheeler, brand consultant and author of Designing Brand Identity, asks four critical questions to help define a brand identity:
- Who are you?
- Who needs to know?
- How will they find out?
- Why should they care?
Not convinced that identity is more than just a logo? Look at Apple for instance. From the very beginning, Steve Jobs created a cultural identity around providing a very unique product. He managed every aspect of the identity to such a degree that consumers would wait in lines for a week to buy his latest iProduct, regardless of price or functionality.
But now, Apple is in the middle of an identity crisis. The passing of Steve Jobs has left a huge hole in the company. Not only is the company “inextricably tied to a real human”, he was the innovator, the one who pushed way out into to new territory. Selling personal computers without a floppy disk drive?!?! Who does that? Steve Jobs does. His absence and lack of product innovation has diminished the brand identity, leading previously loyal brand consumers to question another blind Apple purchase.
When creating an identity for clients, we extend our focus beyond the individual and separate elements. Alina Wheeler calls these elements Brand Touchpoints. “Each touchpoint is an opportunity to increase awareness and build customer loyalty”. We consider the bigger picture and how all the smaller elements interact with one another. It’s that sweet spot we’re after. Each element is combined to create a single identity. It really is more than just a logo.
If you find you need some guidance in this process of defining your company identity, call 214-217-4299. We’ll help you build a road map to a better, stronger, and bigger presence.