Brand identity. Emerge, stand out and become unique
The cost of the competition. The brand and the advantages of identity.
Many companies strive to constantly compete with their competitors, offer more, offer new advantages, lower prices by squeezing margins and, in doing so, they all tend to look alike in the end. Then trying to match or surpass the market leaders, the so-called giants, is an impossible and self-defeating enterprise.
The winning move, therefore, is not to gain market segments by focusing on the most advantageous offer, but to differentiate oneself from the others (also from the leaders) by enhancing one’s identity and creating an exclusive brand for oneself and for the customers. Once a brand value is created, competition becomes irrelevant.
Modern consumers have evolved and interact with companies thanks to the tools made available by the network: commercial information is submitted from various sources and different are the control channels.
The “prosumers”, a sort of modern consumers, confront each other and master a product in its entirety before even analyzing it closely; they know its merits and defects, its durability and efficiency compared to other similar products.
Creating a brand identity means bypassing all this and having to worry no longer (or not only) about proposing the best product in the world or the best conditions, but to reinforce one’s brand value, the most important element that moves the purchasing lever.
How to create a brand. The reference values.
In 1985 Steve Jobs paid $100,000 for the Next logo. It was a different time, communications were not as immediate, as they are today and an established brand had many years of work behind it.
The first thing to consider when creating a brand is the message you want to send out.
The winning strategy today is to let the public perceive the human presence behind every company. Putting one’s face on it is an operation that always pays off, as well as telling one’s own story (made up of winning goals, achievements but also mistakes), almost as if to testify to the common human nature.
If on a pharmaceutical leaflet a product is given as therapeutic in an infinity of pathologies, without any contraindication, it is seen with mistrust, as something that, contrary to what is described, is of little use. If, on the other hand, there are limits or contraindications, the product itself will immediately appear more credible.
It is not enough to claim to be a market leader to seduce customers. Rather, it is true that all the biggest giants were born taking possession of a niche market, maximizing the offer with the advantage of not suffering the competition and gaining over time the image of a pioneering company, which has created a product and its market.
The most concrete example is Google which, imposing itself on the search engine market when no one understood its potential, has grown out of all proportion without great sacrifice and today is the owner of a brand thanks to which it can accept any challenge.
Storytelling and beachhead. Your own story and the battle area.
Those who want to get into the game start by telling their story, which can be done by family traditions or by a winning and innovative idea. A careful analysis of the market and the needs of a segment of consumers only partially satisfied is essential to identify the beachhead, that is the commercial area to attack.
It may be that a company finds itself in the condition of having to carry on an old business founded generations earlier: in that case it will be on the one hand bound to the product but with an image already consolidated over time. However, it is always possible to choose a niche market not considered by big farms, within which to promote an innovative product, however conventional.
Transparent and realistic storytelling is the first requirement to actively involve the consumer. You can tell one’s storytelling by placing the accents on the values one intends to convey as a guarantee of a corporate philosophy on which to build a relationship of trust with the consumer.
Through the Instagram channel, for example, it is possible to divulge your storytelling, but other social networks are equally useful to create a network of followers, perhaps engaging some influencers.
Through the same means, you can circumscribe your beachhead, and more than only one, by setting up a one-channel strategy or sponsoring your own event. By positioning your brand in strategic areas for future steps, you lay the right foundations for a strong brand identity.
From a careful analysis of the consumer target, it is possible to identify the most used means of communication and prefer it to others, to make sure that the messages reach the right target.
For example, once established the size of the audience, it remains to be understood with which devices your interlocutors interact (desktop, mobile or both), what they read and where they draw information from (newspapers, social media, blogs); if they prefer technological means or use paper, which platforms they use if they prefer large or short content, which formats they are used to (videos, pics, blog posts or e-books).
Through contacts with potential customers you can also become aware of the limits of the offer, how to improve it, which topics to focus on or how to overcome the best offers of the moment.
The logo and the naming. The image and assonance to which we will bind ourselves.
In the end, the brand must be identified by a name and a visual that, alone, must transmit a message, tell a story, identify who we are.
To design the right logo for your company or make a restyling requires experience, knowledge of expressive and chromatic codes, fonts, aesthetic taste to manage different styles, etc..
Even for naming it is necessary to establish first of all your own strength, the area of action and the kind of product you want to focus on. It is therefore necessary to rely on professionals, and also to carry out the right research in the databases to verify that there are no other similar or equal names in the reference class/sector.
After a more or less long period in which brand identity successfully attacks a market, although a niche one, linking it to a new and winning product, it will acquire enormous strength by connecting the brand to the new product it has launched. As a consequence, with the same effectiveness it will be able to move in the future and it will be easier to launch products also in competition with other big names on the market.
Have a look at our Case Studies about creating new brands.