What is the best way of building a brand identity?

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Answered by: Mike, An Expert in the Branding 101 Category
If you were to mention the name GoPro, the chances are good that a sturdy camera built for taking along on your roughest adventures would come to mind.

Why? It's simply because GoPro has worked hard to create a brand that is easy to recognize and remember, portrays their mission to build a quality product, and establish and maintain customer loyalty to the company.

Needless to say, a carefully tailored brand is one of the most carefully protected assets of a business, since not only does it represent a business, but it can also add considerably to the value of a business and its products. This is so true, in fact, that if you examine the accounting statements of many businesses, they will give a monetary value to its name and brand.

Interestingly, creating and maintaining a company's brand is an endeavor that is shared not only by the company itself but also by the customers, vendors, and many others who interact with the business on a daily basis. This is because each one of these forms an opinion of the company and its products with each and every interaction it has with the company, whether it be positive or negative. Simply put, when enough entities have enough positive or negative impressions of a company, that company will be impacted to that extent.

Does your business have a brand? Chances are good that it does, whether it is positive or negative. Whatever it is, it can be changed to the positive and improved, whether it is good or bad.

What is a Brand?

The American Marketing Association defines a brand as a "name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's goods or service as distinct from those of other sellers." You could also look at a brand as whatever comes to a buyer's mind when they think of your business and its products or services.

Your brand can include a lot of things, including what your product is like, what your company values are, how well you communicate your values, and how your publics feel about your business or product. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon defined a brand when he called it "Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room."

What Makes Up a Brand?

Although building a brand identity is critical to your business and product's success, creating that brand is surprisingly complicated. It includes several factors:

1. Physical. A brand's identity involves its physical aspects, including but not limited to the logo, packaging colors, type face of the printing, and more.

2. Personality. A brand's identity also involves the nature of the feelings people get when they experience it. For example, does your brand invoke fun, excitement, refreshment, etc.?

3. Culture. A brand should reflect the emotions a company wants their publics to experience when they come into contact with the company or product.

4. Relationship. Building a brand identity should invoke positive relationships between the company and its publics as well as between those who enjoy the use of the product.

5. Self Image. Perhaps the ultimate goal of a brand should be to help build the self-image of those who have purchased a product. This is the idea behind car companies that advertise and hope to reach those who have already purchased their vehicles. This post-sale advertising is an endorsement of their purchasing decision.

Good branding might best be thought of as a mirror. A brand identity should provide not only a positive view of the company, but for those who purchase it as well.

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