If I told you that I’m a die-hard Harley-Davidson biker, or that I visit Starbucks every morning, or that I only have Patagonia jackets in my closet… you would probably create a picture of how I look and act based on the products I use.
Whether that picture of me is true or not, the picture you had in your head was based off the brand identity each of these companies have.
The companies above are great examples of understanding who they are as companies and using those self-assured identities as an advantage. Through their identities they’ve been able to create cultures that people want to be part of.
Who are you as a company?
In a lot of cases, courts distinguish corporations as actual “persons.” If you were to meet a personified version of your company, how would you describe them?
What kind of clothes would they be wearing? What music would they be listening to? What car would they be driving? What are their hobbies? Where would they go on vacation? What are their dreams and ambitions?
Anyways, I think you get the idea…
Our companies take on identities of their own. Whether we create them or not, those identities are formed. The key is to understand what the company’s identity is and what you would like it to be.
Again, Harley-Davidson is a good example. If the company was a person they’d be wearing a leather vest with stitched-on patches, they’d be listening to 80’s rock, and their biggest desire would be to feel the freedom of the open road. In fact, “freedom” may be one of the best words to associate with their brand identity.
If you were to ask anyone to describe a personified Harley-Davidson, they might not make the same descriptions as me, but the general idea and feel of the person would probably be quite similar. This is because Harley-Davidson is very successful at consistently staying true to the brand identity they have.
A lot of people who ride Harley-Davidson’s don’t look like the person I described above. But the identity that the company has, creates a familiarity with the company and, in a lot of cases, creates a community for people to become parts of. Before a customer buys or even considers buying from Harley-Davidson, they already have an idea of who they’d be buying from. This adds an extra level of trust on top of good reviews or references from friends.
So how do you create a successful brand identity? Well, it all starts with asking the right questions. Asking yourself the questions given above may be a good place to begin. This will help you better understand the personality of the company, as well as its aspirations.
Trying to create a brand identity is worth the effort. It will help your company become more consistent in all of its roles. It will help build trust in your company from current and future customers. And it makes the company more approachable and more enjoyable to do business with. Plus, like I mentioned before, every company has an identity. May as well be intentional and create the identity you want – your true identity.