What Is Brand Identity?

What is brand identity? It is a driving force for all decisions and marketing efforts. Dive into its essentials to unlock its potential for your company

Written by RamotionApr 23, 202414 min read

Last updated: Apr 23, 2024


Do you know that companies no longer sell just products? They sell experiences, ideologies, motivations, and inspirations. The current tendency in customer preferences and expectations demonstrates that buyers are more interested in the company and its role in the market and society than just a solution to their problem.

You might have noticed that more and more businesses are promoting their environmentally friendly solutions, sustainability approaches, and gender-equity working cultures. That is because the audience is concerned about the company's business practices. Customers consider a company's personality, values, and mission before purchasing. That means strengthening your brand identity has become crucial to staying afloat in the market.

What is brand identity, why is it important, and what are the basic steps to building one? We will answer these questions today.

Brand identity includes tangible and intangible elements that manifest across various communication and distribution channels. It affects everything from business cards to TV advertising to how customer-facing employees conduct chats. Its main goal is to reflect the company's ideology, separate it from the competition, and introduce its personality at touchpoints.

Brief history of brand identity

Brand identity has a long and rich history. Originating thousands of years ago, the concept was initially used to stamp cattle to depict farmers' ownership and imprint unique symbols onto artisans' goods to signify their origins.

Hundreds of years later, when the Industrial Revolution began in Europe, brand identity broke out of these sectors and started conquering the World.

The nineteenth century saw a dawn of brand identity. Logos became increasingly popular tools to indicate manufacturers, stand out from the crowd, and symbolize belonging and quality. In the early twentieth century, sonic logos were invented when radio broadcasting advertising became a norm.

Brand identity has gradually but steadily shaped its form in the last century. Today, it includes multiple elements that allow companies to express themselves and reach out to their customers through various means.

Why is brand identity important?

The importance of brand identity extends far beyond being recognized for your unique personality traits. As a core element of a company's existence, it underlies all marketing efforts across communication channels and touchpoints. It navigates crucial marketing endeavors and gives a company control over how others perceive it.

One of the most obvious reasons that businesses need branding identity is to stand out from the crowd. The company's exclusive personality, vision, and mission separate it from the others. Brand identity traits translate into unique modes of communication and emotional connections. People naturally note them and leave them in memory for a long time.

Another good reason to take brand identity seriously is the trust it inspires. Coherency in brand interaction is something that everyone expects to see in businesses in any industry these days. Only with a well-established and actively promoted brand identity can companies ensure credibility in communication and instill confidence in their products.

Finally, a clear brand identity provides value inside your company. It puts everyone on the same page and channels efforts in the right direction. It creates a stimulating environment that empowers employees to be proactive. A company with great branding keeps a team motivated and extends its talent pool, increasing its capacity to fight competition and forward business.

Key elements of a brand's identity

The brand identity reflects your unique company's personality. It has traits and features that reveal who you are to the crowd, support brand management, and underlie marketing efforts. These aspects are brand identity elements. Let's consider them closely.


The brand name is one of the most crucial elements of brand identity. Every business has it. There are some good reasons for that.

First, it identifies your company in a human-like mode. Second, it is the easily understandable point of contact, communication, and interaction between the company and clients. Third, it reflects your brand's vision, mission, and value. Fourth, it makes your company memorable and recognizable. Finally, it shapes the company's presence in the channel, aligning it with brand personality.

Brand names also have a unique ability—they may become synonymous with industry niches, taking companies to the next level. For example, we say "jacuzzi" when discussing hot tubs. However, it is the well-publicized brand name of an American private company that manufactures pools and hot tubs.


A brand story is a narrative that tells the World who you are, why you exist, and what your place is in the market and society. It conveys your mission and core values in an enjoyable and inspiring way that establishes an emotional connection with clients, drives engagement, and impacts decision-making.

Unlike a brand's history, a brand's story involves the consumer as much as the company. It addresses the consumer as a character in a story and meets their needs, making them an integral part of the company's existence in the market.

The well-told brand story connects the company and its client base and establishes a unique personality and identity in their minds.


Brand identity personality is a set of characteristics that describe the company using human-like metaphors. It encapsulates its values and mission, making the brand understandable and relatable to the customers by connecting with them on various levels.

The well-established brand personality is the core of all decisions, actions, and initiatives inside and outside the company. It communicates the company's beliefs to the employees and audience through visual cues in interaction channels.

Businesses that introduce their personality traits at every touchpoint and interaction build strong customer relationships, inspire trust, and cultivate the loyalty necessary to grow and move forward.

The tone of voice and communication

A brand's tone of voice is how a company connects with its audience in messages, interactions, and touchpoints. It is a unified approach to tone, style, language, and customer communication. Aligned with the company's core traits, it shows how the brand sounds, feels, and looks.

The brand's tone conveys the brand's personality by attributing emotional constituents to the messaging. It expresses core values and conveys moods relating to business, products, and the target audience. It builds brand recognition and nurtures customers through coherency across mediums.

Target audience

The target audience describes a group the company wants to reach and sell its products to. It shares the company's values and greatly benefits from its products.

Certain criteria, such as demographics, behaviors, expectations, needs, preferences, purchase intention, lifestyle, and others define this market segment. The target audience is the lifeblood of the business and a crucial brand element that interacts closely with other identity features.

It determines modes of communication, visual identity, design assets, storytelling, and messaging. Understanding your customer profile helps improve positioning and delivery to the market.


Along with the logotype, the slogan is one of the company's most recognizable brand identity possessions. It may take different forms, such as a tagline or catchphrase, but at its core, it describes the company's value, mission, and intentions.

Creating a slogan requires total devotion from the company since it should make a long-lasting impression and serve as an emotional anchor for your customers. It should be clear, simple, enduring, flexible, versatile, memorable, adaptable to marketing and advertising means, and, most importantly, aligned with other brand identity elements.

Think different – iconic Apple slogan.

Products and services

Products and services play a huge role in shaping and delivering brand identity to the crowd. They address customers' needs and reflect the company's personality through tangible elements like product packaging.

Companies apply visual identity elements to connect the dots for customers. They use brand coloring, typeface, logo, graphics, and other stylistic options to make products an extension of the company's individuality.


Sensory branding is an underdog of brand development. Staying in the shadow of visual identity, startups always overlook it. However, all industry leaders capitalize on its potential. After all, it is a viable instrument to appeal to different customers' senses and produce more impactful brand experiences, influencing customers' decision-making.

Sensory branding covers such stimuli as sound, scent, tactile, taste, and visuals, which are fundamental to perceiving and remembering brands. With virtual reality gaining momentum, this area is becoming more prominent and sought-after.

Building brand identity

A lot goes into brand building, from recognizing who you are to instilling your unique personality traits into products. It is a tricky process from start to end that calls for total devotion and constant revisions and improvements. However, this journey might not be so bumpy and intimidating with the basic routine explained. Here is a list of the essential construction steps of brand identity.

Know yourself

The first and most important step in building brand identity is to know yourself. A thorough understanding of who you are, why you exist in the market, what role you play in society, and where you want to be in the future lays a solid groundwork for a company's growth through branding, marketing, and advertising.

It gets you closer to creating products and experiences enriched with your personality and values that meet the market's needs and expectations.

Therefore, identify your core business values: vision, mission, goals, unique selling proposition, positioning statement, and personality characteristics. It would also help to delineate your weaknesses, strengths, and competitive advantages.

Prepare the visual aspects of the brand

The next step is translating your unique personality, mission, and ideology into visual aspects. These will represent your company in the market, communicate the values, deliver the message, build recognition, and separate the brand from the competition.

Visual aspects aligned with the brand's personality also create the consistency necessary to inspire trust and foster loyalty in the target audience.

So, ask your design team to develop a brand style guide, logo, color palette, fonts, and other brand identity design elements. Focus on the brand's core, target audience profile, and competition to create a visual identity and brand equity that stand out and speak directly to the customer.

Develop your brand language

Working with your company's inner World is not over yet. The time has come to develop a brand voice, language, and tone. These crucial personality aspects effectively communicate the key message and underlie numerous marketing and advertising campaigns.

Speaking directly to the client, they create a powerful and cohesive storytelling experience across communication and interaction channels and form a strong identity brand image.

Know what to avoid

Numerous obstacles wait for the company on the road to a successful brand identity. Overcoming them requires avoiding poor decisions and initiatives that may lead to drastic scenarios.

One of the best ways to do this is to stay consistent with key values, brand strategy, and actions. Ensure your brand's core traits are unshakeable and underlie customer interactions.

Developing a distinctive brand identity is another key to meeting challenges with music. Memorability and uniqueness are what stand behind recognition and recall. They fight competition and give customers solid reasons to stick with the brand. Finally, adopt a proactive strategy to fight challenges by learning from others' mistakes.

Monitoring competition surfaces their poor decisions. Use this knowledge to avoid them, keep your company ahead of others, and spend your precious time creating meaningful customer experiences instead of facing the aftermath of mistakes.

Brand and niche monitoring

Once the brand elements are settled, you should integrate them throughout your business presence. This implies utilizing your visual identity and language in every communication and interaction channel and touchpoint.

It is also crucial to remember that branding is not a one-time event. It is an ongoing process that requires companies to upgrade their brand's personality and presence in the market to keep up with the ever-evolving landscape.

Conducting competitor analysis and trend monitoring are crucial stages in brand development. They help companies survive in the market and grow through well-thought-out improvements and timely adaptation.

Semrush – popular brand monitoring tool

The brand identity measurement system

Tracking brand identity effectiveness is one of the most important stages of branding. It surfaces your strategy's weaknesses and strengths and hints at improvements. The brand identity measurement methods evaluate how well your brand elements align with your brand personality and strategy performance.

One of the best ways to do this is to use modern tools like Semrush, ESPs, etc. They gather market insights and key marketing campaign metrics such as traffic, conversions, leads, followers, and mentions to analyze their performance across channels, translating brand identity success into real data.

As for a brand's personality evaluation, assessing its performance calls for unique and often personalized solutions that derive crucial information about how the target audience perceives you. This may include brand audits that analyze awareness, recognition, loyalty, and advocacy indicators.

The surefire way to do this is to ask your clients to identify one of a few business collaterals or give honest feedback. You may also inspect chats of customer-facing employees and use tools to track social branding by analyzing mentions in social media.

Brand identity examples

Here are some fantastic brand identity examples to show the potential hidden in the concept.

1. Coca-Cola

Coca Cola is one of the World's most successful, recognizable, and memorable brands. Having been with us for over a century, it knows how to speak to its target audience across generations while staying true to its personality and core values.

Their approach to brand development is impeccable. Their value and mission are always present in their products and experiences. Brand elements such as logotype, coloring, and typeface consistently accompany all their marketing efforts and advertising campaigns, creating a coherent brand image.

Coca-Cola street sign (image by Louai Benzaoui)

2. McDonald's

Arguably one of the most recognizable brands in the fast-food restaurant niche, McDonald's has been serving customers across the globe for decades. It is resilient to trends and fluctuations in the market because of its unshakeable brand identity.

Their core values can be seen in all the company's actions and efforts. Whether it is a new hamburger, restaurant, or advertisement, you might expect hospitality, unrivaled quality, and iconic visual identity elements to meet the eye.

McDonald’s (image by Mikechie Esparagoza)

3. Spotify

Putting music front, Spotify is one of the beloved digital platforms that give access to millions of songs. Although it is a relatively young company compared to the ones featured above, it is still a great example of successful capitalization on a strong brand identity.

Focusing on their core traits, values, and mission, the team has translated their unique personality into intangible and tangible elements that directly speak to the audience, drive engagement, and separate them from the others.

Spotify official website

4. Notion

The Notion is another young player in the market. It is increasingly popular with businesses and individuals as a versatile all-in-one workspace that provides a handy platform for organizing and managing tasks.

Like Spotify, the company bets everything on its personality and core features. The team prioritizes a strong brand identity by consistently delivering its core value to customers. As a result, they managed to carve their place in the overserved niche in less than a decade.

Notion official website


Established in the '30s, Lego is synonymous with construction toys. It has weathered economic turbulence for almost a century, securing billions of dollars in revenue yearly.

The reason for their success lies not only in meticulously created products that constantly meet current market demands but, most importantly, the brand promise they keep.

Imagination, fun, creativity, and learning are the first things that come to mind when we think about Lego – this is the power of a strong brand identity.

LEGO official website


Brand identity is a complex term encompassing tangible and intangible elements of a company's market existence and activity. Among the most crucial are name, logo, slogan, tone, language, sensory approaches, products, vision, mission, value proposition, and goal. They stand behind the company's decisions and efforts at all macro and micro levels across communication channels.

A strong brand identity is crucial for a company's success and long-term growth. It fights competition, highlights brands in the market, aligns products and experiences with customers' preferences, and empowers employees to forward the company.

Building design with brand identity agency is an ongoing process. It starts with understanding the inner self, finding tone and language, and preparing visual aspects to bring personality to the World. Then, it requires polishing and regular improvement as the company extends its reach and market. Finally, it involves monitoring the niche and grabbing opportunities to reinforce the company's position.