Brand Identity Perspectives
Brand identity is how a business presents itself to, and wants to be perceived by, its consumers.
Brand identity is distinct from brand image. The former corresponds to the intent behind the branding: the way a company chooses its name; designs its logo; uses colors, shapes and other visual elements in its products and promotions; crafts the language in its advertisements and trains employees to interact with customers — all with the goal of cultivating a certain image in consumers’ minds. Brand image is the actual result of these efforts, successful or unsuccessful.
Brand Identity and Value
Beyond saving a company money on promotion, a successful brand can be one of a company’s most valuable assets. Brand value is intangible, making it difficult to quantify, but common approaches take into account the cost it would take to build a similar brand, the cost of royalties to use the brand name, and cash flow of comparative unbranded businesses. Nike, Inc., for example, owns one of the world’s most instantly recognizable logos, the “swoosh.” Forbes estimated Nike’s brand to be worth $29.6 billion in 2017, despite that fact that, in a world devoid of brand perception, taking the swoosh off of Nike’s shoes and apparel would change nothing about their comfort or performance.
Building Brand Identity
The steps a company needs to take to build a strong, cohesive and consistent brand identity will vary, but a few points apply broadly to most:
Analyze the company and the market: A full SWOT analysis that includes the entire firm — a look at the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats — is a proven way to help managers understand their situation so they can better determine what their goals are and the steps they need to take to achieve them.
Determine key business goals: The brand identity should help fulfill these goals. For example, if an automaker is pursuing a niche luxury market, its ads should be crafted to appeal to that market and should appear on channels and sites where potential customers are likely to see them.
Identify its customers: Conducting surveys, convening focus groups and holding one-on-one interviews can help a company determine who its offerings appeal to.
Determine the personality and message it wants to communicate: What does the company want its market to perceive? A company needs to create a consistent perception, rather than trying to combine every conceivable positive trait: utility, affordability, quality, nostalgia, modernity, luxury, flash, taste and class. All elements of a brand, i.e., copy, imagery, cultural allusions, color schemes, etc., should be in line with each other and deliver a coherent message.
Building a brand identity is a multi-disciplinary, strategic effort, and every element needs to support the overall message and business goals. It can include a company’s name, logo, design; its style and the tone of its copy; the look and composition of its products; and, of course, its social media presence. Steve Jobs, Apple’s founder, famously obsessed over details as small as the shade of gray on the bathroom signs in Apple stores. While that level of focus may not be necessary, the anecdote shows that Apple’s successful branding is the result of intense effort, not serendipity.
Brand identity Prism, Identity Levels
The brand identity prism therefore applies human traits to a brand to recognize what consumers actually think of the brand. The brand identity prism, as the name suggests comes in the form a prism with 6 different traits at each end of the prism. These 6 traits are
1) Physique – Physique is the basis of the brand. It may include product features, symbols and attributes.
2) Personality – Personality defines what personality will the brand assume if it were a person. Personality includes character and attitude.
3) Culture – Culture takes a holistic view of the organization, its origins and the values it stands for.
4) Relationship – The strength of the relationship between the brand and the customer. It may represent beliefs and associations in the human world.
5) Reflection – What does the brand represent in the customers mind or rather the customer mindset as reflected on the brand
6) Self image – How does the customer see himself when compared to the brand. Example – A customer might see himself capable or incapable of buying a BMW car.
Below is a detailed brand identity prism for the brand Pepsi
Pepsi’s brand identity has transformed over the years, but primarily it has remained as a youthful brand which empowers people to enjoy their youth. The external and internal indicators of Brand Identity have been modified many times. Its logo, trademark, etc have undergone many changes over time but the distinct identity of Pepsi has been maintained. We also see a consistency in brand positioning for Pepsi as a Youth oriented brand. Its tagline in India “YEH HAI YOUNGISTAN MERI JAAN” exemplifies that essence. Pepsi’s brand identity using Kapferer’s Identity prism is as follows
Sources of Brand Equity
Pepsi’s primary sources of brand equity are derived from its unique name with an American connotation to it. It’s logo, a sphere with 3 different colors aids brand recall. The brand endorsers over the years, starting from Shahrukh khan, Sachin Tendulkar to Ranbir Kapoor, M.S Dhoni have been a major source of equity for the brand. The brand has always looked for young faces in order to relate with its youth target audience . Pepsi also drives it equity from its rival coke (which is the market leader with nearly 70% market share) as its only global competitor primarily through creative advertising and communication strategy.
Another source of Pepsi’s Brand Equity is the huge consumer base of more than 200 million across the world. Pepsico’s Indian Subsidiary is trying to follow on its footsteps and is planning to tap the next 1 billion consumers at the bottom of the pyramid with its exclusive offerings like Iron chusti and Gluco+ . Its innovative Campaigns are also a predominant source of Pepsi’s Brand Equity in India.
Several campaigns like “Youngistaan ka Wow” targeted at Youth and celebrating their audacious self belief, thus bringing the brand closer to its Customers, ‘The Game’, a series of five gaming-based television films developed specially for the ongoing IPL season, “Change the Game” and “First Ball ka Kaptan” considering the cricket world cup and T-20 world cup have been successful in leveraging the love for the game and reinforce the association of the game with Pepsi. The CSR activities of the company also generate a lot of Brand equity, It’s the only soft drink manufacturer with a positive water balance in India. Pepsi’s wide Product Portfolio helps in increasing the depth and Breadth of Brand Awareness.