Take a look at one of your favorite brands. A company or entity that’s recognizable, trustworthy, and consistent. They likely have a logo, which could be a simple word mark or coupled with an icon. They have a system of typefaces, a range of colors they use to further convey their personality. And, they have a voice; a distinct way of speaking.
The amalgamation of such elements, not their individuality, is what makes up a brand identity. They are formed and connected by values, goals, and a mission. But while the logo is often the most recognizable and differentiating part of a brand, it can’t sustain a full identity on its own.
A brand’s elements function uniquely, yet they’re each designed to work toward the same goal; embodying a business’ identity.
As Kinesis puts it, a brand is “a living, breathing representation” of the business, and it’s supported by an interworking ecosystem, much like the human body. Thanks to the marketing firm’s helpful metaphor, we’re highlighting some of their brand components, along with human-esque counterparts.
Differentiator | DNA
Your brand’s key marker. It’s what separates the forgettable brands from the memorable ones. Like our DNA, a brand differentiator is the fundamental and distinctive characteristics of a company.
Mission | Soul
Where motivation lives. The mission of any business, brand, or company is much like the proverbial soul. The mission informs action and outward expression of values. It’s a driving force and motivation that remains constant amidst that all companies surely encounter.
Vision | Brain
All minds cast vision, and a brand is no different. Often tied to business goals, vision helps a brand make decisions, come up with solutions, and can act as a guiding North Star. Vision also goes beyond mere strategy and casts a overarching target to where all actions lead.
Values | Heart
If any of these elements can be categorized as foundational, the heart is certainly one of them. The values of a brand instill emotion, passion, and loyalty. They enable a brand’s “why” to be expressed authentically and in ways that truly connect to customers or an audience.
Brand Voice | Personality
How we communicate matters. Coupled with visuals, a brand’s voice is how people recognize and distinguish one from another. Word choice, tone, cadence, dialect, and other characteristics of voice help reflect personality. And it’s personality that can deter or attract people to a brand.
Visual Identity | Personal Style
To some degree, we all judge a book by its cover. Visual displays of your values, personality, and greater vision are what a brand can wear proudly. The colors you decorate your home with, or whether you prefer to wear Vans over cowboy boots says something about your personality. Like voice, a visual identity attracts the right people to a brand to not only look good but to solve a problem.
When each of these pieces are created to work together, a strong brand emerges. Brands that are clear, distinct, add value, and speak their customer’s language are properly poised for success.
Like an I.D. tag, a logo is used to help people identify your brand from a slew of other brands in your market. But it’s personhood, the subject of that identification, that will connect to and ultimately win over customers better than a lonesome logo ever could.