A brand has an identity in much the same way as a person does. If it isn’t consistent, people are confused by and lose confidence in it.
Imagine a person who one day was obsessed with safety and the next was throwing caution to the wind, with no apparent reason for the inconsistency. If you were then asked who you should nominate for the neighborhood watch and who you should invite on the whitewater rafting trip, that confusion might mean they don’t make the top of either list because they seem neither safe, nor adventurous, or even a healthy balance. Just a muddled confusion.
With a brand, you don’t want to confuse people. You want to occupy a clear place in their minds. Not having a place in their minds means you aren’t on their minds as top pick for toothpaste manufacturer, yoga instructor or mayor.
But what is a consistent brand and how do you create one? The identity of a brand is what emotion one feels when interacting with it. The energy it gives off. The voice it speaks from. The passion it acts with. The values it holds dear. Creating a brand identity is like creating a character in a novel. You must bring them to life by crafting each part of their personality and being.
With a brand, this is done with clear intent — to be the kind of identity that achieves the purpose the brand was created for. A nonprofit that focuses on protecting endangered ecosystems will have a brand identity that is grounded in that mission and speaks consistently and clearly to the people who would most likely join on this mission — in this case, maybe a young, energetic, moral voice.
The step of creating a coherent and consistent brand is important enough to your enterprise to think about before taking any other step. It is much easier to have all your collateral, materials, advertising, logo and everything else speaking with the same voice from the beginning than it is to go back and get it all on the same page later.
Just some random musings from our merry band of creatives.