Identity captures the who or what of a person or in our case, company. Identity relates to the distinguishing characteristics and close similarities or affinity with another person, thing, or community. The term identity derives from the Latin “identitas” or “same.”
Most marketers agree “brand” is shorthand for the emotional quality(s) clients connect with your company. Your identity as a company is the sum total of your firm’s unique characteristics or “personality”, marketplace position, company “voice”, your visual identification and the words or text you employ to communicate the benefits clients realize by working with you. The identity of your firm is inherent within it already. Understanding your company’s identity and using it as a communication and marketing foundation will build your success.
Your firm’s identity or personality is made up of its strengths, weaknesses, values and mission and communication and management styles. Some prefer the term, culture. The most powerful people in the organization will affect its culture. It is critical to be clear about the true characteristics of the company and build upon your strengths. A culture is established with the founders and can stray from the values that originally made it successful. Just as there are no two people exactly alike, there are no truly cookie cutter companies. Capturing the true essence of your firm is a powerful marketing tool.
Marketplace Position: The industry you are in, what your firm does as a product or service, the types of clients you serve, how it relates to the others in your field including competitors and the vision and goals you have for your firm. Understanding how you are the same as competitors, for example, will help you move toward distinguishing characteristics to highlight so you stand out from the crowd.
Social Media”Voice”: How your firm expresses itself in social media, how you “talk” to your constituents.
Visual Identity: Logo and visual elements including font and color scheme. A style guide is a useful way to render visual elements of your company’s identity in a professional and consistent manner. Today your visual identity also includes how your logo is translated on the web and in mobile environments.
Text Identity: Tagline synthesizing the benefits clients will realize by working with you. A tagline is often embedded as part of the logo and visual elements to succinctly express why clients should work with you. It should be engaging and compelling.