Recently, the Financial Times reported that Birkenstock, the world-famous German shoe brand, was considering listing itself on Wall Street next September in a very pricy IPO move. This company’s success just cannot go unnoticed: From yet another well-known shoe brand, in several years it has managed to become a true market standard, a go-to for anyone who wishes to feel ‘cool’. How did that happen? Well, I believe that Birkenstock did well in establishing its brand identity. But what does that mean? And how can it help a business expand? Let’s dive in.
I am Ofir Bar, an investor with about 25 years of experience in worldwide markets, and a special interest in entrepreneurship. If you ask me, brand identity is an essential part of establishing a strong brand. Without it, how can your potential clients tell what makes you different and special, in relation to the other countless companies that offer similar products? So, in this blog post, I will analyze for you what ‘brand identity’ means. Moreover, I will give you some tips on how to do this better.
Telling a story
In this day and age, there’s almost always competition over us as clients, regardless of the service or product in question. We’re bombarded with ads from all over, which cause us to develop some level of ‘immunity’ to them. How can one company stand out from the crowd? With brand identity, of course. But, as opposed to what many entrepreneurs may think, brand identity is not just about a cool logo or a catchy slogan. It’s about telling a story that captivates your audience and makes them feel a part of something bigger.
Establishing your brand’s identity starts with defining your unique value proposition: What sets you apart from your competitors? What problem do you solve, and why should people care? Start by jotting down your mission, vision, and core values. These pillars should serve as the foundation of your brand identity and guide your every decision.
The next step is to work on the ‘story’ of your brand, AKA ‘storytelling’: a magical tool that can breathe life into your brand. Share your journey, your struggles, and your triumphs. Let people peek behind the curtains and connect with the human side of your startup. Remember, people don’t just buy products; they buy into stories.
Consistency and awareness
Once you’ve gotten your story down, it’s time to tackle the visual side of things. Your logo, colors and overall design should reflect your brand’s personality. Are you playful and adventurous? Go for bright and vibrant hues. If you’re all about sophistication and elegance, opt for a more subdued and classy palette.
Now, let’s not forget about consistency! One of the biggest pitfalls in brand identity is being all over the place. Your website, social media, marketing materials — everything should be harmonious and in sync. Consistency builds trust and recognition. It’s like meeting an old friend at a new place; you instantly recognize them, and that’s the power of a strong brand.
Speaking of recognition, let’s discuss the importance of building brand awareness. It’s not enough to have a fantastic brand identity if nobody knows about it. Be present on social media, attend industry events, and collaborate with influencers. Word of mouth is a potent force, and a strong online presence can work wonders for your startup’s visibility.
The power of a strong brand
Remember, a brand is more than just the sum of its parts. It’s the emotions, experiences, and perceptions that people associate with your startup. So be authentic, stay true to your values, and deliver on your promises. Trust is hard to earn but easy to lose. Building a strong brand identity is an ongoing process. It evolves as your startup grows, and that’s perfectly okay. Embrace feedback, learn from your mistakes, and continuously adapt. The key is to listen to your customers and be open to change.
So go forth and build that brand identity that speaks to the hearts of your audience. Let your startup’s story shine bright and create a lasting impression. I’m excited to see each of us leave our unique mark on the world. Cheers to our success and to the power of a strong brand!