Brand Identity Prism

by Anoop Kumar Gupta MAIT

. care should be taken to ensure that their respective positioning converges on attaining the same core value (that of the parent brand).The brand identity prism ► When a brand consists of multiple products.

The brand identity prism .

The brand identity prism .

first of all. has physical specificities and qualities – its ‘physique’.The brand identity prism 1. ► Physique is both the brand’s backbone and its tangible added value. ► The first step in developing a brand is to define its physical aspect: What is it concretely? What does it do? What does it look like? . ► It is made of a combination of either salient objective features (which immediately come to mind when the brand is quoted in a survey) or emerging ones. A brand.

Thus. in using the image of its traditional bottle.The brand identity prism ► The physical facet also comprises the brand’s prototype: the flagship product that is representative of the brand’s qualities. ► There used to be a picture of the famous CocaCola bottle on all Coke cans. Coca-Cola aims to remind us of its roots. .

► Even an image-based brand must deliver material benefits. For example. If it belongs to the brand’s kernel. . Brands are two-legged value-adding systems. ► Many brands have problems with their physical facet because their functional added value is weak. is the dark colour part of its identity? It is certainly a key contributor to the mystery of the brand.The brand identity prism ► There are several delicate issues regarding Coke’s physical facet. key identity traits.

.The brand identity prism 2. 3. from which every product derives. A brand has a personality. In the prism. By communicating. but also a means of communication. brand identity is the personality facet of the source. The way in which it speaks of its products or services shows what kind of person it would be if it were human. Here culture means the set of values feeding the brand’s inspiration. A brand should have its own culture. it gradually builds up character. ► The product is not only a concrete representation of this culture. A brand is a culture.

Symmetry governs this brand: the three-box bodywork is a strong physical characteristic of Mercedes. ► Major brands are certainly driven by a culture but.The brand identity prism The cultural facet refers to the basic principles governing the brand in its outward signs (products and communication). IBM. CocaCola. ► Mercedes embodies German values: order prevails. ► . etc). they also convey this culture (eg Benetton. in turn. The brand symbol set at the nose-tip of every Mercedes further epitomises this spirit of order.

Toyota and Nissan emphasize it. as does IBM. ► Brand culture plays an essential role in differentiating brands. Canon and Technics deny their Japanese origin whereas Mitsubishi. to their fundamental ideals and to their sets of values. It indicates the ethos whose values are embodied in the products and services of the brand. Nike or Levi’s.The brand identity prism Countries of origin are also great cultural reservoirs for brands: Coca-Cola stands for America. ► . ► This facet is the one that helps differentiate luxury brands the most because it refers to their sources.

► The relationship aspect is crucial for banks. A brand is a relationship. brands are often at the crux of transactions and exchanges between people. banking brands and services in general. ► Service is by definition a relationship.The brand identity prism 4. . This facet defines the mode of conduct that most identifies the brand. Indeed. This is particularly true of brands in the service sector and also of retailers.

. a brand will always tend to build a reflection or an image of the buyer or user which it seems to be addressing ► Service is by definition a relationship. people immediately answer in terms of the brand’s perceived client type: that’s a brand for young people! For fathers! for show-offs! for old folks! Because its communication and its most striking products build up over time.The brand identity prism 5. This facet defines the mode of conduct that identifies the brand. When asked for their views on certain car brands. A brand is a customer reflection.

► Reflecting the customer is not describing the target. the customer should be reflected as he/she wishes to be seen as a result of using a brand. The target describes the brand’s potential purchasers or users. In the ready-to-wear industry. rather. . the obsession to look younger should concern the brands’ reflection.The brand identity prism ► Reflection and target often get mixed up. ► Consumers indeed use brands to build their own identity. not necessarily their target. It provides a model with which to identify.

but which endows its members with distinction. If reflection is the target’s outward mirror (they are …). Finally. sex or age discrimination. Lacoste clients inwardly picture themselves (so the studies show) as members of an elegant sports club – an open club with no race. I am …).The brand identity prism 6. self-image is the target’s own internal mirror (I feel. Through our attitude towards certain brands. ► Even if they do not practice any sports. we indeed develop a certain type of inner relationship with ourselves. . a brand speaks to our self-image. This works because sport is universal.

► The identity prism derives from one basic concept – that brands have the gift of speech. The content of one facet echoes that of another. Brands can only exist if they communicate. ► The brand identity prism demonstrates that these facets are all interrelated and form a wellstructured entity.The brand identity prism ► These are the six facets which define the identity of a brand as well as the boundaries within which it is free to change or to develop. .

.The brand identity prism ► Since a brand is a speech in itself (as it speaks of the products it creates and endorses the products which epitomise it). it can thus be analysed like any other speech or form of communication.

► The facets to the left – physique. relationship and reflection – are the social facets which give the brand its outward expression. ► This prism helps us to understand the essence of both brand and retailer identities . within its spirit. ► The facets to the right – personality.The brand identity prism ► The brand identity prism also includes a vertical division. culture and selfimage – are those incorporated within the brand itself. All three are visible facets.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful