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Essay: Creating a Successful Brand Identity Strategy: Key Elements and Tips

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  • Published: 1 February 2018*
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Brand identity is how a business entity presents itself to, and wants to be perceived by, its consumers. It corresponds to the intent behind the branding: the way a company chooses the name; designs it’s logo; uses colours, typefaces, page layouts and other visual factors in its products, promotions, arrays the language in its advertisements and trains employees to interact with customers — all with the goal of creating a certain image to the consumers. Brand image therefore, could be referred to as the outcome of the aforementioned elements.

The following brand requirements are pivotal in creating a successful brand identity strategy.

Distinction- In today's highly competitive world, brands need to have a clear distinction from other brands. What they represent and offer needs to be differentiable from the others in order to be noticed and to ultimately be chosen over the other brands.

Relevance- Brands need to connect to what people want. To build up demand, they need to understand and fulfil the needs of their target customers.

Coherence- To assure credibility with their customers, brands must be coherent in what they communicate and do. All marketing communications, all brand experiences, and all of the product deliveries need to juxtaposed together and add up to something useful.

Reputation- Reputation is the image a brand has earned by performing explicitly on both its promises and execution of those promises.

Identifying customers- Conducting surveys, holding interviews in person, congregating focus groups can help determine the customers who could be targeted.

Core identity of McDonald’s

Value offering :  McDonald's provides value as defined by the product, the special offers and the buying experience given the price is not very high.

Food quality : Consistently fresh and tasty at any outlet in

the world with very good quality.

Service : Fast, efficient, friendly and hassle free

Hygiene : The operations are always hygienic in the kitchen and in the restaurant with a nice ambience.

Target customers: Families and kids are the primary focus, but has a vast customer base.

McDonald’s menu is customised from country to country to cater to the variety of palates the world has to offer. In France, for example, McDonald’s sells coffee in Styrofoam cups, while in Italy hot drinks can be bought from special espresso counters, and in India, the Maharajah mac, a chicken-based sandwich, has replaced the Big Mac which is beef based. This just goes on to show how McDonald’s has created different perceptions about themselves in different countries in the minds of people thus becoming one of the most successful brands.

Brand architecture is the structure of brands within an organisational entity. It is the way in which the brands within a company’s portfolio are related to, and differentiated from, one another. The architecture should define the different leagues of branding within the organisation; how the corporate brand and sub-brands relate to and support each other; and how the sub-brands reflect or reinforce the core purpose of the corporate brand to which they belong.

It is the duty of the brand architecture to make sure that every chunk concurs into its required place in the greater picture.

Brand architecture makes the structural plans, assures that the work is seamless, and adheres to a specific time-period.

It’s responsibility is to create guidelines and make sure that these are being strictly adhered to.

If a business enterprise is planning to launch new merchandise or is extending its cutting-edge product line, then a capable brand architecture structure will prove to be an asset for the company.

It is the bridge between the employees of a business enterprise and the customers that brings about an ideal balance between the two.

There are three key levels of branding:

Corporate brand, umbrella brand, and household brand – Examples consist of Unilever and Starbucks. These are consumer-facing brands used across all the firm's activities, and this title is how they are recognised by all their stakeholders, customers and so on. These brands may additionally also be used in conjunction with product descriptions or sub-brands: for example Unilever’s Lux soap or Starbucks coffee.

Endorsed brands, and sub-brands – For example, Parle Hide and Seek or Danio by Danone. These manufacturers include a parent manufacturer – which could be a corporate brand, an umbrella brand, or a family brand whereby the parent brad endorses the sub-brand. The endorsement needs to add credibility to the endorsed sub-brand in the eyes of consumers.

Individual product manufacturer – For example, Procter & Gamble’s Pampers. The individual brands are displayed to the consumers, and the parent company name is disengaged to an extent .

 Other stakeholders, like shareholders or partners, will recognise the producer via its corporation name.

Branded house vs House of brands

 A branded house structure entails a robust parent company whose products do no longer have their personal identities and which are based on the strength and reputation of this master brand.

Virgin is a good example of this.

A house of brands structure is what Procter & Gamble have been doing, allowing individual manufacturers to be self-sustaining and to compete without direct and obvious resources from the master brand.

The master company is in the background, letting shareholders and buyers recognise these personal brands have some backing.

Brand architecture of McDonald’s

McDonalds is the perfect example of fitting the whole thing under the branded house approach. McChicken, McFlurry etc. Everything fits together into the structure that fits the same mantra. It lets you build and promote one house  manufacturer with a lot of scope and individuality.


The branded house structure of McDonald’s

Tightly associated with burgers, fries and soft drinks, the brand thrived in the ’80s and early ’90s. Through consistency and careful brand- building, McDonald’s became an American icon.

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