I just got back from a swim. It was the first one in over four months and it felt amazing. Physically because swimming is key to my fitness due to my hip-dysplasia. Mentally because we all know exercise is good for the brain. But most of all because it was a part of my identity that I can now reclaim.
People that know me connect on one or more elements of my identity. I’m a marketer, singer, swimmer, diff-abled walker and cat lady. It’s likely that you will know me through one of more of those things. You may also know me for my values – which are the same regardless of which role or activity I’m performing.
Building a brand identity is about consistency. Consistency of everything you do and say. Right now for many brands the elements of identity that link to ‘what’ they do could have changed. My local restaurant has been my local takeaway. My local newsagent has been my egg shop! But their service, the way they do things and their focus on giving customers what they want, is the same.
As you start to rebuild your business, it’s worth considering what your identity is really about – at the core. This is much more likely to be about how you do things than what you do. And if you’re now pivoting into ‘being’ something new – because that’s more helpful to your customers – then remaining consistent to your values and behaviours will help them transition with you.
Because the real lesson here is that your brand exists in the mind of your customers. It’s about what and who they perceive you are.
And that might not be about the swimming at all…
Jill Pringle is CEO and Founder of Brand Symphony Marketing. Her book – The Brand Symphony – is based on her trademarked five-step orchestrate method for building a clear value proposition and orchestrating your marketing activity behind it.