What does it mean to create a brand identity? A brand's personality, its visual and iconographic language, its communication materials across multiple touch-points...all these things are elements which determine the perception and reputation of a public brand.
With this in mind, it's essential that brands give considerable thought to how they're entering the market. As they say, first impressions are everything.
How can I get my brand onto the market? How can I reach my consumers? Through which channels and actions? How will my brand be perceived by its consumers? How can we best reach the heads (and hearts) of users?
Answering all these questions means creating a thoughtful strategy aimed at growing a relationship with consumers, and a strong go-to-market strategy is a great place to start. According to the combination of factors chosen for implementation, brand perception by users varies considerably and, consequently, the brand identity is also affected. Brand identity is not (only) the result of its visual image but also of the combination of all of its channels and actions.
The German company entered the Italian market in 1938 with a new sales technique, the door-to-door model. The main value that the brand wanted to convey to the consumer was (and is) loyalty. In order to cultivate loyalty, the brand focused on authentic human interactions to position and differentiate its products in the market. The product that it sells costs more than that of its competitors, so a demonstration at home, accompanied step by step by interaction with the sales representative, is fundamental in order to convince and impress the target. With this extra step, it also generates a bond of trust between the consumer, the seller and the brand it represents.
The same door-to-door sales strategy is applied by the multinational company Nestlé in many Brazilian cities. A network of micro-distributors and sales representatives reach the most inaccessible areas of the city by cart. By using this strategy, the brand has managed to employ a large number of women from the poorest areas, and to sell its products in difficult-to-reach or completely inaccessible areas. Furthermore, by selling food at low prices, the brand has been well-received by the population, creating a feeling of trust and reciprocal support.
One very fashionable -but hard to execute- strategy is called the “drop”. Supreme applies this sales model by releasing new products every Thursday morning in its online store and across its five physical stores world-wide. This strategy generates anticipation and results in high physical and virtual traffic. One particular drop in 2016 resulted in approximately 1 billion views, increased the traffic on Supreme's website by 16,800% and created queues in front of the stores days before. This strategy, accompanied by a communication campaign which transmits the same values of exclusivity, has helped the brand to achieve its desirable image.
These 3 examples show how the go-to-market strategy, the choice of channels used to reach one’s clients and the frequency of the relationship and key actions carried out by the brand are all integral components of the very identity of a brand. Brand loyalty results from authentic relationships with those who sell the product (in the case of Folletto); brands that reach you wherever you are (Nestlé); and brands that build excitement and incite joy (Supreme).
Authored by Irene Serafica, Strategic Design Lead
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