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Basics of Brand Identity

By Mark Euwe, Managing Director The Lookingglass

Brand identity is essentially about answering 3 basic questions:

(1) Who are we?
(2) What do we do?
(3) Why does it matter?
(Based on Marty Neumeier: The Brand Gap, 2003).

Getting answers to the first two is relatively easy, the third one is typically more difficult. (But not in the example below).
Getting uniform answers from different people in the company is even more difficult.

I saw an absolutely great example of this, on such a simple thing as a can of children snacks. (See picture above). More or less outside the scope of our targeted client group, but the principles are universal and I found the example so clear that I am sharing it anyway. 

Now understand that the picture shows the back side of the can. On the front side it shows the brand name, i.e. ‘HappyBaby’.

Lets apply the basic questions: (1) Who are we?
Not difficult. ‘We are a team of parents, pediatricians & nutritionists’.
Could this be any clearer?

No, actually not. And by the way, what an excellent selection. Parents (these people know babies), Pediatricians (these people know babies even better), Nutritionists (these people know what is good to eat).

All of a sudden it hits you: This is the absolute dream team to come up with a sound children’s snack.

(2) What do we do?
Not so difficult either. ‘We create delicious meals and snacks with quality ingredients grown on trusted organic farms’. Or more formal: ‘we are on a mission to bring health and happiness to children through nutrition’.

Now on (3), Why does it matter?
By now, that even feels like a completely obsolete question, because intuitively you already know the answer: because children need health and happiness of course.
And this is also where the brand name comes into play: ‘HappyBaby’.

That’s why.
Ask any parent.



The Lookingglass helps High Tech companies to become more visible.