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Answer Provided by Yuliya Suleymanova, Founder of SULÉY Group.

Yuliya Suleymanova has extensive multi-disciplinary experience in branding, fashion, beauty, and art, which lead her to begin her research for a Business Administration Doctoral program with the thesis on Luxury Fashion goods, and consumer behavior. Yuliya is Brand Starategist & Founder at a Brand management company, SULÉY Group LLC, where she consults and educates companies on how to enhance their brands applying leading brand management techniques and consumer behavior research. Yuliya is a Professor of Marketing/Branding at the Art Institute of Seattle.

How Do I Create a Brand Identity?

Yuliya_Suleymanova_2015_Headshot-1

SULÉY Group is not just another marketing or creative agency. We are a team of researchers specializing on a deep study of consumer behaviors and the relations between consumers and brands.  The easiest and understandable way for consumers to relate to brands is to associate brands with human characteristics. That way consumers build a solid emotional association on what a brand means to them, how it makes them feel, what other people may think of them wearing, eating, driving a brand. These emotional associations build brand loyalty and human connection to a brand, so that consumers begin to treat a brand as an extension of themselves, a friend that they can always rely on. For example, they say “I love Chanel,” I am Chanel. To make a Chanel tattoo on your visible part of your body – a neck or arm – becomes a “tribal” identity symbol saying to the world that he/she belongs to “Chanel tribe,” and those who don’t have Chanel tattoo can’t really be a fully recognized as a Chanel devoted fan. Google Chanel brand body tattoos, and you will find thousands of images of people tattooed their bodies of this high-end designer brand.

To create such a strong emotional connection is what defines branding. It is your gut feeling, and it is NOT your logo or website. How can you create this powerful emotional consumer drive for your brand? Building a strong brand bond for your consumers and potential prospects happens way before you start creating your logo, and website. First and foremost you begin putting a brand strategy together, that then will dictate your logo and website design, your social media campaigning and public relations connections.

Having a distinctive personality, a brand has an ability to assist consumers to express themselves in different aspects of their lives. Brand personality is defined as “the set of human characteristics associated with a brand” (Aaker 1997). You don’t say what your brand is, you say WHO your brand is.

People who have a very vibrant and distinctive personality and style become their own brand. To name a few: Michael Jordan, is an American former professional basketball player, created his own Jordan Brand with Nike, Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani, a fashion designer, has become Valentino high-end fashion brand, Karl Lagerfeld, a fashion designer, has become its own brand Karl Lagerfeld.

Michael Jordan, Valentino, and Karl Lagerfeld are people with individual characteristics that are very enticing to people, so that consumers want to imitate them. Jordan Brand has personality of its founder, a leader, someone who takes charge of his life. Valentino has a sensual and feminine personality that easily translates into his designs for women described as elegant, flowing, and timeless. Karl Lagerfeld has a strong personality of a trendsetter, and has a defined and timeless look, which reflects in all his collections he designs for a high-end fashion Chanel brand.

To identify your brand personality is not an easy task. It is a process. This process implies a homework for an entrepreneur. We conduct a series of questionnaires, surveying a business owner, and his/her existing customers if applicable.

At SULÉY Group we have developed a strategic brand plan that assists entrepreneurs in finding and determining his/her brand message, and therefore a market positioning, which in turn formulates a brand development and management plan in a long run.

 

References: Aaker, J.L. (1997). Dimensions of brand personality.  Journal of Marketing Research, 34 (8), 347-356.

 

Sara Sonnen Sara Sonnen
Sara is the Email Marketing Manager at Techstars. Previously, Sara was the Email Marketing Manager at UPGlobal before Techstars acquired the company in 2015. Sara graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Journalism and Business Administration from Washington State University.



  • António Santos

    Branding as change. Is something that starts in yourself.Today there is not branding without Twitter or a good Klout score. What is yours?

  • A visitor

    You don’t ask an entrepreneur, you ask a graphic designer.