The Branding Hierarchy of Needs

The Branding Hierarchy of Needs

How to craft a fully realized brand identity

When it comes to craft beers, several elements need to be considered to craft your ideal beverage: Are you envisioning an ale or a lager–or something else? Depending on what you want your beer to be, you need to choose specific hops, grains, yeast and other ingredients to achieve desired color, aroma, bitterness and flavor.

In crafting your brand identity, the same principles apply. Consider what the epitome of your brand is and then determine the elements that will help you achieve it: What is your brand’s design aesthetic? What colors are used consistently on your website and social media platforms? What’s your tagline? What does your brand’s voice convey? When you ask yourself these types of questions, you should get a complete picture of your brand identity.

Defining “Brand Identity”

When we put together a brand identity, we’re doing more than coming up with a style. We are setting ourselves apart, carving out a place that we can call our own amongst the competition. Most importantly, we are creating the atmosphere that we want our clients to live in when they work with us and how we want them to perceive our brand as a whole.

Investopedia defines brand identity as follows: “A company’s brand identity is how that business wants to be perceived by consumers. The components of the brand (name, logo, tone, tagline, typeface) are created by the business to reflect the value the company is trying to bring to the market and to appeal to its customers. Brand identity is separate from brand image – the term for how consumers actually perceive the brand.”

Coming up with flattering components won’t make a brand a star right out of the gate. It needs a strategic plan and a little bit of TLC to get there.

The Branding Hierarchy of Needs

Brands need to be human and personable, and much like an actual person, they need different levels of care to become the best they can be – to become “self-actualized.” If you are familiar with American psychologist Abraham Maslow and his famous hierarchy of needs, you may see the similarities between brand and human needs and the levels it takes until either reach their full potential. When It comes to branding, this full potential equates to brand perception meeting brand identity. In other words, the brand image you’ve created matches brand perception (how others view your brand).

In order for a brand to reach its full potential, there are a few elements that must be implemented into its identity. Following the Maslow model, we’ve come up with a handy guide on what needs to be done to take a brand to the next level. Let’s dive in!

Graph representing the branding hierarchy of needs. From bottom to top: Research, Visuals, Voice, Esteem, Perception

All four elements – Research, Visuals, Voice and Esteem – support Perception and therefore must work cohesively. Each new blog post, product packaging, social media graphics, customer service responses, verbalization of goals and more affect your brand and how it is perceived. If they are inconsistent – or even the opposite – from your overall brand, clients will view your brand as everything that it isn’t. And when a company doesn’t appear to know “who” they are, that’s a red flag for any potential client.

If you nurture your brand and give it everything it needs to grow, it will be well on its way to reaching its full potential.

Paragraphs grows brands that grow business every day. Start crafting your brand identity by contacting Paragraphs today!

312.828.0200 | hello@paragraphs.com

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