Brand identity is first consumer identity.
When a brand is created, it is common for designers and branding experts to guide their founders through a process of self-discovery. The task is to extract what that brand is, and therefore what its language, aesthetics, communication, etc. should express.
It is the process of discovering what identity synthesizes a business model and a set of values that must be delivered coherently to the consumer.
Identity is always the question of who one is. Brands have asked themselves this question.
And they have added another: who is the other, that is, my consumer? This has led companies to be interested in macro-trends, which is what we discuss in our System X community, created with Inexmoda to open a conversation on the topic.
But today's trends indicate that brands must ask a question that is neither about them nor about the other.
It's not "who am I?" or "who is the other?"
Today, the question that a brand must ask is: how does my consumer understand their own identity? How do they identify themselves? How do they think of themselves?
In short: how do they recognize themselves?
Finding ways of recognizing oneself is key for companies to reach consumers in their offerings, business models, and communications.
Brand identity must be built through an understanding of consumer identity.
To do so, there are some reflective questions that all companies must ask themselves.
What communities does my consumer belong to?
Recognizing oneself is always recognition of coexistence with others. But everyone's relationships with others have many facets.
Placed a consumer in a situation with our product or service, who do they relate to? With family or friends? What hierarchies and social rules are relevant? What values are involved? In what places do these relationships take place? In what times? Are they digital or analog relationships? What language mediates them?
What are my consumer's life purposes?
It's not just about asking about the consumer's specific purpose with my product or service, about the task or job they want to solve.
The question should be broader: what are their life goals? What aspirations do they have in their daily lives? What do they consider living well and what do they think is living poorly? This is key to determining the values and morals interwoven in consumption processes.
In what diversity does my consumer live?
A common mistake is to represent consumer groups as isolated from each other. Then they seem homogeneous or hermetic. But it is never like that: each different group is in relation to other different groups.
It is diversity that must be studied, with everything it has: conflicts, production of new values, ways of solving conflicts.
This is decisive in the identity of the consumer. It marks the positions they take, the values they defend, and above all, those against which they think and act. It is the key to understanding what is pertinent and what is not for that consumer.
These three questions can help better understand how the consumer constructs identity.
Self-recognition in a community is one of the keys to understanding today's consumers. And it is their demand: individualism has given way to forms of thinking collectively that are demanded of the products and services of companies.