Understanding the brand identity in 2023



Brand identity is the unique personality that brand projects to the world, encompassing its values, beliefs, and character. It is the promise a brand makes to its audience, setting expectations for exceptional experiences and delivering on its commitments. Through its strong brand identity, a successful brand also forges a genuine connection, inspiring trust and loyalty and creating a lasting impact.

Brand identity is more than just a logo or a brand pattern. A mix of visuals, messages, and values makes a brand stand out. It goes deeper than looks and forms the basis for how a brand communicates and connects with customers.

Brand identity building is a super important ingredient for any business today. It helps companies make decisions and influences how customers see them. It creates a special bond with customers, making them remember and choose the brand again and again. A strong brand identity is the key to standing out, winning hearts, and staying top of mind.

Before jumping into the fundamental elements of brand identity, let’s debunk some myths about it.

4 Popular Brand Identity Myths

Brand identity remains fixed and unchangeable

Reality: In the face of changing market trends and communication needs, a brand's identity can evolve while still preserving its core style and traditions. Take YSL or Coca-Cola, for example; their logos have modernized over time, yet they maintain their familiar essence, creating a harmony of both evolution and consistency.

Brand identity is a private matter known only to a few

Reality: A strong brand identity is not meant to be a mysterious puzzle accessible only to a select few. It is a clear and understandable combination of brand elements and values that anyone can grasp. It is an expression of what a brand represents, available for everyone to understand and connect with

Brand identity is only important for big businesses

Reality: Brand identity is not a luxury—it's a must-have for all businesses, big or small. More than just standing out, it's about building trust and connections with customers. It's especially vital for smaller brands aiming to make a memorable impact.

Brand identity is solely about visuals

Reality: While visuals are an important component of a brand's visual identity, they go beyond aesthetics. The company's brand identity encompasses the values, mission, and emotional connection a brand establishes with its audience. It is a holistic representation of the brand's essence and the promise it delivers to its customers

The Non-Visual Foundations of Brand Identity

Creating a great brand involves much more than developing an eye-catching logo with a graphic designer or selecting a pleasing color palette. It delves deep into the ethos of what the brand signifies. Let's dissect these essential non-visual aspects of a strong brand's identity to appreciate their importance.

Brand Story

The brand story is the chronicle of how the brand was born, the driving mission behind it, and the people that brought it to life. 

Take, for instance, the sustainable clothing brand Patagonia. Founded by outdoor enthusiasts, its story revolves around its commitment to environmental stewardship. By weaving its mission into its narrative, Patagonia not only presents a compelling story but also establishes a deep, emotional connection with its audience.

Brand Personality

A brand, like a person, possesses a distinct personality, a blend of traits, moods, and values that differentiate it. 

Let's take Ecosia, a search engine that plants trees. It exhibits a compassionate, eco-conscious, and forward-thinking personality. By consistently communicating these values, Ecosia creates a strong bond with its environmentally conscious user base.

Communication Style and Tone of Voice

How a brand communicates with its audience underscores its identity. Brands may opt for a formal tone or a more casual, friendly style. 

Ecosia, for instance, maintains an informative yet engaging tone, reflecting its mission to educate users about climate change while fostering a sense of community. Consistency in communication style across all platforms fortifies a robust brand image.

Product or Service

The products or services a good brand offers lie at the heart of its identity. They epitomize the functionality and value the brand offers. 

Look at Beyond Meat, a producer of plant-based meat substitutes. Their products underscore their commitment to sustainability, health, and ethical eating, all critical components of their brand identity.

Brand Name

The brand name is often the initial point of interaction for consumers and plays a significant role in establishing a strong brand identity. 

A well-chosen name communicates the brand's essence or desired emotional response. Consider Seventh Generation, a company that produces eco-friendly household products. The name itself implies a long-term commitment to sustainability and a brand voice that cares for the planet for the next seven generations.

Sensory Identity

Sensory identity involves the tactile, auditory, olfactory, and gustatory experiences associated with a business. A prime example can be found in the hotel industry. 

Many luxury hotels create an olfactive signature — a unique scent diffused in their properties that guests associate with their stay. This sensory branding forms an intimate connection with guests, leaving a lingering impression even after they've checked out.

Brand Values, Mission, and Purpose

Brand values, mission, purpose, and target audience matter in shaping an overall brand identity. Let's break it down simply:

Brand values serve as a moral compass, shaping how the brand interacts with its stakeholders, including customers, employees, suppliers, and the wider community. They act as a guiding force that shapes the brand's culture, communication, and relationships. 

For instance, values can involve empowering and educating the brand's customers, incorporating transparent practices, and protecting the environment at all costs. 

A company's mission represents the overarching purpose or reason for a brand's existence beyond just selling products or services. It captures the brand's broader ambition and the impact it seeks to make in the world - both to audiences and stakeholders

A brand mission statement typically outlines the brand's purpose, values, target audience, and desired impact in a concise and inspiring manner.

The brand vision is more than a glimpse into the future; it's a brand's compass. It represents their meaningful contribution beyond products or services. A clear and authentic vision inspires all aspects of what the company creates, from the development of marketing materials to social responsibility. 

At Bolder, our vision is to have a 100% portfolio of responsible companies within 5 years. We strive to work with businesses that share the same brand values of positive impact and sustainability.

The Visual Foundations of Brand Identity

Brand identity visuals encompass more of the brand strategy than just the company logo. Several other key elements contribute to a comprehensive brand identity:


The brand's logo serves as the brand's unique symbol, catching your eye and sticking with you. It's like seeing a familiar face and associating it with the brand. A brand logo, like a familiar face in a crowded room, can help you identify a brand among the crowd of options.


Brand colors are analogous to the emotions that a brand wears on its sleeves. Brands carefully select colors to evoke specific emotions and create a unique brand personality, just as different colors can make you feel happy, calm, or energized. Brands use warm, sunny yellow to make you feel cheerful and optimistic, or a soothing blue to instill calm and trust.

Design Elements

A brand's visual language is communicated through design elements. Consistency in typography, patterns, imagery, and other visual elements is analogous to a brand having a distinct speaking style. Consider meeting someone who always dresses the same way, allowing you to recognize them even from a distance. Similarly, when a brand uses consistent design elements, it creates an instantly recognizable and memorable brand identity.

Packaging Design

The packaging design is similar to the brand's special gift wrapping, which adds to the overall experience. Brands design their packaging to reflect their brand identity and create anticipation, just as a beautifully wrapped gift makes you eager to open it. Just like receiving a package from a friend and knowing that they put thought and care into making it appealing and enjoyable to unwrap.

Digital Design

A brand's virtual presence, including websites, digital ads, social media, and blogs, plays a vital role in engaging with customers. Through carefully crafted visuals, intuitive user interfaces, and cohesive brand messaging, digital design creates a seamless and immersive experience that reflects the brand's entire brand identity.

Significance of the Target Audience:

By understanding what their audience likes, needs, and dreams, brands can shape their identity to connect with and engage their potential customers. They build a special bond by sharing the same values and desires with the people they want to reach.

Let's take an eco-friendly skincare brand as an example. They want to connect with people who care about the environment. So, they learn what these people want: products that are kind to animals and the planet. With this knowledge, the brand designs its brand identity, including its name, messages, and products, to show that they share the same values. This creates a strong emotional connection with their customers and builds brand loyalty.

Brand Identity in the Digital Era


In 2023, a brand's digital footprint, specifically its website or Instagram, will often craft the preliminary consumer impression. Consistency in social media presence aids recognition, and the use of language and storytelling in line with brand values heightens understanding. The adaptation of messages for each platform, supplemented by regular, relevant content sharing, amplifies engagement and reinforces the brand's identity.


- A brand's website is like its online store where people get their first impression

- The design, layout, and how easy it is to use the website affect how professional and trustworthy the brand appears

- Good-looking images, helpful information, and easy navigation show what the brand is all about

- Fun and interactive features on the website can engage visitors and make a lasting impression

Social media channels

- Platforms like Instagram focus on sharing pictures and videos that reflect the brand's style and feel

- Resonant images, well-curated content, and a consistent visual theme make the brand stand out

- Platforms like YouTube/TikTok let brands share videos that tell stories, show how things work, and go behind the scenes

- Being genuine, creative, and relevant is important to catch and keep people's attention on social media

Ad Campaigns

- Ad campaigns are a brand's digital billboard, shaping the initial customer interaction.

- Campaign creativity and coherence impact brand credibility

- Quality visuals, concise information, and clear calls-to-action reflect the brand's essence

- Innovative, interactive elements captivate audiences and reinforce brand identity

Digital Experiences

- Digital experiences like virtual reality or interactive games offer exciting and memorable ways to connect with the brand

- Brands can use technology to let people try products virtually, show interactive demonstrations, or create fun quizzes

- Using games or interactive tools on websites or apps makes people feel more connected to the brand

The Power of Storytelling in Brand Identity

Brands strategically utilize visuals to create immersive experiences that leave a lasting impact. A fascinating example of this is Davines, an innovative brand that has woven storytelling into its brand guidelines and overall brand identity.

Davines doesn't merely list ingredients on its product packaging. Instead, each product tells a story, a narrative that begins with the gathering of each ingredient. Every lotion, every shampoo, and every serum becomes a chapter in a book that's been specially written for the person who purchases it.

This strategy has multiple layers. On one level, it enhances the customer's understanding of the product by presenting a detailed, tangible picture of its composition. But on a deeper level, it creates a unique connection between the consumer and the product, fostering the impression that each item is a bespoke creation made with them in mind.

This approach embodies two fundamental principles of effective digital branding. First, consistency. Each product's story aligns with the overarching narrative of the brand, ensuring a seamless brand experience across the brand assets' entire product line. Second, the brand's use of language and storytelling is in line with its values, further resonating with its target audience.

Measuring and Evaluating Brand Identity

To understand how well a company's entire brand identity is performing, some key metrics and indicators can be used:

- Brand recognition - brands can evaluate if customers recognize their logo or tagline

- Customer loyalty - measured by keeping track of how many customers come back to buy again or join loyalty programs

- Brand sentiment - can be evaluated by scanning what customers say on social media and online reviews to see if they like or dislike the brand

Using market research and customer surveys

Market research helps brands understand their customers better and see what's popular. Surveys ask customers questions to learn about their preferences, needs, and behaviors. 

- For example, a cosmetic brand might ask customers about their skincare concerns and if they like natural ingredients

- A clothing brand may discover from surveys that customers care about sustainability and adjust messaging to reflect this commitment

This helps brands meet customer expectations, build stronger relationships, make better decisions, and create better products.

Adapting and Refining Brand Identity

Adapting and refining brand identity involves making adjustments based on feedback and insights gathered from surveys, market research, and data analysis. When customers provide feedback, brands use it to identify areas for improvement. 

For instance, if customers find a website difficult to navigate, the brand can make it more user-friendly to stay up to date.

Overview of Evolving Trends in Brand Identity in 2023

As we navigate 2023, these brand identity trends will shape the visual side of products and services, enabling brands to captivate their audience, foster brand loyalty, and make a positive impact in an ever-evolving market.

Minimalist Packaging

Clean, simple, and clutter-free packaging designs continue to be popular. Brands like Muji embrace minimalism with their sleek and clean packaging designs.

Sustainable Materials

With an increasing emphasis on sustainability, brands are opting for eco-friendly packaging materials such as recycled paper, biodegradable plastics, and plant-based alternatives. Lush uses eco-friendly materials like recycled paper and biodegradable plastics in their packaging to promote sustainability.

Bold Typography

In 2023, we can expect to see brands embrace bold and expressive typefaces to make a strong visual statement and create instant recognition. Online flower delivery company Bloom & Wild uses bold typography in its brand color palette to create a modern and vibrant brand aesthetic.

Vibrant Color Palettes

Bright, vibrant color schemes are making a comeback, injecting energy and excitement into brand visuals. Oatly, a plant-based milk company, embraces vibrant and energetic color palettes, using bold and cheerful colors to reflect their brand's lively and eco-conscious persona.

Custom Illustrations and Artwork

Unique and eye-catching illustrations are becoming increasingly popular as brands seek to differentiate themselves. Innocent Drinks incorporates whimsical and hand-drawn illustrations on its packaging to convey a playful and authentic brand image.

Minimalistic Logos

Logos with clean lines, negative space, and subtle details continue to dominate across various platforms and maintain visual impact in today's fast-paced digital world. Glossier's logo design features a simple, sans-serif font with a dot as the brand's signature symbol, representing their clean and minimalistic approach to beauty.

Interactive Packaging

From augmented reality (AR) elements to QR codes leading to digital content, interactive packaging creates memorable moments and enhances brand engagement. Just Water, an eco-friendly bottled water brand, includes a QR code on its packaging that customers can scan to learn more about the brand's sustainable initiatives and charitable partnerships.


Through personalized packaging, tailored messages, or customizable product options, brands create a sense of exclusivity and enhance the customer experience. Nike's “Nike By You” program offers customers the opportunity to customize their shoes, creating a personalized product and experience.

Unforgettable Storytelling

Incorporating storytelling elements into brand identities, such as visual narratives on the packaging or brand videos, helps create emotional connections and builds brand loyalty.

Patagonia incorporates visual narratives on its clothing tags to share the stories behind its sustainable and ethical practices.

Sustainable Packaging Innovations

Brands are embracing innovative packaging solutions that reduce waste, such as compostable packaging, reusable containers, and innovative refill systems.  Mugler and Guerlain, luxury fragrance brands, offer refillable perfumes, reducing waste and promoting sustainability.

Nature-Inspired Visuals

This trend brings the beauty of nature into the brand's images and visuals, using elements like plants and landscapes to create a sense of harmony and environmental consciousness. Pat McGrath Labs incorporates botanical and natural elements in its brand identity, reflecting its commitment to clean beauty.


A powerful brand identity is a key part of making a brand stand out. It gives a brand its special feel and guides how it should look and behave.

At Bolder, we are an independent creative marketing agency that specializes in building brands that lead the way in technology, sustainability, and social impact. Our team is passionate about creating brand identities that stand out and make a positive impact. 

One of our recent success stories is the transformation of Raiseway, a platform that simplifies the crowdfunding process. We made it more approachable, friendly, and easy to use; jump into the Raiseway Behance project to see it in detail.

Ready to elevate your brand identity or embark on a brand transformation journey? 

We'd love to hear from you! Reach out to us through our contact form and let's collaborate to create a brand identity that speaks of who you are and builds a robust community around it

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