Brand Identity Design Dictionary

A dictionary of terms and phrases used throughout the Brand Identity Design process.

A

Annual Report

A comprehensive report on the activities of a company throughout the preceding year, generally produced in compliance with requirements established by government agencies.

Authenticity Scorecard

A score card which rates the authenticity of a brand on a scale of 1–5. 1 being “customers don’t view us like this at all” and 5 being “customers really do view us like this.”

An authentic brand has four key qualities:

  • It cares and has the courage and confidence to listen without defensiveness.
  • It is sincere in showing its need and appreciation for its customers.
  • It is so clear about its integrity that it shows it openly and unashamedly.
  • It has a distinct personality and community.

B

Brand

A customer’s perception of a product, service, or company; a commercial reputation.

Brand Communications

The verbal communications used to express the key elements of a brand in alignment with business strategy.

Brand Guidelines / Style Guides

Documentation that describes the graphic standards for a brand, including use of the trademark, typography, photography, and colors.

Brand Good-Different Identifier Chart

The Good-Different Identifier Chart helps you map out qualities of the brand that customers can identify with.

The “good” axis can include any attributes that customers typically value: quality, workmanship, good aesthetics, low prices, high functionality, ease of use, speed, power, style, etc.

The Different axis is for any attributes that make an offering different, such as: surprising, weird, ugly, fresh, crazy, offbeat, novel, etc.

Brand Map

A mapping of an organization's purpose, mission, vision, and goals, compared against a brands communication touchpoints.

Brand Review

The formal assessment of a brands customer touchpoints and how they relate to the desired outcome of the brand and the audiences it serves.

Brand Values

The reason a company exists beyond making a profit; a component of a core ideology which act as the guiding principles that determine how employees of a company behave and work together, and how customers connect with a brand.

C

Customer-Company Alignment Chart

The alignment chart aims to crystalize the alignment between Customer and Company, helping to ensure the brand being developed creates opportunity and growth by looking at the customer’s wants and needs.

In other words, who the customer is, aligns with why the company exists. What the customer wants, algins with what the company offers, and how the customer belongs, aligns with how the company behaves.

Customer Touchpoint

Any place where people encounter a brand, including product use, packaging, advertising, websites, movies, store environments, company employees, and conversation.

D

Digital Design

The process of mapping out the look and feel of the content that people view and interact with on a digital interface.

Discovery

The research phase in the design process used to uncover a brand’s positioning and narrative, which in turn informs the visual and written communications yet to be developed.

E

Environmental Graphics

Various creative disciplines for developing the built environment, including architecture, urban planning, interior design, and wayfinding.

I

IAM-POV Chart

A tool for organizing six elements of a brand strategy into three essential pairs: customer identity and core purpose, customer aims and brand onlyness, and tribal mores and core values”

Iconography

An image or symbol which is designed to communicate information in a visual form.

Infographic

An illustration of data, information, or knowledge that would be too unwieldy to represent with text.

Impact Reports

The communication of the differences made to the people you are trying to help, or to the issue you are trying to improve. Often takes the form of an annual report, but can also include: reports to funders, supporters, investors, and commissioners.

L

M

Market Segmentation

The group of customers a company would like to serve who’re within a market segment or category, and for which a product, service, message, or experience is designed.

Motion Graphics

The discipline of designing animated content for television, internet, or live presentations.

N

Naming

The process of creating verbal identities for products, services, organizations, or ingredients.

P

Process

The specific steps taken to achieve a desired outcome.

S

SWOT

A common strategic tool for analyzing an organization's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

T

Tagline

A sentence, phrase, or word used to summarize a market position in advertising which acts as a rally cry or catchphrase. Eg. Nike’s “Just do it”.

V

Visual Identity

The outward expression of graphical components that comprise the brand identity, including name, trademarks, visual communications, and look and feel.

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