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What is an extended identity, and how can it strengthen your brand?

So, we know what you’re thinking, ‘what on earth are you talking about? Extended identity, never heard of it.’ Well, you wouldn’t be alone (we’re not just saying that to make you feel good, we promise); you’ll likely know what your extended identity is without having heard the phrase.

So let’s start with your core identity! Your core identity is essentially everything that has led you to where you are. It’s the essence of your brand that will forever remain the same.

From the reason behind starting your business, the desire that drove you through all of those late nights, the screwed up balls of paper, you get the point. The core identity behind your brand is taken from the things that will influence the work you put in daily and everything you do on behalf of your unique brand.

Extended identity?

So, extended identity, what is it? Well, essentially, it’s everything you do that supports those core beliefs. Extended identity is the detail that brings completeness to your brand; it’s the countless touchpoints you have with your audience and how you execute those in the eyes of your customers.

In this blog, we will share our experience and expertise with extended identity and how it can benefit your brand.

So, without wasting any more time, let’s get into it!

Why it’s essential

Extended identity is the padding of your business; it’s the touchpoints you have with your potential clients and how people generally recognise your brand.

Let’s look at Selfridges – as a widely recognised brand we immediately think of luxury when we see their sunshine yellow branding. Luxury is, of course, a vital part of the ethos behind Selfridges; however, the extended identity is what brings that luxury persona to life.

Think about their extravagant window dressings, the personalised in-store shopping experience and even the clean and user-friendly website. All of these things are part of Selfridges’ extended identity.

The core identity of the brand alone isn’t enough to create a memorable interaction with the business. Think of it this way, just because you’ve built a brand that champions luxury doesn’t mean your customers will know that is your identity, even if you throw it in their faces. The way to reiterate your message is by constantly reinforcing luxury experiences for those who interact with you.

Your extended identity needs just as much thought as your core identity. Think about what you stand for, then build your plan around how you’ll imply those morals.

Extended identity at Create8

At Create8, we specialise in building brand packages that tick every box, from those baby steps when all you have is an idea through the infancy and exploration stage of the business. Once you build your global success, we’ll be there.

Having plenty of experience creating memorable brands means that you can tap into our knowledge, so you don’t have to make the mistakes that we have already witnessed. At Create8, we bring in a variety of our team to each project. Meaning that any business that chooses us benefits from the complete skill set of our employees. No stone is left unturned, no rule unbroken, and no thought unprovoked.

What’s included?

Your logo is possibly the best example of your extended identity as this is the most common way for a potential client to recognise your brand. The more reputable your business becomes, the more that your core personality is represented by your logo.

For example, take Apple; once we see that half-eaten piece of fruity deliciousness, it doesn’t mean food to us. It means technology and innovation; that’s the power of extended identity.

Package design
The packaging that surrounds your product is another fantastic asset to your extended identity. As the world moves increasingly into the digital age, the days of plain cardboard boxes are gone, and there’s a branding reason behind it.

Think about those candy pink bags that Pretty Little Thing deliver their orders in; you can’t miss them. If you see your local courier getting ready to deliver parcels, it’s almost certain they will have one of those bags in their hands. Immediately we think of Pretty Little Thing, this highlights the power of extended identity.

Advertising characters
Here’s an example of extended identity you probably haven’t thought of! When you see Aleksandr the Meerkat on television, what do you think of? ‘Simples’, isn’t it? You think of insurance and Compare The Market rather than your next visit to the zoo. Sometimes, extended identity can reach far wider than you imagine. Make sure that your identity supports the core brand ethos, and you’ll be on to an absolute winner!

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You probably didn’t realise how obvious extended identity is, and you may not have thought about how you can leverage it. Well, if that’s the case, you’ve come to the right place. At Create8, we live and breathe brilliant branding! Helping businesses sculpt a brand they can be proud of is what we do; it’s in our veins.

The key to creating something more memorable than all of your competition is planning. Once you understand your brand strategy inside and out, fighting your way into the hearts of those potential customers is far more manageable.

You need to understand what makes up your brand’s core identity and why you chose this business and this sector. Once you have this knowledge, it’s time to have fun and build a thought-provoking outer shell or extended identity, in this case.

It’s vital to remember that once your brand becomes scatty and the messages don’t align, you can become forgettable, and forgettable isn’t right for you or your business.

If anything in this blog has caught your eye, or if you want to discuss how we could work together to build a brand to be envied, contact us today.

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