Brand Identity Prism by Kapferer

Brand Identity Prism is often used by marketers to gauge the identity for any brand. But before the application of any model, few obvious questions which come to our mind are:-

What is it?

When should it be used?

How to use it?

Now suppose if a product or a brand (taking the liberty of equating product with brand ) was a person, how would he look like? What traits would he have? Would he be warm, cold, aggressive, approachable or smart?

Brand identity prism helps us provide answers to these questions.

OK so the next logical question is when to use it?

I would say practically everywhere. Understanding of the identity would help design your web presence better, would decide the positioning and have an effect on all marketing collaterals.

The best way to understand the model is to call up a meeting of all department heads and ask questions, lot of questions.

The model has 6 dimensions on which a brand is to be evaluated.

Physical Facet talks about what the product is, what does it do, how does it add value to customers, how does it fill up the gap in the market.

Brand personality is measured using those traits/features of consumer personality that are directly related to brands. Proper care should be taken not to confuse it with consumer’s reflection. Brand personality is closely linked with self image and image of the consumer. Questions to be asked are:

1) What are the features of consumer personality?

2) What are the features of brand if it was a person? This depends on the functional aspect of the product and the gap it would fill.

Brand Culture: As the name signifies, it talks about the culture of the brand. The values and the principles will follow from the culture and it is these values which will bind the customers. Remember HSBC’s “The World’s local bank”.

Questions which need to be asked:-

1) Is the brand’s culture global?

2) What are the values for which the brand stands for?

3) How would customers take the values of such a brand?

Brand Relationships: No prizes for guessing what would this be about! Yes, after all every brand has to maintain healthy relationships with customers. All marketing collaterals are intended to do just that. Therefore to gauge the identity, this had to feature.

1) How would Sales describe the relationship attributes for their customer management process?

2) How would Customer support describe their approach to increasing customer satisfaction?

3) How does the brand want to be seen by customers in marketing communication?

Customer Reflection: Every product is designed to satisfy some need of the intended customer base. A consumer has to be reflected in a way, which would show how he or she could image himself consuming a particular good. For example, in India anyone consuming Pepsi Cola would imagine himself to be young and Thums up (another cola drink from Coke stable) to be adventurous. For this aspect, questions are to be put to customer experience team about What would the users imagine while using the product?

Customer Self Image: Consumers get attracted to those brands in which they see their own traits, for example, a man who is muscular and strong would smoke Marlboro. This goes hand in hand with brand personality.

Physical Facet, Brand Relationship and Customer reflection are externalization factors whereas the rest represents internalization. I know it is a bit tedious but am sure if applied correctly it can reap huge benefits for corporate.

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