Define Brand Keywords to Create a Unique Identity

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Brand keywords are a great way to structure the perception of your brand identity. During our work with clients, a key step is to go through the Keyword Building Exercise to help create the visuals, and tangible aspects of a venture.

How do keywords influence perception?

Keywords can have a significant influence on brand perception, as they can shape the way people think and feel about your products or services. In essence, these keywords are what you want your users/clients/customers to feel when they see and interact with your brand. Thus, your colors, mannerisms, tone, language and processes should all strive to exemplify these key words. 

Perception can be influenced in the following ways:

1. Visual Identity: Basing the design of your brand on keywords will certainly evoke the correct emotion from your target audience. For example, a company that wishes to evoke luxury will likely use color theory and go with darker, rich tones and and imagery.

2. Word Association: When people hear certain keywords, they may associate them with certain emotions, ideas, or values. For example, if a company uses keywords like “innovative” or “cutting-edge” in their marketing, customers may perceive the company as forward-thinking and technologically advanced.

3. Framing: Keywords can also be used to frame a conversation or issue in a certain way. For example, if a company wants to highlight their commitment to sustainability, they may use keywords like “eco-friendly” or “green” to frame their products or services in a positive light.

4. Differentiation: Keywords can be used to differentiate a brand from its competitors. By using specific keywords that are not commonly used by competitors, a brand can create a unique identity and perception in the minds of customers.

5. Context: The context in which keywords are used can also influence perception. For example, if a company uses keywords like “luxury” or “premium” in their marketing, customers may perceive their products as high-quality and exclusive.

Keywords can influence perception in a variety of ways, and are an important tool for shaping the way people think and feel about a particular topic or brand. By carefully choosing and using keywords, companies can help to create a positive and differentiated perception in the minds of their customers.

How do brand keywords differ from company values?

While both company values and brand keywords are important for defining a company’s identity, there are some key differences between the two.

Company values are the guiding principles and beliefs that define the character and culture of an organization. They describe the core beliefs and behaviors that the company values and strives to uphold, and are used to guide decision-making and behavior. Company values are typically communicated internally to employees and stakeholders, and are often reflected in the company’s mission statement and other communications.

Brand keywords, on the other hand, are specific words or phrases that are associated with a brand or product. They are typically used in design, marketing and advertising to help differentiate the brand from competitors and create a unique identity in the minds of consumers. Brand keywords are often related to the product or service that the company offers, and are used to evoke certain emotions or associations in the minds of consumers.

To summarize in a brief statement, company values are internal and guide decision-making and behavior, while brand keywords are external and used to create a unique identity in the minds of consumers.

What if my brand keywords and my company values are the same?

This may happen. In some instances you may find that your values and keywords overlap, which is absolutely fine.

For example, a fashion brand may have a elegance as both a keyword and a value. However, for an exclusive dating app, the same word (elegance) would make great sense as a keyword but not so much as a value – you don’t want your users seeing this.

Picking your keywords

Picking your keywords is a relatively straightforward process. In our keyword workshop we provide you with an extensive list of keywords applicable to brand building. The workshop is step-by-step process where you whittle down the keywords to 20, then 10, and then 5.

This is as much a decision-making tutorial, as it is a company branding exercise. The challenge you may experience is narrowing down your list, where all 50, 20 or 10 words may be fully applicable to your brand. You may only pick 5 or 6 for this exercise to be effective.

Duplicates & Similarities

As you develop your brand keywords, you’ll often find many words that mean the same thing. For example you may find that you’ve listed Elegant & Luxurious as two keywords. These two are very similar and in fact this is a great indicator that you’re on the right track.

If your words are incredibly varied, than it may signify that your brand is still a little all-over-the place. In this instance we recommend referring to your Mission Statement sessions to ensure you have a clear purpose.

If you do find duplicates, then you need to make a decision which speaks most to you and keep just one.

How many keywords should I have?

We recommend having 5 or 6 keywords for your brand. Having less will make it more challenging to design your brand, while having more may again mean that you’re not zoomed in and sure about your purpose.

Next Steps

○ Review this reading
○ Conduct a Brand Keyword Workshop
○ Finalize the Brand Keywords for your venture
○ Proceed to your Brand Name

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