Brand Identity Prism: What Is It and How To Use It?

Mrignayni Pandey

Content strategist, and copywriter.
September 5, 2022

Want to grow your brand with the right foundation and build healthier relationships with your customers from day 1? Find out how a brand identity prism can help you get there effectively.

To distinguish yourself from your competitors and to establish your brand name in the minds of your target audience, it is pivotal to have a brand identity. Although building a brand identity is a complicated and multi-layered process, understanding the elements that build a brand has become a lot easier with the brand identity prism.

In this article, we’ll learn more about this and dive deeper into how to make a brand identity prism. 

Let’s get started.

What is a brand identity prism?

Source: Inkbotdesign

Jean-Noel Kapferer, a marketing professor, formulated the idea of the brand identity prism. Also called Kapferer’s brand identity prism, it helps brands build a powerful and enduring brand identity. Using this hexagonal prism, you can effectively communicate with your target audience and inscribe your brand’s name in their hearts.

In the words of Kapferer:

“Strong brands are capable of weaving all aspects [of the prism] into an effective whole in order to create a concise, clear, and appealing brand identity.”

Elements of a brand identity prism

The strength of a brand relies on building a brand identity. Kapferer puts forward six key elements to build a brand identity. And these 6 facets of brand identity work in synergy to help you construct your brand identity model.

  1. Physique
  2. Personality
  3. Culture
  4. Relationship
  5. Self-image
  6. Reflection

1. Physique

Source: Apple

This element involves the physical attributes or representation of your brand. So anything that adds to visual perception falls in this section — your logo, brand colors, shapes, typography and packaging are all included under this. 

One of the brand identity prism examples that uses physical attributes to communicate is the Apple logo. It reflects ideas like minimalism, reliability, power, and innovation. Their modern approach is evident throughout their choice of colors, packaging, and these visual cues help consumers recognize the brand easily.

2. Personality

Source: Coca-Cola

Brand personality expresses how you behave with your customer. You can treat it as the tone or voice of your brand. Using a special style in writing and attitude enables you to set a strong brand personality. Such styles are subconsciously fed into the minds of your target audience.  

Thus, it enables your brand to convey its uniqueness through effective personality building. With colors, beliefs, and acts, aligning to your brand’s aim, you can build the personality you want.

Take the example of Coca-Cola. Its brand personality conveys a joyous and playful persona. The use of bold colors and scripted font communicates cherishing everyday moments that you can create with the product.

3. Culture

Culture signifies the core values, the origin, purpose, and beliefs of a brand. Brands should showcase their culture both at workplaces and through customer interactions.

Some brands' cultures are deeply rooted in their country of origin. For instance, Ford has an American feeling ascribed to it. Another noticeable brand culture is that of Google’s. Their flexibility and innovative approach is ingrained in their work office culture.

4. Relationship

Building customer relationships is a crucial element in the brand identity prism as it helps build trust with prospects and improve retention.  

So, you should align your online presence as well as in-store strategy to nurture your customers and ensure that they can reach out to you for assistance.

You can do this by providing luxurious shopping experiences and providing easy buying experiences both online and offline. 

For instance, providing the same experience while shopping from desktop and mobile by allowing customers to continue their shopping from where they left off can help better their shopping experiences. 

This is exactly why relationships are a crucial element in brand identity prism. The base of such relationships must enhance deep rooted trust and familiarity to increase retention. 

Source: Ferrari

For instance, Ferrari nurtures a serious yet exclusive relationship with its customers. Like their cutting edge designs and high performance, Ferrari turns their customers into their brand ambassadors with impeccable services.

5. Self-image

Brands can become relatable and make themselves a part of their customers’ identity by creating an identity that revolves around the customer. 

This is because each customer aspires to become their ideal self and are drawn to brands that help them achieve this goal. 

For example, brands like Ralph Lauren sell the feeling of superiority and exclusivity instead of advertising themselves as a clothing line.  

Source: Ralph Lauren

6. Reflection

Reflection, as the name suggests, denotes how your brand sees itself and is closely tied to the self-image of your audience. 

For example, people who use Dove see themselves as beautiful, confident, and optimistic. So, the brand encourages self-love and diversity to fulfill this role. 

Now, this might limit your brand’s reach, but the key is to resonate with your target audience and find more people with a similar mindset. 

How can the brand identity prism help you?

Kapferer’s brand identity model can create wonders if each facet is followed. These are the major benefits that you will enjoy with the application of the brand identity prism:

How to make a brand identity prism

Want a brand identity prism template to help you get started?

Just take a sheet of paper and start noting down the answers to the following questions to construct your brand identity prism.

Answering these questions will give you a better idea of how you should position yourself in front of your audience and build a strong brand identity. 

Wrapping up

Creating a strong brand identity boils down to creating brand values that reflect who your target audience is. 

And although fleshing it out can be a daunting task, you can use the brand identity prism to make this process easier and allow you to construct an impactful brand identity quickly. 

Related Articles