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Building the Identity Fortress

Building the right brand identity can be the single most efficient way to protect and nurture a brand’s equity, although there are many different routes to establishing strong brand identities. Benetton, the Italian clothing giant, mounted an identity offensive with the help of its “United Colors of Benetton” campaign, which takes a provocative stands on controversial issues. The company has been criticized for its controversial work which has attracted both positive and negative attention to it’s label, but the campaign also established its clothes as those worn by the socially conscious set.

MetLife Insurance has been working on a completely different kind of identity using Charles Schulz’s “Peanuts” gang. Their multiyear campaign is designed to offset the reputation of insurance companies as distant and uncaring, and has reportedly helped make MetLife a friendlier corporate giant in the eyes of its customers and future customers.

Hewlett-Packard, as another example, could easily have fallen by the wayside as a mainstream hardware manufacture during the fearsome computer wars that still rage on. Instead, HP has remained true to its identity as a technically superior supplier to engineers and companies that seek the precision and speed that engineers require. That identity has also enabled the brand to attract consumers who need a dependable computer printer for the home or office.

What these brands are doing is building a strong brand “fortress.” A Franchise will weather the slings and arrows of marketplace fortune in significantly better shape if it has a sturdy brand identity in place.

An identity fortress can also help protect a brand against the avalanche of communications that continuously bombard consumers. The more cluttered the marketplace becomes, the greater the need for a reinforced identity fortress that envelopes a brand and keeps it’s equity intact.