Brand identity is a company’s logo, package design, advertising, and online presence, which when put together form a cohesive whole that is more than the sum of its parts. Brand identity can be used to identify a product’s source or to distinguish a brand or product from its competitors. It can be used to create a brand identity visual language that can be adopted by employees and projected to a target audience. All of these elements come together to form a brand’s identity, and in today’s digital world, this is more important than ever.
A company’s brand identity can be found most easily on the Internet, thanks to the prevalence of digital marketing tools that can track brand impressions, identify areas for growth, and provide a platform for consumers to share their thoughts and opinions. Building a strong brand identity takes work, however, and not just limited to digital marketing efforts. Companies must also look into the products they sell and ensure that each one is associated with a strong brand identity.
P&G, the Procter & Gamble company, is a master when it comes to building a strong brand identity. They have been quietly and systematically building their identity for decades, and in 2019 alone they spent nearly $20 million on brand identity and marketing campaigns across all platforms.
A brand’s identity can be found through its catalog, websites, social media, and even in its advertising. In order to better understand and work with P&G on their brand identity efforts, we examined the company’s online footprint.
P&G’s Online Footprint
To find P&G’s identity on the Internet, we first examined their websites. In 2019, P&G owned a total of 557 websites, including well-known brands such as Tide, Ambi Pur, and Old Spice. The average website is fairly simple with a minimalistic design and only one or two pages in length. P&G mostly uses their websites to offer customers a way to learn about their products, find local retailers who sell their products, or log in to their online store in order to purchase their products. Although the functionality of these websites is fairly limited, they do provide a clear view into P&G’s brand identity.
Social media is one of the primary ways that people find out about brands nowadays, and much of P&G’s brand identity can be found on its Facebook pages. As of December 2019, P&G had 23 Facebook pages for their various brands, and on average, they have over 5 million fans. One of the distinguishing factors of these Facebook pages is the vast amount of content that the company publishes. Every brand has dedicated pages on Facebook where the company shares new product launches, promotions, and daily updates about their company. In addition, many of these brands also have separate pages where they discuss key topics such as mental health, happiness, and self-image, which is reflective of the company’s overall identity as a whole.
Instagram is another social media platform on which P&G builds its brand identity. The average Instagram page for one of their brands has over 135,000 followers. Much like with Facebook, Instagram is a place where companies can share new products, deals, and any kind of content that they deem relevant to their audience. In 2019, P&G spent over $6.7 million on Instagram advertisements alone.
Twitter is another one of the most popular platforms amongst Gen Z, and with over 300 million active monthly users, it’s the perfect place for brands to establish themselves. Brands can use Twitter to follow or be followed by celebrities, potential customers, and other brands. Companies can also use their Twitter handles to send out regular status updates about their products or services, or to engage with other users. In 2019, P&G spent over $3.7 million on Twitter ads.
The Internet provides an ideal platform for companies to build their brand identity. Much like Facebook and Instagram, the average website contains basic information about a brand along with contact details, websites, and social media handles, which can easily be found through a simple search.
Building a brand identity doesn’t happen overnight, and companies must be diligent about keeping their brand’s “voice” consistent across all platforms and in all advertising.