November 18, 2021 –

Brand Identity Prism: What it is and how to apply it?

Table of Contents

Your brand is your other identity, is the additional presentation card that you, as a business person, present to the world.

What is a brand identity?

It is a mix of hard work with vision, creativity, and time. A brand identity, just like a human one, doesn’t just appear; it requires certain factors to create it right; that does not only develop healthily but successfully. 


Cambridge Dictionary:


noun [ C ]

US /brænd/

brand noun [C] (PRODUCT)

 A type of product made by a particular company.


As published by Interbrand: “The original, unambiguous purpose of branding was to identify a product or service as belonging to a particular entity. For thousands of years, people engraved or burnt signs into goods to identify them as their own. 


Two words emerged for this – the Greek-derived “marking/mark” for engraved or painted symbols you might find on ceramics, teas, and early traded goods, and the Old Norse-derived “branding/brand” for burnt-in symbols that identified ownership of domestic animals, for example.”  


Until recently, the language used to refer to “brand,” or a brand increased prominently related to business. On the other hand, identity remains as the definition of one’s individuality traits, such as character, integrity, and personality.   


Oxford Dictionary: Identity 



noun [ C ]

The fact of being who or what a person or thing is.


That’s why the Brand identity Prism is a concept that embodies not what a business does but what it is.


How do you have a successful brand identity?

You’ll have a strong identity when you are no longer requiere to explain what you are and what you believe. In the case of a brand, if it’s successful, you don’t need to explain anything; the brand will show it. What it is, what it believes, who it is for, and what makes it unique.


The identity Prism by Kapferer

The Brand Identity Prism is a six-element model that embodies the identity of a brand. Together, these elements visualize the business’s image, what it represents, and the core characteristics that influence internally and externally. 


J.Kapferer introduced the idea in 1986 as a concept for describing a brand and creating a cohesive message through these six elements. According to 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.”


Which are these famous elements? 


This element is what defines the brand and how it will display visually. Physique, by definition, is the features that you can see that you will remember as a customer, which helps identify it among others—for example, colors, typography, logos, etc. 



A brand’s personality works just as a person’s personality; its character, how it talks, acts, beliefs, and what makes it stand out as an essence. Just as if the brand was alive in the consumer’s eyes, the personality feels genuine.



If the personality and the physique have been worked on, the culture results from how it interacts with employees, clients, associates, and consumers alike. It is the set of values that support the brand, and for that, it has to be loyal to the progressive world we live in.



The relationship element it’s a behavior that identifies brands and makes the consumers find them attractive. The intercommunication between users and the brand has to show honesty, uniqueness, clarity, and overall, have that tone of familiarity that invites people to engage and even be loyal to the brand. 



Self-image refers to how customers see themselves in the brand. It is a mirror effect that takes advantage of the relationship created and helps construct their identity while interacting. The self-image exists thanks to how the brand feels and how consumers identify themselves into the business personality.



Self-image and reflection usually go hand-in-hand. If a brand follows the previous elements, it will reflect the values and characteristics your clientele wants to see themselves in. The reflection as an element is a set of stereotypical attributes of a brand’s target public.


How the Brand Identity Prism Can Help Your Brand

It seems simple, but these elements that construct the brand prism work together if you take the same energy and time to develop them individually. Once you have created the Brand Identity Prim as a unifying brand concept, you will find it easier to describe your business, focus on newer goals, expand and move forward.


It’s essential to consider that it’s a process, and it will challenge your business to the point where you have to question certain things you might haven’t done before, and that’s okay. It’s even better than okay, is encouraged because if you ask yourself will take you out of your comfort zone and push you through a better path. 


Question your mission, what you want your brand to represent, the impressions you want to create on people, what the business will impact, or what you want to do for your brand to transcend in the industry. It is all for the better because the answers will reinforce the brand, and the elements on the Brand Identity Prism will shine through. 


The BIP works like magic if your brand commits to every facet of it. You must go through the process, and once you are creating the base of it, you can personalize your brand’s concept and grow within it. 


The Brand Identity Prism can be seen as a guide to keep in hand to reference daily decisions and communications. A good recommendation is to review it regularly and upgrade it to use any relevant changes in the process and adapt them to your plans.

Does Brand Identity Prism work?

Yes, yes, it does. But it doesn’t spontaneously work; it’s a commitment. Just as wanting the business to succeed, it has to be a desire to see the brand grow and come to life because that’s essentially the Brand Identity Prism, a dedication to strength and take all the potential your business has and exploit it positively. 


Strong brand identities require developing and maintaining consistent communication internally and externally. It takes the physical attributes, culture, and created brand’s voice to make it work for your target audience. You will see results once your ideal customers and your ideal aspirations meet.


A powerful brand that cultivates loyalty and builds lifelong consumers and employees.

How can you start your Brand Identity Prism right now?

Write out your prism, easy like that. Take a sheet of paper and start with why your brand matters to you and the value you think it has and can have in the future to others. What does it bring to the world?

Next, write down what your brand wants to say and do for customers and employees separately. Use the six components of the brand prism for both, and then point out the relationship between the two parties and how they are both ultimately serving the vision you have for your brand and your customer. 

Of course, suppose you want to polish your Brand Identity Prism. In that case, we recommend that you contact us better to understand your business’s potential development and the possibilities to take on.

To take into consideration if you apply the BIP

  • Brands need to build themselves from the inside. Don’t be afraid to take your business into a restructuring phase with retrospective and feedback. 
  • To build it successfully, you have to lean on the technicals too: Algorithms, market analysis, examination of economic conditions, the study of marketing strategy, brand strategy determination, and the development stage your business will go through while applying the Brand Identity Prism.
  • Branding and identity do not happen overnight. Trust the process and commit to seeing results. 
  • Remember, every customer is essential, and so is every employee. They all play a massive role in your growth as a brand, and if it’s treated with the importance it deserves, it will become the most organic success you can hope for. 

If you want to check a few examples of successful applications of the Brand Identity Prism, we invite you to review our Case Studies.  

More Resources

Brand Identity Prism PDF

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