There’s No Brand Without a Brand Identity Prism

There’s No Brand Without a Brand Identity Prism

Competition is tough these days. Simply providing quality products or services has not been enough for a while now. People need an emotional connection, people need an idea behind goods, people need a unique story. We have become fussy and picky about what we buy and invest in. The concept behind day-to-day items and services we use is now so sophisticated that it makes up for establishing our own personalities. 

But let’s move these musings aside and get to the point. If you take your business seriously, you have to develop a strong brand to make your clients understand that you mean business. But how? What is the key element that makes all the magic happen? This article will uncover this mystery with the most essential branding concept – the Kapferer brand identity prism.

Professional branding: how to develop it?

Our answer comes from the French expert on brands and sociology – Jean-Noël Kapferer. He is the author of the brand prism concept that structured all 6 elements of brand identity in a prism-shaped form. His work helps to build a pristine brand identity that will convey a story without second-guessing.

brand prism

The prism we are going to sort out in this article is not about creating a flashy logo or a catchy name. As we have already mentioned, we are going deep and trying to create a story, a purpose behind your offer that will make your consumers care. The Kapferer brand identity prism is what combines all the essential branding elements into something bigger than just synergy- into your image.

So let’s take a look at what the prism has to offer…

What makes a good brand? The six identity elements


To cut a long story short, brand physique is all about the visual representation of the brand and the way it makes you feel. It’s not just the design or a logo, it’s their purpose. Why is Lexus looking so elegant? How Converse feels so classic? It’s all about the design and the concept behind it.


Brand personality, which is also known as brand character, is a combination of the attitude, tone of voice, and ideologies that the communication with a brand conveys. Putting it in a simpler manner, imagine your brand as a person (or a creature), and think of the vibe this “individual” gives off. 

brand personality twitter example

If you are not new to Twitter, you should be familiar with one of the most successful brand personality examples – Wendy’s. In this case, the brand basically positions itself as an Internet bully of all the other fast-food chains, which comes off arrogant, somewhat toxic, but most of all – super-efficient.

The audience has fallen in love with Wendy’s edgy character because no one expected such a play coming from a burger joint. Try being bold with your brand personality but consider the values of your core audience. Don’t follow Wendy’s way as a B2B company…


Brand’s culture is its aspirations, its origin, its team, and its mission. It can be conveyed through the brand’s messaging. The culture of a brand is one of the most conceptual elements that essentially becomes one of the biggest parts of future identity. 

To determine your company culture, try answering the following questions: What changes does your business bring to the world? Why are you doing it? Does it really matter?

By developing consistent answers to these questions, you gain trust in the story of your brand. What is more, the loyalty from your customers that share and believe in your culture.


This element determines the way a company treats its customers before and after making a purchase. It involves all kinds of communication: from the content in an app or on a website to the way an employee interacts with the client.

A healthy relationship occurs when your company’s messages exceed the client’s expectations without any difficulties in the process. A reward for any successful relationship is simple but essential – it’s trust. 

Build your relationship to earn trust!


Reflection is about WHO is your product or service for and HOW they perceive your brand. To succeed you need to conduct thorough research of your core clients and determine specific ideal personalities (buyer personas) that will serve as a bridge to understanding your audience. Reflection is developed according to this data, which later helps to create suitable positioning.

find and develop your buyer personas and shape the way your business reflects in their minds

Start with analyzing the audience of your most direct competitors, determine your key demographics, and try to understand more sophisticated aspects of your clients – their income, job title, interests, family status, etc.


If reflection is about how your customers see you, self-image is about how they see themselves… even better! This element should inspire your clients, it should help them reach their dreams and life goals. It’s not just about using a product/service, it’s about the consequences of using one!

Uncovering the Brand Prism

Jean-Noël Kapferer splits the six categories into four layering sections:

  • Picture of Sender
  • Picture of ReceiverReciever 
  • Internalization
  • Externalization

FirstFist two sections divide the brand identity by its perception. The brand message or a story we all strive to develop will be sent by the company (sender) on a medium of Physique and Personality. Brand managers can build, dissolve, or influence messages hidden within these two elements.

What you can’t really influence directly is the Picture of Receiver: Reflection and Self-Image. This section of the prism is less keen on development but more on research. The two featured elements are more about the audience (receiver) research and the way a company understands it.

The two other sections are simply about what is visible to the receiver. InternalizationThe Internalization features Personality and Self-Image that combine into Culture the elements that revolve around ideas, messages, and concepts. Therefore, Externalization features visible elements: Physique and Reflection that form RelationshipsRelationship.

Combine the brand prism with RGray

We can create a unique look and feel for your brand, establish an outstanding personality that will live comfortably within your culture, and give hope and aspirations to your clients, whom we research deeply using elaborate methods to create a strong image of your company and communicate the right messages on the right media. We are the RGray branding team!

Contact us if you want to see the Kapferer brand identity prism in action.