Crafting Identity using the Brand Identity Prism

Last updated on December 16th, 2023

Every company wants to build a brand that has a powerful impact on the market. Every brand reflects a certain feel and the core values associated with it shape the way it is perceived by customers. To build a durable brand, organizations use the Brand Identity Prism.

What is the Brand Identity Prism?

Developed by Jean-Noël Kapferer the Brand Identity Prism is a model used by organization to build a brand identity. The model places a brand at an intersection in the form of an illustration to help analyze how the brand identity is perceived compared to how an organization wants it to be perceived. If the brand identity appears to be different from how the organization wants it to be projected, it’s time to go back to the drawing board to make necessary changes. The Brand Identity Prism analyzes various aspects of the brand, illustrating the physique, personality, relationship, culture, reflection, and self-image.

Example of Brand Identity Prism Presentation Template by SlideModel
Example of Brand Identity Prism Presentation Template by SlideModel

Key Components of the Brand Identity Prism

The Brand Identity Prism model is represented diagrammatically in the form of a hexagon, representing six sections. Each section explores a different part of the company, making it possible to use the tool as a lens to explore the identity of the brand. The top two facets of the prism (physique and personality) discuss the brand or the company itself, whereas the bottom two facets (reflection and self-image) are meant for the customers. The three facets that form the right side (personality, culture, and self-image) discuss internal values, whereas the three facets on the left (physique, relationship, and reflection) describe the way the brand is perceived externally.


Physique in a Brand Identity Prism reflects the way the brand is projected, including the visuals used to represent it such as the logo, colors, design elements, etc. These features enable differentiating a product by the customers to help them instantly related to the product in a certain way. For example, the Puma brand reflects the idea of the perfect athlete, with an emphasis on fitness and agility. The brand even uses the image of a PUMA to reflect this very idea in their brand.


The personality of a brand reflects how it communicates. Also called the ‘voice’ of a brand, the personality of a brand in a Brand Identity Prism reflects how it communicates itself before others.


Something closely linked to the personality of a brand is the culture of the organization. Located on the right-hand side of the prism, it includes the values that the company is based on and how people within the organization see themselves. The culture closely associates itself with the core values and behavior that the brand bases itself on. For example, Google is known to offer a certain percentage of time to its employees to work on side projects to encourage innovation. Its culture reflects an unconventional mode of working, with focus on innovation and collaboration. This reflects in its working environment where employees are provided with flexibility for working hours, the option to innovate, along with perks such as free meals and comfortable workspaces to enable them to feel at home as they work.


On the left-hand side of the prism is the relationship that the brand builds. Customers build a relationship with a brand based on not just the product but also what the company stands for and how it views its customers. For example, many customers are preferring environmentally friendly products. Hence, companies like Adidas are quickly switching to ways to reduce plastic waste and make their products more sustainable. Currently, Adidas claims that 96% of the polyester used in their products is recycled.


Located at the bottom left, below relationship, reflection in a Brand Identity Prism implies the type of customer the brand wishes to sell its product to. An ideal customer for a company like Apple might be someone interested in high-end digital products. We can argue that unlike Microsoft, Apple targets a smaller user base willing to pay a high sum for products with better performance. Steve Jobs made this aspect quite clear when he gave an interview alongside Bill Gates at the D5 Conference in 2007. He explained that Mac does not aim to take over 80% of the PC market. He explained that Apple works hard to get even a 1% increase in market share and that is something to be happy about.


Located at the bottom right of the prism is the self-image that customers have to help identify who they are and what might be the best way to sell them products. This facet is about how the customer wants to appear and how to appeal to that aspect of their personality. For example, Rolex watches reflect a product for people who are rich and successful. Rolex watches have hence become a status symbol. Many people who want to appear that way would want to buy such a product. This includes not only people who can afford a Rolex watch but also aspirational buyers.

How to Create a Brand Identity Prism for an Organization

To create a Brand Identity prism for an organization, you need to carefully examine the key elements of the prism and answer the fundamental questions related to them. This includes the way you wish to communicate your brand in a brand identity presentation vs. how it is perceived, as well as reflecting on how the brand is perceived internally and externally.

1. Determine the Current Identity of the Brand

Whether you are creating a Brand Identity Prism for a new brand or reflecting on the identity of an old brand, it is first necessary to identify the mission, vision, and core values associated with the brand. What do people think when they see the brand logo? What personality do the colors of the brand and the associated slogan reflect? By considering the physique and personality of the brand, you can determine how the brand is looking to appear before customers and what does it aim to achieve.

2.  Determine the Customers through Reflection and Self-image

Moving from the very top to the bottom of the prism, you can determine the type of customers you wish to sell to and the way they want to be perceived. This can help identify the customers and their needs that your brand is looking to satisfy.

3. Assess External Perception

Now, consider the three facets on the left to determine if the physique, relationship, and reflection are aligned with the way customers are perceiving your brand identity. Do customers related to the values and ideas your brand aims to market itself as or has the image strayed from the intended path?

4. Assess Internal Factors

Internal factors on the Brand Identity Prism include the personality of the brand, culture, and self-image of the customer. By doing so you can determine how the brand itself, the organization, and the customers perceive themselves and assess if that aligns with how you want your brand to be. For example, if you want your brand to look modern, with a culture of efficiency within the organization, and a customer base that can associate itself with a high-end product you need to assess if that is being achieved. If the results appear opposite, such as an outdated brand, with an organizational culture of inefficiency, and customers who appear to be leaving your brand as it makes them look anything but modern means there is much work to be done.

5. Align Elements

Making a Brand Identity Prism is part of a wider exercise that might require course correction and extensive planning. Such aspects need to be tied into the diagram created by identifying where the brand stands and how it intends to be perceived.

Brand Identity Prism PowerPoint Template

To best describe and present a Brand Identity Prism, you can use this PowerPoint template. The template provides a number of diagrammatic representations for constructing and representing the prism using various layouts.

Final Words

Once the key factors have been identified to create a Brand Identity Prism, there needs to be internal communication regarding the positive and negative aspects of the current brand identity, and the action plan for course correction. Over time, many brands end up being out of sync with their intended identity as markets and conditions change. Many organizations rebrand or reshape the way their brands are perceived to survive and grow in an ever-changing market. Whereas those who fail to adapt become obsolete.

About Farshad

IT professional, communications specialist and Blogger!

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