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The Guide to Building Brand Identity in Affiliate Marketing

Last Modified: February 8, 2023

In today’s digital age, a brand’s identity is equally as important as the products or services it offers. Brand identity consists of a variety of elements that a company uses to present itself to the public and its target audience. These elements consist of visual elements such as logo, color, and design to distinguish the brand in the eyes of consumers. Brand identity also consists of non-visual elements such as a brand’s values, personality, and how it communicates its products and expresses its personality. It evokes the desired feelings a brand seeks from the consumers who interact with its brand. 

Brand identity is much more than finding the perfect logo to place on a product. It focuses on a brand’s personality and the values it wants to portray to consumers. With millions of businesses working day and night tirelessly to make a name for themselves, a strong brand identity is crucial for brands to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Moreover, it’s imperative when it comes to running a successful affiliate marketing program. 

Affiliate marketing has experienced tremendous growth in recent years, with a total spend expected to reach $8.2 billion in the U.S. alone, according to a recent report by Demandsage. The same report found that over 80% of marketers use affiliate marketing to raise brand recognition, signaling that affiliate marketing is becoming more and more mainstream among brands and businesses alike. 

Furthermore, a recent Inc. report found that more than 40% of U.S. brands cited affiliate marketing as their top customer acquisition channel. As brands typically work with several affiliates to promote their products and services, a staggering 94% to be exact according to Affise, they must establish branding guidelines for affiliates to follow. Aside from providing branding guidelines to its affiliates, brands have to make an effort to enforce them to make sure they are being adhered to by affiliates. This article will provide a valuable guideline for brands to follow to build their brand identity through affiliate marketing. 

Work With Affiliates That Match Your Brand Values

As brands compete to get the partnership and business of the best-performing affiliates in their niche, brands must convey a unique brand image and voice in their niche. This will set them apart from other brands and attract the right affiliates that will be willing to put in the extra effort to promote a brand’s products and services and what the brand stands for. 

The essential oils company, Simply Earth, is a great example of a brand that capitalized on working with affiliates that matched their brand identity and values. Simply Earth took the essential oils industry by storm by focusing their brand around simple, ethically-sourced, and 100% pure and efficient products. By working with Refersion, they found the affiliate marketing platform and affiliates to partner with that share the same characteristics as their products – simple and efficient. Since partnering with Refersion in 2016, Simply Earth has grown their affiliate marketing program to include over 3,000 brand ambassadors and more than $1 million in ambassador-contributed revenue.

simply earth

A great way to attract affiliates that match your brand values is with a branded affiliate signup page. A blank affiliate signup page consisting of only the essential contact information boxes for affiliates to fill out conveys to potential affiliates that you have no criteria and are desperately seeking any affiliate to join your affiliate program. 

A properly branded affiliate signup page should be visually appealing and incorporate your branding guidelines. It should visually convey what you are looking for in affiliates, as well as in writing. An attention-grabbing and informative affiliate signup page shows your affiliate marketing program’s careful thought and strategy. 

Elements such as image choice, page layout design, and thoughtfully-crafted words should all work in harmony to convey your brand’s identity. It should also describe the type of affiliate you want to work with your brand. This approach effectively weeds out bad or irrelevant affiliates for your brand. It attracts only the affiliates that share your brand values. 

Use Your Brand Identity to Evoke the Desired Emotions

Effective branding heavily focuses on evoking emotions, as emotions are one of the leading drivers of consumer purchases when the price isn’t the leading factor contributing to purchasing decisions. Because affiliate programs among brands in any particular niche typically offer similar, if not often the same, commission structures, affiliates tend to go with the brand that evokes the right emotions out of them. 

Your brand identity should serve to evoke emotions that resonate with some people more than others. This allows you to weed out affiliates that don’t resonate with your brand and audience effectively. While at the same time allowing you to hone in on evoking the desired emotions that resonate the best with your brand’s target audience. 

Use Your Brand Identity to Create a Sense of Community

Aside from conveying your message and values and evoking the desired emotions from your target audiences and potential affiliates, your brand identity should create a sense of belonging and community. Great affiliates don’t stick around with brands for the long haul solely because of the commissions and other monetary incentives. Instead, they become loyal brand ambassadors for more immaterial reasons, such as a sense of community and personal fulfillment from working with a brand they share the same values with. 

Your affiliate group name is a great way to foster a sense of community and evoke a feeling of belonging among affiliates. Therefore, your affiliate group name should be something catchy that conveys your brand’s identity while at the same time evoking a sense of loyalty among the affiliates that are part of it. This can be done by using a catchphrase from your branding guidelines paired with words such as ‘tribe,’ ‘gang,’ ‘club,’ and so on. 

Use Your Brand Identity to Provoke Purchases

Your brand identity should provoke the urge for affiliates to actually sign up for your affiliate program equally as effectively as it provokes your target audience to purchase your product or services. Your effective utilization of your brand’s identity is the deciding factor between a great affiliate simply window-shopping what your affiliate program has to offer and actually filling out the signup form and becoming a valuable long-term affiliate partner. 

Use the Right Affiliate Marketing Tools to Best Convey Your Brand Identity

A brand’s identity strategy for its affiliate marketing program is only as strong and effective as the tools and networks that stand behind it. Therefore, brands should use affiliate marketing networks, tools, and platforms that give them the tools they need to craft and foster their brand identity all in one platform. Refersion makes it easy for brands to access the tools and data necessary to make informed decisions regarding their brand’s identity and overall affiliate marketing program.

The Bottom Line

A brand’s identity should be compelling and enticing enough to convert consumers and the best affiliates that share its values into loyal brand ambassadors. 

Brand identity isn’t only about choosing the perfect logo, colors, and design that uniquely portrays their values to the public to help them stand out from the crowd. It involves additional elements that convey the brand’s personality, what they stand for, and a sense of community so that it attracts only the affiliates that best resonate with the brand. 

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Written by

Ruthie Carey
Ruthie Carey