Branding 101: An Introduction to the Elements of an Effective Brand
What's important to understand about a brand is that it has nothing to do with the actual product. It exists in the minds of customers only. A brand is a perceived image that provokes an emotional response. It's hard to define because it's intangible. The brand is the image attached to a name, design, symbol, or some other feature of a company's product.
Seth Godin puts it nicely and succinctly:
“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter, or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection, or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer.”
Your logo is just one design that communicates your brand - It’s important to note that branding doesn’t stop at the logo and color schemes you’ve chosen.
A brand identity consists of the image or design motifs - Both are involved in communicating the brand's message, but a brand is much bigger and more encompassing than that. It also includes the images or feelings that the design or logo invokes.
On Value for Brands - In his definition, Godin mentions 'value.' The importance of a brand is that it offers a unique perceived value that a customer doesn't get from your competitors. In other words, the brand is the reason your customers choose you. A good brand tells customers that this is not only the best choice for them, but the only choice that offers the unique solution they're looking for.
Branding Conveys a Promise - From the point of view of your business, your brand is the promise you make to your customers. It precedes
and underlies all of your marketing and, if done well, every contact the customer has with your company.
The Elements of an Effective Brand
CLARITY, MEMORABILITY, UNIQUENESS, EMOTIONAL, CREDIBILITY, TIMELESSNESS.
Brands come in all shapes and sizes, but there are a few common elements you'll find in all of them.
Clarity - A good brand communicates the intended message clearly. Communication is very important. It's also important that you communicate the intended image you want customers to perceive.
Memorability - In order for a brand to work effectively, it needs to be memorable. It needs to stay in the customer's mind.
Uniqueness - Your brand tells people what makes your offering unique among your competitors and why it is most ideally suited for them.
Emotional Connection - All good brands make an emotional connection with their target audience. People identify themselves through the brands they like. If your brand gets inside your customers' heads and elicits an emotional response it may motivate the buyer to make a purchase.
Credibility - A good brand is consistent. It never strays from the customer's expectation. Like an old friend, it's always there giving them the same message. In this way, your brand establishes your company's credibility in the customer's mind.
Timeless - The best brands are timeless. They endure and stay relevant for years or even decades to come.
Need help branding your business? Contact the professionals at Brawn Media to discuss the elements of your brand.