Brand… Branding… Elements of branding? No, it’s not a tongue-twister, but confusing nonetheless. These string of similar-sounding words seem to share a relation not just because of their morphology but also because they are proven concepts in the marketing world. How relatable these concepts are can be speculated by the statement made by Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and the world’s richest man as of 2018.
“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room”
So, if a brand is what people say about you even when you’re not present, then branding is why it makes them talk about you in the first place. Doing your branding right clarifies what your brand is, why it is here, and what it aims to achieve. It gets you the right attention by sending the right message to the right audience. All in all, brand, branding, and elements of branding all complement each other and are terms that serve the same purpose – to engage with your audience and give them unique value.
Inferring from Dr. Augustine Fou, a modern digital marketing consigliere, branding seems to have come a long way. You don’t need to look too closely to see clear differences between old and new branding. According to Fou, while old branding was mostly advertisers promoting their brand relentlessly to every Tom, Dick, and Harry, new branding involves advertisers politely listening and understanding their customer’s needs first, and then advertising to meet those needs later. But to get their feedback, you first need to catch their attention. As Jeffrey Harmon, CMO at Orabrush likens the customers’ attention to a “resource” and branding as an experience for them, marketers should work to guide this precious resource through a process that makes the best use of it. And they can do this well by understanding and implementing the various branding elements that work together to make a good brand great.
Branding and Its Elements
Branding is a process that extends the life cycle of a brand. Do it right, and you can build your own army of loyal followers who spread your good word autonomously. Take your time to tinker with the elements of your brand well, and you can look forward to a queue of buyers lining up. From logo, voice, personality, and tone, the elements of branding work together to catch your customers’ attention and keep it- not one and done, but again and again.
A logo doesn’t make or break a brand, but it is one of the first visual entities that gives a brand away. From Apple’s bitten apple to Nike’s swoosh, from the golden arches of McDonald’s to Starbucks’ green mermaid, these brand logos have become a natural part of our lifestyle. Going past the unique design, these logos tell a tale of how popular a brand logo is when customers not only recognize them instantly, but also parody them frequently. For instance, have a look at the fast-food giant McDonald’s’ logo lampooned online as “McDiabetes.”
Pop quiz time! Let’s see how well you know your brands. Read these taglines and tell if they ring a bell.
Open Happiness -?
Finger Lickin Good -?
Save money, live better -?
While a logo is a visual representation of what all your brand incorporates, taglines textually communicate the brand message and carry a torch for your brand. These short, crisp phrases can communicate an idea, weave a story, or relate to an experience. They are a seemingly simple string of words that come together in powerful ways to speed deliver your brand’s message and perma-stamp it on your customer’s mind.
(P.S. The taglines listed above are of Coke, KFC, and Walmart)
Brand aesthetics are the sensory pleasures associated with your brand – predominantly graphic and textual. They include your color palette, typography, and everything you do in between to create an aesthetic experience for your customers. Whether it’s your website, product packaging, or social media presence, a successful brand can make a statement and then some with creatively consistent brand aesthetics. Just check out Glossier’s, the trending beauty products brand that is slaying it both online and offline. The signature washed-out pink theme reproduced in every package care, imaginative stickers, and free goodies. The killer content on their website, email and social media. The elegantly simple designs and classy imagery – no wonder that Glossier today has become a beauty cult.
Brand Tone of Voice
Shaped by their own unique vision, emotion, culture, personality, and identity, brands can be likened to actual people with their own distinct voice. To propagate ideas, tell stories, or simply shoot the breeze, a brand’s voice gives tenor to who they are and what they stand for. It shapes the cadence of where they come from and what they want to achieve. It voices what they talk about, and importantly, how they talk about it. From Nike’s inspiring, motivational, and community-driven brand tone to McDonald’s warm, happy, and family-oriented brand, and from Starbuck’s informal, genuine, and inviting way of talking to Uber’s considerate, simple, and bold speaking style – all the top brands fashion a tone of voice that can be uniquely picked from the crowd.
Ask yourself – with the incessant stream of brands overflowing out there, how can you make your brand stand out? The simple answer – position your brand right. Brand positioning is identifying, defining, building, and reserving a niche place in the market that is indisputably your own. It is wowing and wooing your customers in your own special way. It is making a promise and keeping it. Take Tesla for example. In just 11 years, they have carved their own globally known nice in the cut-throat competitive automobile industry. With their unmistakably distinctive brand, marketing, and USPs, they paved a room in the customer’s mind that is resided by just one name – their own.
Your brand message needs to address the four W’s – Who needs what, why, and where. In marketing jargon, your brand needs to consolidate its identity with unique aspects and offerings to fulfill peculiar needs for pinpoint reasons in a particular market. To ensure that your brand message is clear, relatable and attractive – start with your audience. Understand what their needs and desires are, offer USPs that solve problems and meet expectations, and aim for a mission that gives value to the masses as no one else does.
Like the elements of nature make the earth, the elements of branding make your business. To ensure that your brand doesn’t become extinct like countless others – your brand elements are the soil that the seeds of your brand vision are sown into and come to fruition.