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What is in a brand?

What do you think about when you hear the term “brand”? Do you think about logos, flyers, products? These are some of the elements of a brand but there is so much more to what the word “brand” means and how you can create one.

Brand is made of intangible elements and tangible elements. The intangible elements are a brand’s promise, perception, expectation and persona. The tangible elements are the brand’s logo, colour palette, marketing materials, messaging and so on. Let’s have a look at these elements.

Intangible elements of your brand are those items which you can’t touch, smell or taste. They are:

  • The brand promise: What do you promise your consumer when they use your product. Do you promise them energy or great coffee? When you know your promise you need to deliver on it. If you don’t you will be destroying your brand.
  • The brand perception: Though you may think you are developing your brand, it is actually to a large extent in the hands of the consumers of your brand. The perception of your brand is what people think of it. How do they see what you’re doing and does it reinforce their idea of your brand or does it change their idea of your brand?
  • The brand expectation: What do consumers expect when they use your product? What quality or service do they expect to receive when they see your name or logo? It is important to always meet or exceed your customers’ expectations of your product or service.
  • The brand persona: This is the personality of your brand. If your brand was a person what would it be like. What music would it listen to? How would it dress? Which shops would it frequent? What views would it have about the world?

To ensure you are on the right track with the following elements you need to do research. You need to know who your audience are and build three to five personas around them. The next step is to analyse your competition and see what they are doing. You need to look at their message and visuals, their product or service quality, their reviews or mentions (this will also help you to identify holes in the industry) and their marketing efforts. When you have this information about your competitors, you can refine and review your offering to ensure that you will stand out.

Now, you can work on the tangible aspect of your business. These brand elements need to consistently reflect your brand promise and exceed the expectations of your customers. Your staff are ambassadors of your brand and should want to work towards fulfilling the brand promise. Your stationery should reflect your brand promise. For example, if you are fun brand then you can have a quirky card but if you are luxury brand it is important that your business cards are printed on the best paper and are not flimsy.

By working on these two elements you will be well on your way to creating a world-class brand.

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