Your brand is a valuable, marketing asset. It’s the essence of your business and a strong brand should be a priority for all businesses striving for success. The proof is in the numbers – brands that are consistently presented see an average revenue increase of 33%.
Successful branding begins with a well-defined brand that is relevant to your market. This not only includes a logo, tagline, and business cards but until you carefully consider and define ALL 5 of the key brand elements—position, promise, personality traits, story, and brand associations—you still have work to do.
The 5 key elements of brand strategy are:
Brand positioning is the process of positioning your brand in the mind of your customers. More than a tagline or a fancy logo, brand positioning is the strategy used to set your business apart from the rest. Effective brand positioning can be described as the extent to which a brand is perceived as favorable, different, and credible in consumers’ minds. Once you’ve defined your brand position, make it available in 25, 50, and 100 word versions.
2. Brand Promise
The Brand Promise is the single most important thing that the organization promises to deliver to its customers—EVERY time. To come up with your brand promise, consider what customers, employees, and partners should expect from every interaction with you. Every business decision should be weighed against this promise to be sure that a) it fully reflects the promise, or b) at the very least it does not contradict the promise.
When a brand follows through on its promises, the result is a loyal, and happy customer base, ready to advocate for the business and help it grow. On the other hand, when a brand breaks its promise, it also shatters customer trust. This can lead to a damaged reputation, reduced revenue, and plenty of dangerous negative reviews.
3. Brand Personality
Brand Traits illustrate what the organization wants its brand to be known for. Think about specific personality traits you want prospects, clients, employees, and partners to use to describe your organization. Not all brands have a have a strong, distinctive personality. Those that do have a significant advantage in terms of standing out from the crowd, having a message and supporting a relationship with customers. Personality is an important dimension of brand equity because, like human personality, it is both differentiating and enduring. Once established it will provide benefits (or harm) over a long time. Creating or supporting a personality should be part of all brand strategies.
4. Brand Story
A brand story goes beyond what’s written in the copy on a website, the text in a brochure or the presentation used to pitch to investors or customers. Your story isn’t just what you tell people it’s also what they believe about you based on the signals your brand sends. The story is a complete picture made up of facts, feelings and interpretations, which means that part of your story isn’t even told by you.
Everything you do, each element of your business or brand, from the colours and texture of your packaging and business cards, to the staff you hire is part of your brand story and every element should reflect the truth about your brand back to your audience.
If you want to build a successful, sustainable business and a brand that will garner loyalty, and if you’re lucky become loved – you have to start with your story.
5. Brand Associations
Brand Associations are mostly caused by visual impressions. This is your name, logo, colors, taglines, fonts, imagery, etc. Your brand associations must reflect your brand promise, ALL of your brand traits, and support your brand positioning statement.
A customer does not simply buy a branded product. They try to recall the brand or product in their mind with something else. That association of the brand with the customer which forms a mental image of the product in their mind is called Brand Association.