If you think your brand hasn’t been established yet, this is going to throw you for a loop: your brand is actually being shaped even without a formal strategy. Every interaction you have with customers, whether it’s the way you communicate with them, the values your company embodies, or even the visual identity reflected in your packaging, contributes to the development of your brand.
Knowing these six elements of a strategic brand will not only enhance your brand’s consistency and connection with customers, but it will keep you on a path of deliberate steps to further your goal in providing a service or product that is needed in your marketplace.
But before we dive into the six elements of a strategic brand, let’s define what branding is.
Branding can be traced back to ancient times when craftsmen and merchants wanted a way to differentiate their products in the marketplace. However, during the Industrial Revolution, branding really began to evolve. With the rise of mass production and increased competition, companies recognized the need to distinguish their products from others. They started using distinctive logos, slogans, and packaging to create brand recognition and build consumer loyalty.
One of the earliest examples of creative branding was the logo of Bass & Company, a British brewery. They introduced the red triangle as a trademark symbol, making it the first registered trademark in the world. This landmark event laid the foundation for the modern concept of branding.
Now, we are surrounded by branding as companies realized the power of emotional connection a business can have with its customers through creativity. This connection beyond the basic foundation of a graphic identifier is what we know as marketing.
Today, creative branding continues to evolve in response to changing consumer behaviors and technological advancements. It encompasses a wide range of disciplines, including graphic design, advertising, experiential marketing, and digital storytelling. Successful brands understand the importance of standing out in a crowded marketplace and continuously strive to create unique, authentic, and memorable experiences for their customers.
So where does one start to create this uniqueness? We’re glad you asked. Here are the six elements of a strategic brand.
A brand promise refers to the commitment made by a company or organization to its customers. It is a statement or understanding of what customers can expect from the brand in terms of product or service quality, customer experience, values, and overall brand identity. A brand promise sets the expectations and creates a perception of what the brand stands for and how it differentiates itself from competitors. It represents the unique value proposition that the brand offers to its target audience and serves as a foundation for building trust, loyalty, and long-term relationships with customers.
At [Brand Name], we are committed to delivering [Core Benefit or Value] to [Target Audience] by providing [Key Features or Attributes]. Our brand promise is built on the foundation of [Brand Values or Principles], which guide everything we do.
We promise to [Deliverable or Outcome] through [Unique Approach or Methodology]. We strive to exceed your expectations and ensure your [Desired Outcome or Result].
Brand values are the guiding principles and beliefs that shape the behavior, decisions, and actions of a company or organization. They represent the core ideals and philosophies that define what the brand stands for and how it conducts its business. Brand values are the moral compass of a brand and reflect its personality, culture, and identity.
NOTE: Brand values should be meaningful, actionable, and guide decision-making across the organization. Continuously evaluate and evolve your brand values as your brand grows, but ensure they remain true to your brand’s essence and resonate with your audience.
Brand targeting, also known as audience targeting, refers to the process of identifying and focusing on a specific group of individuals or businesses that are most likely to be interested in and benefit from a brand’s products, services, or messaging.
Like author and marketing extraordinaire Seth Godin says: “The goal isn’t to serve everyone. The goal is to serve the right people.”
By focusing on specific target segments, brands can optimize their marketing efforts, enhance customer engagement, and build stronger connections with their most valuable audience. Effective brand targeting allows for more efficient resource allocation and a higher likelihood of success in reaching and resonating with the right customers.
Brand voice is the consistent and distinctive tone, style, and manner in which a brand communicates its messages, both verbally and in writing. It encompasses the overall personality, attitude, and language used by a brand to engage with its target audience. Brand voice is an essential element of brand identity and plays a crucial role in shaping how the brand is perceived and remembered by customers.
The most commonly thought of element of branding is the brand identity. This refers to the collection of visual and tangible elements that represent and distinguish a brand in the minds of its target audience and is a strategic, intentional effort to shape how the brand is perceived and recognized. A strong and well-defined brand identity enables the brand to connect with its target audience, create a memorable impression, and effectively communicate its offerings and brand story.
Components of brand identity include:
Brand positioning is the strategic effort of defining and establishing a brand’s unique place in the minds of its target audience relative to its competitors. It involves crafting a distinct and compelling position that sets the brand apart, communicates its value proposition, and fulfills the specific needs and desires of the target market. A well-defined and compelling brand positioning strategy helps guide marketing efforts, messaging, and decision-making to ensure consistent and resonant brand communication.
It’s no secret that having a full brand strategy with these six elements is an important asset to your business. A strong brand will effectively communicate to your target audience, create trust, credibility, and familiarity with consumers, and allow your business to grow with the parameters of your values and goals.
Strategic branding is essential for small businesses, and it plays a crucial role in creating a strong and recognizable identity that resonates with customers and sets the stage for long-term success.
So, what are you waiting for? If you need help with your branding, click here to contact our team!
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