Introduction to branding elements
“Brand is the holistic sum of customers’ experiences, composed of visual, tonal and behavioral brand components, many of which are shaped by interaction design”. -Kate Kaplan. Branding consists of so many brand elements that shape the way business is.
Branding plays an integral role and is the backbone for any business to thrive in the long run. Most of the businesses tend to ignore various elements of branding and concentrate just on profits. In recent years, the need for branding has increased as consumers are more aware and intelligent now, all thanks to the fast and ever-growing technology!
Why do we need these elements
- Branding elements help to create consistency of the brand among the stakeholders.
- It is the perfect way to pass on the message and communicate efficiently with the audience.
- Builds a solid base for your brand
- It helps you stand out from tons of competitors.
- It leads to Brand equity
- It can increase your margins and market share
- Helps in brand recall and reach
- When elements are hit right, it can reduce a lot of unnecessary costs.
- Build trust among the consumers
- It acts as a guide to the organization to clearly define its objectives.
- Brand Identity
Brand identity is the visible component of a brand that the audience associates with. In simple terms, it is the way your brand is recognized by the consumers. A brand identity consists of:
- Brand Name: A brand name is a name by which a brand is called. A brand name should be unique, creative and yet be easy to remember. For example: “Facebook”, “Nestle”, “Nike”, etc are all brand names.
- Logo: It is a symbol that represents your brand. A logo is visually presenting what your brand stands for! For example, the logo of Apple is a half-eaten apple, McDonald’s is the letter M, etc. Just like the brand name, a logo should also be unique.
- Color Schemes: Color scheme is using your color palette to represent your brand. Colour schemes should be consistent and should use color psychology. Using color psychology can create a greater impact on the audience. For eg: McDonald’s use Yellow and Red predominantly in all aspects of their brand.
- Taglines: Taglines are the punchlines that a brand uses to connect with their audience. For Example, McDonald’s tagline is” I’m lovin it”, Nike uses “ Just Do It”, etc.
- Jingles: Jingles are like the theme song to a brand. Jingles are very appealing when its an FMCG product. For Example, “Kiss Me” is the jingle of Cadbury Dairy Milk.
Thus, a brand identity is the first step that a business should undertake to define their brand among its consumers.
- Brand Image
Brand image is the way your potential and existing consumers think about your product/service. It is also the image portrayed by your brand. Brand image depends on the perception of the brand. A strong brand image is necessary to retain existing customers and get more potential customers. Brand image directly adds to the goodwill of the company. It is created through the experience and interaction of the buyers with a brand. Brand image can also be used as a tool for advertising. The values and the purpose of that particular brand are portrayed through its image. For Example, BMW, Audi, etc are perceived to be luxury cars whereas Maruti Suzuki falls under the affordable car category.
- Brand Positioning
Brand Positioning is a process of positioning your brand in the minds of your consumers. It is how well your product has been registered among the consumers. Brand Positioning helps your target audience in distinguishing your brand from the others. A well thought brand positioning strategy helps in brand recall and makes your brand stand out among the other competing brands. A positioning statement is a declaration that communicates your brand’s unique value to your target audience in comparison to your main competitors.
Amazon.com used the following positioning statement in 2001:
For World Wide Web users who enjoy books, Amazon.com is a retail bookseller that provides instant access to over 1.1 million books. Unlike traditional book retailers, Amazon.com provides a combination of extraordinary convenience, low prices, and comprehensive selection.
- Brand Personality
Brand Personality is a set of human characteristics that are associated with a brand name. It is something that your target audience can relate to. Brand personality is important to have a good consumer relationship. It is also called as brand personification. It is a certain way that a brand behaves and speaks. Understanding brand personality is really important to choose the right media and the message for communicating with your target audience. A brand personality can be easily found by comparing any two products. For Example, comparing Amazon and Flipkart. Even if both are e-commerce sites, they have their personalities.
- Brand Equity
Brand Equity is the commercial value that is added to the brand name rather than the product /service that is offered by the brand. The brand equity is higher when the brand is very renowned and has a good brand image. The value is associated with the perception of the consumer. This value is attached by the consumer and not by the business. Brand Equity is also the loyalty of a customer towards the brand. For example, Apple has good brand equity compared to its competitors in terms of the technology used. There is a lot of trusts associated with Apple Products as the brand is luxurious.
- Brand Experience
Brand experience is the thoughts, emotions and the overall experience that is evoked by a brand upon the consumer. It acts as a subset of the brand image. The brand experience scale that includes four dimensions: sensory, affective, intellectual, and behavioral. Each of these factors is rated to find out the total brand experience. It consists of all the interactions that a consumer has with the brand that creates an impact on his/her mind. Brands that create an experience tend to last longer in the market than the other ordinary brands. Providing the best brand experience has now become a priority to all the brands.
- Brand Differentiation
Brand differentiation is how well your brand stands out in comparison to the competitors. Brand differentiation strategies ensure continuous growth and lead to a market monopoly in few cases.
Brand differentiation can be achieved by finding your niche. For example, you can price your product/service differently, being an underdog, offering something exceptionally new, etc.
Brand differentiation can help in consumer experience and get loyal customers. The three qualities that every differentiator should have are true, provable and relevant. Brand differentiation can be achieved through specialization.
- Brand Communication
Brand Communication is an important tool for brand management. It is a way in which the companies inform, persuade, enlighten, teach, remind, and enrich the knowledge of their stakeholders about the brand as a whole. Brand Communication is one of the core activities of the brand management and it is imperative to have a purposeful and healthy conversation with the stakeholders. It is one of the tactics opted by a brand to influence the customers and their decision making. Brands can communicate to their audience through multiple channels like social media, newspapers, radio, etc. Public Relations (PR) team has the biggest role to play concerning brand communication.
- Brand Extension
Brand extension is using a well-established brand name for new products. Brand extension is helpful while introducing new products into the market under the roof of the existing brand.
These brand extensions can be of the following types :
- Product form extension.
- Companion product extension.
- Extension of customer franchise.
- Extension of company expertise.
- Extension of Brand Distinction.
- Extension of Brand image or Prestige.
- Distinctive taste, ingredient or component Extension.
Brand extension is very important to scale up and increase the growth percentage of a brand. The new product that is created through the brand extension is called a spin-off.
“It takes 5 to 7 impressions for people to remember a brand”. Every business needs to work vigorously towards building their brands through these elements. As mentioned, branding elements can not only create memorable impressions on the consumers but can also fetch you big bucks. Smart branding can help your brand take off and fly high!