If you are looking to create your own brand for a firm, a product or a service this breaks down what you need to think about. It’s actually quite straightforward. In fact it’s all about common sense.
Firstly, Brand versus Branding? Well, for starters, one is a noun the other is a verb. In other words, the Brand itself is a thing and Branding is the activity that you do with it. Obviously you need Brand (the thing) in place before you can start communicating it.
What is a Brand? It is the encapsulation of a series of feelings and emotions that are attributable to a particular product or service.
Your Brand is made up of two principal elements:
One./ What you promise. This is known as the Brand Proposition.
Two./ What you deliver. This is known as the Brand Experience.
To explain further, your Brand can be broken down into two elements. These form a virtuous circle – what you promise to the market and what you actually deliver. One drives the other – if they don’t then the Brand will not work. In essence, you need to deliver what you promise. If you don’t your Brand will be short lived.
The Brand Proposition.
This can actually be further broken down into four core elements:
One./ Brand Vision.
What the business is going to be famous for and the space that it is going to own within its own given market place. This is often known as the Brand’s Vision or Mission.
Two./ Brand Values & Culture.
How the business will act as it strives to achieve the above. These are known as Brand Values and you ideally only need about 3. Any more that that and your people won’t be able to remember them easily – and the critical thing here is that they have to be able to live them in order to deliver the Brand’s Experience. These values set the culture of the business – ie “the way that we do things around here”.
Three./ Brand Personality & Language.
How the business comes across in written and verbal communications. This is perhaps the most pervasive part of a brand – the part that can really engage and connect with its target audience.
Four./ Brand Identity.
The identity, or identity system, is all of the visual elements that come together to represent the Brand – the Brand’s Visual DNA if you like. These include the logotype or wordmarque, or both; the colours, icons and fonts that it uses; and the style of photography that it employs.
The Brand Experience.
This is about what you deliver, whether it’s a product or service. Every brand touch point – in store, online, on the phone etc.
This is what we do once you’ve defined your brand. This is the verb part – the ‘Brand-ing’ – and covers advertising campaigns, online, environments, packaging, point of sale, stationery etc.
Therefore it is important to recognise that… Brand is all of the elements described above; Brand Identity is only a part of Brand; Brand Logo is only a part of Brand Identity.