A company’s logo and name are vital components of its brand identity. However, answering the question “What is a brand?” is much more complicated than that. Part art, part science, there are several factors that go into a strong, coherent branding strategy.
Factors that Define what is a Brand
Your company’s mission/vision statement defines the purpose of your brand, as well as the promise your make to your audience. The purpose will inform the promise, so they’ll often be the same.
Your brand’s purpose and promise may either be functional, which focuses on achieving commercial success, or intentional, which focuses on the impact your brand will have on the world.
An example of a functional purpose/promise is Coors Light: “The World’s Most Refreshing Beer.” It’s expressly related to their product and what their customers will get from drinking it…other than drunk.
Coca-Cola, on the other hand, takes the intentional approach: “To inspire moments of optimism and uplift.” There’s no allusion to the product at all, but rather a bold business goal that positions Coca-Cola as a lifestyle brand.
In order to develop a clear, coherent brand, being consistent in your marketing communications is vital. And, as the marketing geniuses over at HubSpot put it, “the key to consistency is to avoid talking about things that don’t relate to or enhance your brand.”
Take our friends at Elements Massage of Rockville Centre, for example. They’re committed to helping their clients achieve better overall health and wellness, and that’s reflected on their blog and social media profiles. Although they strictly provide massage therapy services, they also talk about nutrition, exercise and mental well-being because all of those subjects contribute to their positioning as a brand that holds health and wellness in the highest regard.
What is a brand worth if it doesn’t appeal to its target audience? Nothing. The way brands can resonate with consumers is by fostering a likeable personality, which adds a relatable, human aspect to their marketing materials.
There are several components that make up a brand’s personality, including:
- Color palette
- Content strategy
Again, maintaining coherence in these elements is vital to developing a strong brand.
One example we always use to illustrate brand personality is Wendy’s, which has an awesome social media strategy that resonates with consumers of all demographics. They adopt a sassy voice to rib their competitors and also banter back and forth with their customers. The effect of this fun personality is evident in the huge amount of social media interaction Wendy’s receives on a daily basis.
Clearly, the question “What is a brand?” can’t be answered in just one statement. It’s a concept that’s constantly evolving, but using these three guiding principles will help you develop and sustain a strong, successful brand.