A brand is far more than just a logo. That logo, along with all other elements that represent the brand to an audience, is meant to be built upon the foundation of the brand’s uniqueness: what sets it apart from its competitors. G2’s Learning Hub lists 8 Essential Brand Elements which should embody your brand in a way that “proves to your customers who you are, why you’re better, and why they should remember you.” The elements listed are name, logo, color, slogan, image, shape, graphics, and typography. To these, I would add language, patterns, and sound, along with smell and taste for some product categories.
These should all complement the branding decisions you have already made, such as what audiences you are targeting and how you are positioning yourself in front of them. Ask yourself whether each of these elements, if applicable, complements the brand persona you have identified for your brand.
There are several other qualities that your brand elements should have apart from being fitting your existing choices and identity. Think of this as a sort of checklist against which to examine your existing or future elements to determine whether they have room for improvement. Your elements should be:
- For your audience to have a clear idea of who you are and why they should choose you at the moment of purchase, they have to be able to remember you and the associations they’ve created of you through your brand elements. In other words, make them easily recognized and easily recalled.
- Have a clear reason for why you are designing your elements in a specific way. Go beyond “it’s attractive.” How is each element representative of your brand’s personality in a way that your audience will relate to? Make each of them as descriptive of your brand as possible.
- Likeability will take different forms depending on what industry you are in, but generally speaking, it is a good idea to make your brand elements visually and/or verbally pleasing. If applicable, try to also make them fun and interesting.
- As much as possible, try to make sure that your brand elements maintain their relevance and meaning across all the product types you offer, across all geographies you are present in, and across all cultures encompassed by your target market.
- To the extent that an element isn’t completely transferable, make sure it is adaptable so that you can present a tailored version of your branding in changing circumstances without losing your brand identity.
- To maintain your brand image’s structural integrity, make sure each of your brand elements is legally protected.
When a brand is developed with attention to every detail, it can become the most valuable asset that you own. The elements you choose to use will help you in this pursuit only if they aid you in raising brand awareness and in building positive associations in the minds of your audience. Whether it is a jingle, a logo, or a mascot, each of the elements which represent your brand to the public must be carefully tailored, examined for consistency, and improved as needed.