The brand is represented by the various tangible elements that create and formulate a visual, auditory and olfactory brand identity, leading to the innate and inherent brand elements.
For example, the brand logo, tagline, color palette, all marketing and promotional materials, letterheads, signage, messaging and communications, etc. are all tangible representations of the brand that make up its sensory identity in the marketplace and in the minds of customers.
As a full-service marketing agency with the best experience and knowledge, we help a wide range of clients build a recognizable brand.
We often hear the word logo when the question of brand comes up, and that’s because the logo is the standard bearer for the entire brand experience and all brand elements.
But there are so many more ways to experience a brand than just a logo or tagline associated with it.
Below is an overview of the 10 most important brand elements that distinguish a brand.
Brand name refers to the word, phrases or words used to identify the company, product, service or concept and other core values of the brand.
At first glance, naming a brand may seem quite simple and straightforward. But finding an iconic and innovative brand name is very difficult. Think brands like Chevy, Coca-Cola, Häagen-Dazs and Target. Today, these terms are an integral part of our everyday language. And because consumers are willing to pay more for products with these legendary brand names, these simple words are now worth millions.
To explain it simply: A logo is a visual mark that identifies the brand through its design elements.
The Nike swoosh has become so well known that the word “Nike” no longer needs to appear with it to be recognized as a brand name. The Morton Salt girl has been known since 1914, although it has been redesigned almost six times. When you see a computer with a glowing apple on the back of the screen, you know the brand without a brand name attached.
As mentioned earlier, a logo is the standard bearer for the entire brand experience and a brand element that can be found everywhere.
The following is the company “Kinderhotels“, an example from our references.
“Just do it.”
These are two of the most famous taglines in the world. Taglines, also known as slogans, are the flagship of brand messaging.
With the brand message you communicate the unique offer of your brand. Sometimes that offer is obvious, like Subway’s “Eat Fresh” slogan. Subway chose “Eat Fresh” as its slogan to differentiate itself from other fast food brands and position itself as a healthy alternative. The use of the color green in their branding and commercials featuring testimonials from customers who lost weight by eating Subway emphasized this point.
Owens-Corning is the only brand of fiberglass insulation that can be pink. UPS’s unique brown trucks and uniforms have become the company’s trademark and are easily recognizable. Sephora’s cashiers wear a black glove that they use to touch the products before passing them on to customers, and it has become the brand’s defining brand element.
When used to their full potential, consumers immediately recognize a brand by its color. That’s why Tiffany & Co. made their robin’s blue their trademark in 1998.
Typography refers to the fonts you use in all the business materials you create. You should be consistent so that your branding is coherent and so that people who see fonts associated with your brand or company can tell that they are from your company. Having a consistent font for your business also makes it easier to create business content with a consistent look.
The streaming service Spotify, for example, uses a sans serif font that is consistent across its platform and marketing materials.
Graphics & imagery
Graphics and imagery elements for your brand are hard to define because they encompass all the other brand elements that make your business unique. For example, your logo is a graphic that you can use in a marketing email.
When sharing images, the style you use for editing should be consistent and coherent across all platforms and materials. For example, use the same filters for your images and crop your photos the same way to be consistent.
Sean Garrette, for example, is a beautician who uses the same color scheme for his Instagram posts. If one of his followers was scrolling through his feed and quickly passed by a post without seeing the profile name, they would be able to tell who the post was from by Garrette’s familiar brown color.
Voice, Language & Vocabulary
You can’t get a small coffee at Starbucks.
Well, you can get the smallest of the three standard sizes…. but the name of the size is “tall”.
Starbucks cup sizes lined up with an arrow indicating ascending order.
That’s because Starbucks has developed its own unique brand vocabulary to differentiate its product offerings from those of other brands. Even though Starbucks didn’t invent the words for the different drink sizes, they were the first to use them in this unique way.
This isn’t the only unconventional naming Starbucks is known for. Starbucks is also known for misspelling their customers’ names on their cups – and sometimes hilariously inaccurately. While Starbucks hasn’t officially admitted to intentionally misspelling their customers’ names, they have acknowledged that writing names on cups is a fun part of their brand. However, individual baristas have different perceptions of spelling errors.
A certain vocabulary is part of the language use of a brand. A brand’s tone of voice is the voice you read in everything the brand writes, such as the emails you receive from them, the content on their website, and the language they use on social media.
Tone of voice is one of the most effective ways to shape and change the world’s perception of your brand. Wendy’s is an example of a brand that has created a new personality for itself by developing a consistent, unique persona for social media. Before Wendy’s had a presence on Twitter, it was just a fast food restaurant selling square burgers, frosties and chili. Now they’re a fast food restaurant that sells square burgers, frosties and chili and never misses an opportunity to be snarky and wild.
Music / Melody
Sounds or a unique set of tones or sounds can also help shape a brand’s identity.
When talking about a brand, a jingle may come to customers’ mind. For example, any sports fan will recognize the introduction of ESPN’s Sports Center by the first two notes of the jingle. A few other famous examples are “Um um well” for the Campbells brand or the Intel Inside music sound.
The smell of a brand also contributes to the general elements of brand identity. For example, Abercrombie & Fitch stores have very specific scents or proprietary perfumes that are applied to further shape the brand impression for the customer.
Last but not least, flavor is another crucial brand element that you can use to differentiate yourself in the marketplace.
KFC has had its special recipe of 11 herbs and spices for fried chicken protected since its inception. McDonald’s is famous for its French fries. Soda fanatics swear they can easily tell the difference between a Coke and a Pepsi.
As the list above shows, brands can be represented in many ways beyond a name, slogan or logo. Whether through smell or movement, strive to engage all the senses to create a richer and more memorable brand experience for all your customers. This is the only way you can build a truly groundbreaking and distinctive brand identity.