When you came into this world, you were given a name. As you grew older and started developing some traits and characteristics, your name became more “popular.” Then, you hit your professional life and started showing your skills; your name got the fame.
So, what did that name do? Actually, it was not just that name; it was about the traits and features you possessed. Let’s say your name is Jones. When someone thinks about Jones, it’s not just Jones; it’s about his problem-solving skills, extra-ordinary ability with finance, passion, and ability to tackle challenging situations. So, what is “Jones”? Jones is a brand, and his traits are his brand elements.
These brand elements are the same in humans and businesses. A brand is nothing itself, but it’s these brand elements that make it unique. So, what are brand elements, and how companies choose these brand elements? Let’s find out and start with the meaning of the brand.
What Is A Brand?
Brand, in simplest terms, means any identification mark, word, name, logo, symbol, or anything that differentiates a business from others. It can be a combination of more than one identification element which makes a brand identity. Most importantly, a brand is a legally protected property, and no one else can use that identity. That legal protection is generally described as “trademark.” It is safe to say that a brand is the most valuable asset for any company.
Definition of Brand Elements
So, brand elements mean those elements, features, or traits that differentiate a brand from others. As mentioned earlier, the core purpose of these brand elements is to develop uniqueness in a competitive market. These elements may include slogans, logo, taglines, brand name, packaging, etc.
Moreover, these brand elements must have specific characteristics which you must consider while developing brand elements.
How to Choose Brand Elements?
The selection of brand elements is undoubtedly an essential part of a company’s marketing mix. That is because these elements have a decisive role to play in a company’s success or failure. Generally, there are six main characteristics for choosing your band elements for your business.
Development of Brand Equity (Offensive Strategy)
Leveraging and Maintaining/Defending Brand Identity
Memorability – Easy to Remember
Brand elements should be easy-to-remembering and must be able to grab the attention of the customers or potential customers. Brand elements with high memorability make the consumption or purchasing process easier. Moreover, shorter brand names easily stuck in the minds of the target audience.
LG Corporation is the perfect example of brand memorability as the name is concise and precise. Moreover, their slogan, “Life’s Good,” makes it even easier to remember.
Meaningfulness – A Portrayal of The Brand
Meaningfulness, in this regard, means that the brand name or elements should be descriptive about the product. Brand elements should portray or describe the category of a specific brand product.
Meaningfulness is important because it helps in creating awareness and recognition of a brand in a cluster of similar products. Apart from that, brand elements should be persuasive and must be able to describe one or multiple features of a product, as this is crucial for brand positioning.
Fair & Lovely Cream is a good example of a meaningful brand name. As it is a product for skin fairness and glow, the name itself describes the product’s main feature.
Likeability – Make It Likable
It is not mandatory that brand elements should be directly related to the brand. They can be interesting, colorful, and fun. In fact, these characteristics can be very helpful in creating a brand identity. Not to mention, they can reduce the burden of marketers to a great extent.
Heineken, the beer company, stands out from its competitors due to its colorful and unique packaging. The company uses vivid colors, which makes its products noticeable.
Transfer-Ability – Ability to Expand
Transfer-ability means how much a brand can expand its product line. There can be an extension in the same category or even in other categories. Apart from that, the brand elements should be able to create a brand identity without any restrictions of geographical boundaries.
Apple Inc. deals in smartphones, laptops, tablets, etc. Of course, the apple doesn’t represent any product related to apples. This gives the company an advantage to expand in different categories.
Adaptability – The Extent of Flexibility
The term adaptability simply means how much a brand can adapt to the changing market trends. Greater adaptability means the brand can easily cope-up with changing customer opinions and market trends.
Coca-cola, the iconic beverages brand, has a highly adaptable logo. They keep on changing it as per the market/fashion trends and customer opinions. The best thing about their logo is that even after the modifications, it has a lot of resemblance to their vintage logo.
Last but not least, brand elements should be easy to defend or protect legally. That said, brand elements should be designed in such a way that a company can easily defend and protect those elements in local or international markets legally.
Types of Brand Elements with Examples
Brand elements don’t just include the name or logo; it is way bigger than that. Here are 10 brand elements that are vital in creating an impactful and long-lasting brand identity.
A brand name is the first and probably the most important brand element. It is fair to say that a brand name itself can be a great tool for marketing. However, it is not easy to pick a “resonating” or iconic brand name.
For instance, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Apple, etc., are household names in global markets. In fact, the customers happily agree to pay high prices even if a product is associated with these brands.
Logo can be termed as the “visual name” or trademark of any brand, and make no mistake; a logo can completely describe a brand even without mentioning its name.
For example, the Microsoft logo or the Nike Swoosh (Nike); these logos are so famous that they are easily recognized globally even without mentioning their names.
The physical shape of any product can be very important in creating a brand identity. For instance, the shape of Apple’s Inc smartphone (iPhone) is very distinctive. Customers can easily spot an iPhone just because of its shape in a cluster of other brands.
A catchy theme line/tagline is very important to create a brand identity and strengthen the brand position. Most importantly, great taglines/theme lines are long-lasting because of their uniqueness and impact. For instance, here are some of the best brand theme lines:
- McDonald’s – “I’m lovin’ it.”
- L’Oreal – “Because you’re worth it”
- Coca-Cola – “Open Happiness”
- Apple – “Think Different”
- Dunkin’ Donuts – “America runs on Dunkin’.”
Brands also differentiate themselves in the market with the help of colors they use. For instance, red is the color for KFC, their outlets have red as a prominent color, and their sales staff also wears red. Similarly, Subway uses green as its unique color.
A lot of brands stand out from their competitors due to their unique graphics. Graphics don’t mean the logos; instead, they are the product designs that make a brand look different.
For instance, the Burberry coats look different because of their red and tan plaid lining. Similarly, you can easily identify Louis Vuitton’s luggage because of its stylized flower pattern.
Movement is another brand element that differentiates a product. Movement means how a product opens, expands, shifts, or condenses. For instance, Lamborghini’s car doors open in their trademark upward motion. Apple introduced unique screen interaction features for iPods and iPhones. Users can enlarge any image by moving two fingers apart.
Unique tones, notes, or sounds can also help brands to differentiate themselves. For example, if you are a sports fan, you will be able to recognize ESPN’s SportsCenter introduction after listening to the first two notes.
Very common in scents or fragrance brands, brands make themselves stand out with their unique smells. For example, Chanel No. 5’s rose-jasmine-musk is a trademarked scent.
Taste is another brand element that plays an extremely important role in creating a brand identity for food brands. No brand can make French fries like MacDonald’s, or KFC’s secret 11 herbs recipe is a trademark taste. Similarly, soda lovers can easily differentiate between Coca-Cola and Pepsi.