We've spent a lot of time together talking about branding, and it's been a real treat (at least we think so). But most of the content we've spent consuming and communicating about branding has mainly related to the tangible. And that's because the tangible stuff is super important. You can't really have a brand without a logo, or a typeface, or a color scheme. But while those things are great attributes, there are many intangibles that build your brand that are worth discussing.
What is a Brand Element?
These intangibles are what we refer to as brand elements. They're the unseen portion of the house you build when constructing a brand. If your logo, typeface, and colors are the shutters and the trim, the brand elements are your foundation and your framework. Less flashy, but without them, none of it holds. Today we're taking a good look at what brand elements are and why they're imperative to your brand as a whole. Let's break ground, shall we?
The Element of Brand Positioning
Brand positioning is a lot like it sounds—it's how your brand is positioned in the market. Think of it as the conceptual place you want to own in your target market's mind. Take the budding company, Birddogs, for instance. Lululemon's lead designer's brainchild for their men's department, the garment company, has made a name for itself by marketing to, well, dude-bros.
Their advertising is rife with mullets, bro-tanks, and fart jokes. That's clear brand positioning if we've ever seen it (for better or worse). They make it clear who their product is for, and aren't trying to market to anyone else but that target buyer. They have positioned themselves as the ultimate short for the ultimate dude-bro, no mistaking it.
The Element of Brand Image
You can think of brand image as the way some interpret your brand positioning, and what they expect from you. Let's keep going with the Birddogs example. They create a middle-priced, breathable athletic short for young men who don't take themselves too seriously. If they suddenly began creating and marketing a high-end dress pant fit for a true gentleman, they would have completely confused and conflicted their brand image.
The Element of Brand Personality
Often when companies are starting out and trying to define their brand identity, they'll fill out what we call brand worksheets. It's not uncommon for these brand worksheets to ask the person completing them what actors or characters their company would be if it were a person. This is one piece of building personas for your brand. As you figure out your brand persona, you learn about the voice, the values, and the needs of your brand. Maybe you're The Great Gatsby himself, Charlize Theron's fierce Furiosa, your sweet, great Aunt Thelma, or if you're Birddogs, John Belushi's Bluto from Animal House. Just like these characters, the market should get an immediate, distinct image and feel when they call your brand to mind.
The Element of Brand Experience
Oh, the brand experience—where all your good brand intentions go to live or die. Brand experience is, again, just like it sounds. It's the experience a person had when they interact with your brand. This could be anywhere — in an email, on social media, through the chat help on your website, even in a drive-thru. It's why having brand guidelines are so incredibly important. Brand guidelines and a clear brand message work together to ensure that your brand experience stays the same whether your audience is experiencing it in a brick and mortar store in Texas or on the phone with a customer service rep in New York.
The Elements of Brand Gap
The brand gap is what happens when your brand promise falls short of what your brand delivers. If Birddog markets its athletic shorts for being breathable, comfortable, and different from the shorts that came before them, only to deliver a stuffy, unforgiving product, and all too similar to something the buyer has tried before, that's a brand gap. Because the result of a brand gap is a negative brand experience, it's important to keep this gap as narrow as possible (paper-thin being best).
The Element of Brand Extension
A brand extension is an offshoot of your original brand that is still closely tied to your company and what it does. This can be a physical engagement or an actual experience. If Birddogs wanted to host popup group workouts around the country to support and showcase their athletic shorts, this would be considered a brand extension. In the same token, a popular boy band selling t-shirts at a local record store would be an extension of their brand. Having a solid brand hammered out ensures that these extensions, whatever they are, fall in line with the overall identity you've worked hard to create.
Have you taken a dive into what your brand identity truly is? If not, check out our brand workbook to help get you started towards a clearer brand vision. Creating a website lead generation strategy is a process. From driving traffic to producing high-quality content, each element of an effective demand generation and lead development strategy works together to build trust, authority, and provide value to your potential customers.
Because inbound marketing is a digital medium, you have unprecedented access to data points, including who your customers are, what information they're seeking, and potential improvements you can make to your content and strategy to increase effectiveness. By following these steps and creating high-value content, you can turn your website into a lead generator that provides you with endless qualified leads and grow your business.
Responding to the needs of your business is a part of our mission here at PRIME. We can elevate your digital experience, and help provide margin so that you can do what you do better. We especially want to encourage the open conversation and integration of digital experience elements that may not be a regular part of your wheelhouse. PRIME continues to partner with those who have a message, an audience, a story to tell, and a customer base to engage. We hope this case study has given you a new perspective; let us know if there is a way we can partner with you to grow your business or maximize your digital experience.