9 Elements of Exceptional Branding - The Guide

July 8, 2014

Today we are being attacked by branding everywhere we look.

At home, in the office, during our commute. On average you will see upwards of 1,200 marketing messages every 24 hours.

That’s a lot of noise to filter but great brands manage to find a way through. Because all they need is a second, sometimes even less. How do they do it? We have compiled a list of 9 key branding elements you need to know to get noticed.

1. You Are More Than a Logo

Logos support your brand, they don’t define it. Strap lines, graphics and advertising are just marketing messages that reinforce your image.

2. Be Who Your Customers Expect You to Be

Think of branding as a pledge to your customers. You are telling them what to expect and to build your brand you must deliver on these expectations. If you’re a boutique fashion store, be boutique, be different, be special. Don’t be exactly the same as the high street chain next door.

3. Your Brand is Earned

...not unveiled. Clearly knowing how you want to be perceived is great. But you have to earn that perception. Brands aren’t created overnight, it takes time for your promises to be fulfilled.

4. Build Your Brand with Action‍

Brands are built through actions not adverts. Your brand is what people think of you, you must take action to manipulate this perception. Good public relations, positive reviews, media coverage and word of mouth all work to establish your image.

5. Brands = Experiences

Disney, Apple, Porsche, Coca-Cola, brands that promise an experience: magical fantasy, effortless technology and envy, adventure and self improvement. Yes they are selling products but customers pay more for the perceived experience attached to buying from these brands.

6. Specific Branding is Better

Generic marketing will be lost in the fight for the consumers attention. Be specific. A one-size fits all approach will not cut it anymore. If your slogan can be applied to everyone else in your industry it’s not good enough. How will you stand out?

7. Know Your Audience

And make sure you’re speaking to them. What is it your customers need that only you can provide? Identify that and build your brand around it. Don’t try and speak to everyone or you’ll miss them all.

8. Leave Nothing to Chance

It’s a tired cliche but it’s true; your brand is only as strong as its weakest link. One poor review, or faulty product, can be all it takes to undo all of your hard work. It takes an age to build a brand and a single problem to destroy it.

9. Relentless Consistency

Everyone needs to be pulling in the same direction with the same vision, all the time, to achieve clear brand identity. This begins at the top and ends at the very bottom. And applies to sales outlets (physical and virtual) as well as personnel. One glimpse of an outdated logo or a poor interaction with a staff member and the experience (brand) can be ruined for that customer.

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