The late famed branding professional Wally Olins has said that, “The fundamental idea behind the brand is that in everything the organization does, everything it owns, and everything it produces should project a clear idea of what it is and what its aims are. The most significant way in which this can be done is by making everything in and around the organization — its products, environment, communication and behavior — consistent in purpose and performance and, where this is appropriate, in appearance too.” Olins, who has branded everything from Volkswagen to the Portuguese Tourism Board, states that there are four areas through which a brand manifests itself: Product, Environment, Communication, and Behavior. There are many elements of a brand and today, we’re breaking them down.
How a Brand Manifests Itself
Naturally, it’s the products/services the organization sells, how they look and feel, and what the client feels when interacting with these products.
The physical and digital appearance of the brand.
This is how a company presents itself to its audience. This also includes graphics, internal and external communications, content and marketing strategy, copywriting and the brand’s tone of voice.
Behavior closely correlates with environment. This refers to the physical interactions, whether online or in person, that the brand engages in with its customers. Think salespeople in retail spaces, the company’s appearance in media, and even how a brand treats its employees.
Branding contains elements that are both tangible and intangible, but we are going to focus on the communication aspect of brand elements.
Key Elements of a Brand
While each company’s brand elements may differ from size of the company to how they intend to do business, there are a few key elements that any brand should have.
Your logo is the visual signifier of your entire brand. It lives everywhere – on your website, your marketing materials, social media, and anywhere you’re trying to engage your customers.
Branded color palette
The colors associated with your brand are a major contributor to your brand’s appearance. When used to its full potential, consumers instantly recognize a brand by color.
Type adds to the visual appearance of your brand and works in tandem with your logo, color palette, and eventually your graphics.
“Graphics” is the general term used to communicate your brand’s identity, promise, and message to its target audience. These may include digital and print marketing materials, website graphics, in-store signage and collateral, and more.
Branded photography and/or visual elements
Working with a brand photographer is a major level-up for your business. Whether you need product photography or lifestyle photos, working with a photographer takes your visual communication to the next level.
Additionally, a brand designer may create brand-specific imagery for your company to use across digital and print materials. These are often digital illustrations, a branded pattern, or a series of icons that continue to refer prospective clients to your brand.
What Elements are Part of Your Brand?
The above checklist is by no means complete. Oftentimes, where you do business will dictate the types of elements your business will need. To determine the best strategy in communicating your brand, it’s best to work with an agency that can guide you through that process. Contact us today to get started on your unique branding needs!