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The Seven Elements of Branding

Not everyone understands that the product is the brand and that various elements, which are sometimes mistaken for the brand, go into branding. We unpack the branding terminology to make clear what each element entails. Some examples make this clearer.

Brand Identity

Brand identity links the brand to the business that produces that product or provides that service. In short, it is the recognition of that brand. The logo is part of the brand identity. Examples are Puma, Nike, and Coke Cola.

Brand Image

The brand image is the impression the brand makes and the set of ideas that go with it. For example, Audi is a family car, as are BMW and Volvo. These brands would emphasize factors such as safety in their advertising. However, sometimes they will also be presented as luxury vehicles and appeal to those who want the top-of-the-range family car. But when we truly talk luxury, Ferrari will never be mistaken for a family car. If its manufacturers tried to change this image accordingly, they would not easily be able to do so as their existing clients wanted and purchased a car that fits this image. Hence, we can readily see that BMW is in a different category from Ferrari when it comes to brand image.

Brand Positioning

Brand positioning is exactly that, i.e., how a company positions its product to stand out from competitors and makes clear the market segment that is being targeted. For example, Lenovo positions its products for the top end and middle markets. It does this by offering products for end users that meet consumer needs and align with high standards.

Brand Personality

Just as humans have a recognizable personality, complete with emotional character, so do brands. Every aspect of the brand identity contributes to this from the typography to the logo colors. For example, Camel cigarettes are reflected in the Camel Man, a tough, outdoor, rugged male.

Brand Equity

Brand equity alludes to the value a specific brand has. This can include intangibles and not only the financial value. For example, designer products are sold at a premium. It can also be transferred from one line to another in the same company by way of association, e.g., Amazon. Brand equity can also be negative, such as what occurred with Goldman Sachs after being linked to a financial crisis.

Brand Differentiation

Brand differentiation is the way a product is made to stand apart from its competitors. Airstream RVs appeal to people who want to enjoy the past (classic exterior) but benefit from the present (modern interior). This separates them from their main competitors, Jayco, Fleetwood, and Winnebago. Another example is Tesla which has become synonymous with electric cars. Although many well-known brands are already offering electric cars, and at some point, all manufacturers may have to embrace this, the words ‘electric car’ is followed by the instant thought, ‘Tesla’.

Brand Communication

Brand communication incorporates all branding messages through multiple channels, such as emails, flyers, brochures, and advertisements. A brand will not make it in the marketplace if it cannot communicate what it has to offer to consumers.

Brand Graphics

The brand needs to stand out from other brands in every way. Therefore, the graphics needs to be handled by a powerful computer with top specs. For this, a graphics card (GPU) is necessary in addition to the CPU. For more information on top-of-the-range graphics cards, see https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/faqs/intel/intel-graphics/.

The different elements of branding are all important to the success of a brand.

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