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Brand assets: how to define your brand elements

Your brand assets should be distinctive, memorable and consistent. Here’s how you can define them for your business.

Most of us can probably pretty quickly identify brand elements that we love and those we hate, and for some businesses keen to develop their brand assets, that’s the main consideration.

They might prefer one font over another because it looks fancy, or because it doesn’t; they might want to jump right into a radio campaign because it sounds like one they heard from their competitor; they might totally dismiss use of the colour yellow, because who really likes yellow?

Yet, those really successful brand assets (think: McDonald’s golden arches, Nike’s distinctive tick, Coca-Cola’s dynamic ribbon) aren’t just brand elements that look good or are recognisable. They are successful because of the emotional connection they make with the consumer in just one glance.

They have been created based on mountains of research into their consumers, and an even greater stack of marketing analysis into what works, when and how, in a process that creates brand elements consumers don’t think about at all, but that grow and become established – with increased bottom line results.

Here’s a peek into the process.

What are brand assets?

Distinctive brand assets are the key elements of your brand identity.

When they’re at their best, brand assets will have people instantly recognising them as your business and what your business values and offers.

They are distinctive, memorable and consistent.

Brand elements can be words (“Bunnings Warehouse, where low prices are just the beginning!”; symbols (the Apple logo); mascots (Ronald McDonald); or jingles (“More smart, more safe, Mortein”).

How do you define your brand elements?

Broadly, the process of defining a business’ brand elements is a four-step process:

Step 1. Audit your existing brand elements

Chances are, you already have some brand assets. They could include store signage, logos, a letterhead, as well as digital brand assets created for use across social media platforms and websites.

It’s important to collect a list of all your brand assets because these represent what customers already know about you and the relationship they have with your business. They will also need to be incorporated into the marketing journey towards developing new brand elements and your overall brand design and identity.

A simple way to do this is to put yourself in the shoes of a customer and consider how they know about you and all interactions they have with brand assets.

A key reason why doing a brand assets audit is so crucial is that it provides information about what has worked and what hasn’t. It can also determine how your brand is seen and used at every stage of the buying cycle.

Which brand elements led to an increase in online sales or spikes in visitors to the store? This will prove invaluable in deciding future brand elements.

Step 2. Do your research

New businesses may not have much information to glean about the effectiveness of past brand assets. In this case, it becomes critical to do your homework.

At the heart of all marketing activity is a business’ ability to clearly articulate the answer to three core questions: who are your customers, what problem or issue are they looking to address, and why are you the best business to deliver the solution?

Step 3. Identify your brand’s personality

Like people, businesses have personalities.

If your business is a medical supplier, its personality might be confident, compassionate and expert; if you’re a children’s stationery store it might be chirpy, energetic and happy; if you’re a financial services firm it might be professional, strong and dependable.

Think about it this way: if your business was a person, what would they be like? What would you want people to know about them?

Like people, your brand has a personality, but remember, it’s not your personality. Sounds obvious, but it can be a little hard for some businesses to wrap their minds around.

You might consider yourself to be fun-loving and whimsical, but if your business is mortgage brokering, your business’ personality will be quite different.

Step 4. Create a profile for your brand

You want to provide your branding expert or creative agency with as much of a profile of your business as possible, and that involves collecting all the information you’ve gathered from the first three steps.

Your branding expert will take this intel and create brand elements that connect with the right people, at the best time, and in the most effective way.

They’ll also take into consideration your overall brand positioning, and how it should feature in your marketing mix, to support the growth of your business.

Speak to the branding experts

Once you have done the groundwork for your brand assets, including identifying that you need them, and what you want your branding identity to communicate, you’ll be wise to consult with a marketing agency to review and refine your brand.

Assemblo is a full-service marketing agency based in Melbourne, and are experts in creating distinctive branding and identity that not only captures your unique selling proposition but makes your business stand out from its competitors.

To find out how we can help your business with branding, give us a call on (03) 9079 2555 or send us a note via the contact form below.

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