What is your brand essence?
Do you know what your brand represents? What your brand essence is?
Many people, when they think about brand, go straight to their logo. However, your brand is more than a logo. A logo is simply a visual representation of your brand – one aspect of it.
By nature your brand is a combination of image, functional and emotional benefits and credibility. It is a driver behind why your customers buy from you.
People do not only buy brands because of a logo, or for just the basic functional benefits a brand may offer. They will also purchase based on emotions a brand creates for them.
Based on the research of neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, we know that we, as humans, make a decision based on emotion and justify that decision with logic afterwards.
So your brand is more than your logo.
Your brand is what people think of you, your business, your product or service, when they hear your business name, use your product or service, and see your visual representation of your brand.
How do you identify your brand?
There are five key aspects to your brand.
1. Personality2. Values of User3. Emotional Rewards4. Functional Benefits5. Attributes
Let’s look at each of these.
Imagine your brand as a person. How would you describe that person? Are they fun, dynamic, conservative, sincere? Extroverted or responsible? Self-assured or optimistic? Strong brands have distinct personalities.
Values of user
These are defined in the Oxford dictionary as being ‘one’s principles or standards, one’s judgement of what is valuable or important in life’. Different consumers have different values. So, when understanding or defining your brand consider what your customer values are. Developing a customer persona will help you understand your customer values. Here are five questions to help you identify your ideal customer – your customer persona.
The emotional rewards recognise how you want your customers to feel as a result of dealing with you and your business. To build brand loyalty, your customers and target market need to have an emotional connection to your brand. Do they feel proud; smart; valued; confident? What is the outcome you hope every customer feels?
These are the benefits your customers receive from your product or service. What are the functional benefits that your brand delivers? For example, a benefit of starfish marketing could be the ability for business owners to spend more time working on their core business rather than on operational marketing activities.
Brands must possess relevant and distinctive features. These are the tangible aspects of your brand that you can see or touch. This can be challenging for service based businesses to identify – try to bring it back to the service you are delivering, for example the attributes of starfish marketing are expert marketing advice tailored to individual business requirements. For product based businesses it is easier. For example a well-known biscuit brand could be something like; distinctive caramel chocolate, multi-layered chocolate biscuit that is sweet and crunchy with a chocolate filling.
Once you have identified these five aspects of your brand, you can summarise what your brand is.
What do those five aspects say? What they say is your brand essence, and your brand essence (your brand) should drive the communication of your brand image, benefits and values. Everything about your business, product or service should articulate your brand’s attributes, benefits, emotional rewards, personality and values.
Creating consistency across your brand is key. Have a look at everything across your business and make sure it is reflective of what you want your brand to be.
If you aren’t clear on what your brand is, try using the brand worksheet below to help you identify your brand.
And if you think your brand doesn’t represent you and are considering rebranding, ask yourself these six questions first.