Your Brand is Not Just a Logo. 10 Pillars of Successful Branding

Kristian Zara

Content Writer at Elite Coaching | Jun 2022

Be smart, be original, be human – stay on brand, stay on message!

When I meet business owners and talk to, most of them will stop at their logo. For me it means that there is a problem which these people don’t realize often.

They focus too much at the logo aspect of their brand and understanding the practice of the brand can get weakened, one-sided or miscommunicated. Understanding the role branding plays in your business and developing it through the pillars of successful branding will bring a great impact and success into your business.

Bellow I’m brining a mixture of personal experiences with other business coach’s knowledge around branding and 10 pillars than can help to shape a successful branding strategy.

1. Purpose

A brand that exists should have a purpose and a meaningful reason why does it exist. To understand what is the purpose of your brand you should look at who you serve and what do you provide for. No matter what you provide, important is to uplift the sense of satisfaction from your audience that evokes emotions. Consider that all of us, even you, look for things and solutions to make our life easier and meaningful. So, find or build a purpose of your brand that can impact into your customers’ lives and don’t lose too much on focusing about the profit aspect of the business.

2. Vision

Vision is the future of your business, where you plan your business to be and protect your brand’s general picture into the coming market clime.

The answer to these questions and turn them into steps that will help you develop the vision of your brand:

1. Where do you want to be in 10 years?
2. What does the future brand look like?
3. How large is your expansion plan?
4. Will you expand your product offerings too?
5. How does success look like for your business?

These questions are vital to answer when building your brand. Your vision should be big enough to impact and inspire but not too big for people within the brand to process its goals and practices.

For example, Microsoft’s vision was to put “A computer on every desktop in every home”. This vision was big enough to inspire a movement without being too big for the leadership team to buy into it.

3. Mission

Your brand should have a clear mission and an objective character. It encompasses both your business’ purpose and vision. The mission of your brand should incorporate the statement of your intentions, and this must be stated clearly and strongly verbalized (perhaps here a slogan of the business not to long).
Brands that are on a committed mission aligned with their purpose and vision build the road for a solid working culture. This results in making people, who come at work, happier and have meaning in the work they do every day. There isn’t anything better that having employees of this positivity work for your business – success will be certain!

4. Values

The way you do business and engage with your audience rely on the rules of the Brand Values. Those values are the arch of the mission you’ve set up in achieving the vison of your brand future. You see how this come after one another and you should see clearly that values also are the behavioral oaths in your business activities.

On the personal aspect, people will know your values not because you tell them but because of the actions and behaviors over time. The same is true with brands. It is common practice today to list your core values on a dedicated page of your website, but without the actions to go along with the words they are little more than marketing.

Find and determine the core values of your brand and make them practically visible by means of your behaviors and actions. We recommend to contact a business coach like Elite Coaching to help you through these steps and build strong key values for your brand.

5. Position

Your competition is likely already serving your intended audience so understanding their demand, as well as their strengths and weaknesses, allows you to uncover opportunities. The position your brand takes in the market comes down to your audience, competition, and differentiators. When you understand what their problems are, then you can begin to understand the best way to appeal to them.
Originality is why your audience will remember you. What is it that makes you different from your competitors? Why should they choose you? Try always to find something that sets you apart and makes you memorable.

6. Personality

Think about the position you want to take in the market, who your audience is and what appeals to them in order to determine the personality your brand should reflect to.

For example: take Mercedes. The luxury car company’s personality communicates confidence, sophistication, and exclusivity, which appeal to the aspirations of their audience. Likewise, Red Bull has aligned themselves with extreme sports and project an energetic, youthful, and adventurous personality which appeals their audience’s aspirations.

7. Language

Brand language is the body of terms, phrases, and words that a company uses to describe both themselves and their products. It is a marketing strategy used to help consumers identify and strike connections between specific words and a given product.

When it comes to resonance, ask yourself these two questions: Who is your audience? What does your brand stand for? This should help you to create a tone of voice into your visual language. The goal with this exercise is to create a language that is recognizable by customers as yours. Your brand visual language should be as unique as the brand itself, and, therefore, easily recognized. The three-word technique: Trustworthy, Persistent, Passionate.

For example, BMW visual brand language is one of the most recognizable in the automotive world. Regardless of social status, professional training, or whether one is a fan of the brand or not, people recognize BMW cars not only by the logos, but by specific design elements that made history. Your brand needs to be authentic so give your employees the independence to be human while directing them with flexible guides.

8. Core Message

Behind every great brand is a fundamental core brand message: it declares why the brand matters, what it stands for, and how it stands apart from competitors. It’s a well you can return to again and again when you need inspiration or need to remind yourself what you and your business stand for.
Your core message is underlying and should be incorporated into all forms of communication. You can craft a concise and memorable tagline from this but the core message itself can be up to two sentences.

“Dove has stood out for its more sensitive, humanized, and closer approach to the public. The tone of voice is softer and milder but not so cheerful. Their message is that their products are not only for beauty, but a source for confidence.”

9. Identity

Brand identity includes a kind of unique composition of elements like logo, color palette, image style, packaging and typography that work together to create a unique and memorable style. Is a collection of visual elements that come together to form the whole identity of your brand.
The role of this visual identity is to trigger brand connection with memorable mechanism of the human brain in order to make the visual identity distinctive from others.

What should your brand identity include?

• Primary Logo
• Secondary Logo
• Lockup Variations
• Colour Palette
• Typography
• Image Style
• Graphics Library
• Brand Style Guide

10. Expression

Brand expression is how you tell your brand story in the marketplace. It’s how you combine words, images, corporate ID, design, actions and things to tell an authentic story about who you are through your brand touch-points.

Brand expression is the most tangible manifestation of your brand’s essence; intimations before purchase of the brand’s soul, validation and reminder of its promise after trial. The key to brand expression is alignment.

To build a successful branding, every pillar above needs to be aligned with the one before it so there is consistency across them. If your brand consists of substance, meaning, values, personality, and visual application then your business has a strong starting point, a future, and a means to grow.
Have a look at our Brand Development & Growth section.