6 Components of Branding

Branding is not just a logo or trademark. It incorporates many components that work together to form the destination brand concept. Their management is part of the brand strategy. The value of the brand is described by the term brand equity. Brand positioning and leveraging are branding management approaches. The identity, image, personality, essence or soul, character and culture are the brand components.

Brand identity

is how brand strategists want the brand to be perceived. It is a set of unique brand associations that represent what the brand stands for. These associations imply a promise to customers from organization members. Brand identity should help establish a relationship between the brand and the customer by generating a value proposition involving functional, emotional or self expressive benefits.

Brand image

is a key component in the formation of a clear and recognizable brand identity in the market. Brand image is related to how the brand is currently perceived by consumers. In other words what is the reputation of the brand in the marketplace.

Brand character

is related to its internal constitution, how it is perceived in terms of integrity, trustworthiness and honesty. This is also related with the promise of the brand to deliver the experience associated with its name.

Brand culture

is about the system of values that surround a brand much like the cultural aspects of a people or a country.

Brand personality

is the set of human characteristics that are associated with the brand. It includes such characteristics as gender, age, socioeconomic class, as well as human personality traits such as warmth and sentimentality.

Brand essence (brand soul)

represents the emotional elements and values of the brand. Essence should be part of a long term positioning that does not change with every communication

Tag: Brand Components

Branding News Roundup – 11/29/05

Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising opens in Notting Hill on Thursday and will take in 200 years of consumer history with displays of thousands of brands and products. The museum would develop into an archive and resource for marketing professionals wanting to understand how today’s companies sold themselves in the past.

The top ten rebranding nightmares – One of the best ways for a company to secure negative press coverage is to pay a pretentious branding consultancy millions of pounds to come up with a confusing and ridiculous new name. It seems that some people never learn, which is good for journalists, but a bit of a shame for investors. This Times article looks at ten of the most amusing names to have emerged in recent years.

The Top 50 U.S. City Slogans
– Since we discussed here before about destination branding here is a list of the top 50 US City Slogan from the Vegas’s famous What Happens Here, Stays Here to less known Newark, on a Roll. As a bonus, there is also a list of Top 50 U.S. City Nicknames.

Stinky Branding – As part of a new craze for smelly-branding, hip brand managers are desperately trying to project a sensory message with an exclusive aroma. Checkbooks are being scented, clothes are pre-perfumed, and cars are wildly sprayed. Now you know why massage oils are scented, and how aromatherapy became so popular.

Re-branding – Not Always The Answer

Interesting article of Al Ries author of Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind and The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding on AdAge.com website (registration required).

Starting from recently over-buzzed Atlanta re-branding, Ries is making a extremly good and sustained point about the need and the opportunity of rebranding, changing logos and slogans, or becoming “too creative” in terms of branding.

What leads cities, states, countries and companies to concoct meaningless, unmemorable slogans? I believe the culprit is “creativity.”

Every day of the week, advertising agencies are hired to create new, compelling branding strategies and fired when these new, compelling branding strategies don’t work.

The best example of the power of consistency is the Marlboro cowboy, who has been riding the range for 50 years. The advertising doesn’t win any awards, but it has taken the brand from nowhere to become the No. 1 selling cigarette brand in the world.

A powerful brand is not built by creativity, although there needs to be a creative spark to get the brand ignited. A powerful brand is built by consistency, year after year after year.

Basically if you have something that is working, don’t try to fix it. The re-branding decision is a tough one, as long as we do not have (re)branding in our minds a purpose (as some agencies have it), but as a tool for sustaining and growing the business.

Related posts:
Re-branding the Right Way

Tag: Re-branding, Rebranding

Employees Branding Guidelines

The brand-developing process centers on the messages the organization sends and the processing of those messages in its employees’psyches.

Employee branding is a process by which employees internalize the desired bran dimage and are motivated to project the image to customers and other organizational constituents. The messages employees take in and process influence

  • the extent to which they perceive their psychological contracts with the organization to be fulfilled
  • the degree to which they understand and are motivated to deliver the desired level of customer service

In so doing, they drive the formation of the employee brand. The messages employees receive must be aligned with the employees’organizational experiences if the psychological contract is to be upheld. Therefore, the conscious development of organizational messages is the fundamental building block in this process.

The messages must then be delivered through appropriate message sources.The following guidelines provide a starting point in this process:

  1. Organizational messages should be carefully thought out and planned in much the same way mission and vision statements are thought out and planned.
  2. The organizational messages should reflect the organization’s mission and values.
  3. Messages directed toward external constituencies must be in line with the messages sent to employees.
  4. Messages directed toward external constituencies should be sent internally as well.
  5. The design of recruitment and selection systems should incorporate messages that consistently and frequently reflect the brand and organizational image.
  6. The compensation system should incorporate messages that consistently and frequently reflect the brand and organizational image. For instance, managers in organizations that value training must be held accountable when they fail to train and develop their employees.
  7. Training and development systems should help managers and employees internalize their organization’s mission and values and help them understand how the mission and values pertain to their roles in their organization.This should enable them to more effectively articulate messages that consistently and frequently reflect the brand and organizational image.
  8. Advertising and public relations systems should communicate messages that consistently and frequently reflect the brand and organizational image.
  9. Managers should be taught the importance of communicating messages that are consistent with their organization’s mission,vision, policies, and practices.
  10. Performance management systems should address inconsistencies between practices and policies to minimize violations of employees’ psychological contracts.
  11. Accurate and specific job previews should be given to new employees so that realistic expectations are incorporated into their psychological contracts.
  12. Corporate culture (artifacts, patterns of behavior, management norms, values and beliefs, and assumptions) should reinforce the messages employees receive.
  13. Individual output should be measured and analyzed to determine if there are message-related problems at the departmental, divisional, or organizational levels.
  14. Individual messages should be continually examined for consistency with other messages.
  15. Message channels should be examined to ensure consistency of message delivery.
  16. In the event that messages need to be changed or psychological contracts altered, organizations must take careful steps in rewriting the messages.
  17. Measures should be used to assess outcomes such as customer retention, service quality, turnover, and employee satisfaction and performance

10 New Rules of Branding

Simon Williams of branding consultancy Sterling Group argues, that in today’s Savvier-than-ever consumers environment, brands have to work that little bit harder and smarter to cut through. To achieve the cut through Simon proposes a new set of marketing rules. Interesting, not enough, but worth to be considered, here is the succinct list:

  1. Brands that influence culture sell more; culture is the new catalyst for growth.
  2. A brand with no point of view has no point; full-flavor branding is in, vanilla is out.
  3. Today’s consumer is leading from the front; this is the smartest generation to have ever walked the planet.
  4. Customize wherever and whenever you can; customization is tomorrow’s killer whale.
  5. Forget the transaction, just give me an experience; the mandate is simple: Wow them every day, every way.
  6. Deliver clarity at point of purchase; be obsessive about presentation.
  7. You are only as good as your weakest link; do you know where you’re vulnerable?
  8. Social responsibility is no longer an option; what’s your cause, what’s your contribution?
  9. Pulse, pace, and passion really make a difference; had your heartbeat checked recently?
  10. Innovation is the new boardroom favorite.

Read the full Chiefmarketer.com article

Tag: Branding Rules

Country Brand Index 2005

At the moment I blogged something here about destination branding, earlier this month, I have to admit I didn’t know anything about the fact that FutureBrand, a leading global brand consultancy, in conjunction with sister company and leading global public relations firm, Weber Shandwick, were about to release first-of-its-kind global survey that identifies countries as brands and suggests the pivotal role that branding could
make in helping countries differentiate themselves.

If a ‘brand’ is defined as an experience, then some of the world’s most powerful and recognizable brands should be countries. The challenge the industry faces is that it must move away from the traditional reactive and tactical marketing approaches and instead, create and deliver an overall brand experience that drives sales and turns visitors into country-brand evangelists

said Rene A. Mack, president of Weber Shandwick’s global travel practice.

Branding a country takes time,commitment and focus. While many of the countries that ranked high have scored well, not all of them have fully crafted their brands as places that differentiate, nor do theystand for something in the hearts and minds of key audiences, expand and drive business opportunities or perpetuate loyalty and preference.

As both tourism and international trade becomes morecluttered and competitive, brand is one of the few ways to truly differentiate. Those countries willing to truly work on brand building will be more likely to enjoy a competitive advantage, higher returns, longer term momentum and stronger advocates.

says the study.

The study has many interesting insights into the travel and destinaiton branding and has as its output an overall top of 2005 destinations:

  1. Italy
  2. Australia
  3. USA
  4. France
  5. Maldives
  6. Greece
  7. Fiji
  8. Thailand
  9. Egypt
  10. Bahamas


Brand Naming – 5 Tips

The name is the brand trigger. When it is said or read or thought, all the impressions, experiences and promises of the brand are brought to mind.

Creating a new brand name, whether is a new company or a new product line, is an opportunity to take a deep breath, take stock of who you are and where you’re headed, figure out what new things you need to add to the marketing mix, and what baggage you may be ready to leave behind.

The following key attributes should be present in every company name:

  • Position the company/product within the markets it serves.
  • Attract customers and prospects, usually by stating a benefit, specific or implied.
  • Be memorable
  • Be easily pronounced
  • Have positive verbal associations and connotations.
  • Be unique, not at all like competitor names.
  • Be protectable.

Next is a list with some five things to be considered when you start naming a new company, product or service:

1. Determine How Important the Name Really Is

Having a clever name isn’t always important. Many companies thrive in industries that are based on government contracts, bidding wars, business friendships, etc., and their name is often just a unique identifier to be placed on legal paperwork.

For most companies, however, their name can be an integral part of their marketing process. A clever, memorable name can make a potential client think about the company for a few extra moments, which may be all you need to get the edge on your competitors.

2. Stand Out…

The most common mistake made when naming a new business endeavor is to make it sound like the others in that industry. This is based on anxiety about whether the new business will be taken seriously. In reality, it’s critical that you stand apart from your competition, and that you look to your competitors as examples of what to avoid.

There are literally 30 or 40 wireless companies called Mobile-something — Mobileum, Mobilocity, MobileOne. Make a rule and don’t pick a name with ‘mobile’ in it, if you name a wireless company.

3. …but don’t get carried away.

A name that doesn’t mean anything, or it has no depth won’t work ussualy. A name should connect with something already in the collective subconscious. Don’t forget, you’re trying to make an emotional connection.

4. Test your tolerance for going ‘out of the box.’

If you’re looking for something unusual, usually when it comes down to it, the obstacle is always fear. Make sure that the fears aren’t based on what happens to brands out in the world. It’s like Banana Republic. People don’t see the name and think, ‘Whoa, an ugly racial slur — I’m not going to shop there.’ It’s all contextual.”

5. Don’t involve too many people

Most corporations have no problem delegating marketing and advertising issues to the marketing department, but when naming is involved, especially naming the company itself or key products, suddenly everyone wants to have a say in the process, and it can quickly become politically and emotionally charged. Therefore, it is essential that you keep the number of people involved in a naming project to a minimum, that they have real authority, and that they all understand the ideas outlined above.

Chinese Brands Going Global

While many companies outside of China contemplate the riches to be made, they must be aware of the increasing competition originating from that country into global markets.

This is the caption phrase of a recently released Interbrand white paper on The Strategy for Chinese Brands.

This paper, the first in a series of two, examines this “Chinese Brand Strategy,” current perception issues, lessons from the best global brands, and the impact of leading Chinese brands. A second paper will examine Chinese what brands must do to be globally successful and how entrenched players must respond to the increasing competition.

Many Chinese brands, says the study, are quickly embracing practices common for the best global brands:


Well-performing brands enjoy strong awareness among consumers and opinion leaders. These brands lead their industry or industries. This type of recognition represents the nexus of perception and reality, enabling brands to rapidly establish credibility in new markets.


These brands achieve a high degree of consistency in visual, verbal, sonic and tactile identity across geographies. They deliver a consistent customer experience worldwide, often supported by an integrated global marketing effort.


A brand is not a brand unless it competes along emotional dimensions. It must symbolize a promis that people believe can be delivered and one they desire to be part of. Through emotion, brands can achieve the loyalty of consumers by tapping into human values and aspirations that cut across cultural differences.


Great brands represent great ideas. These brands express a unique position to all internal and external audiences. They effectively use all elements in the communications mix to position within and across international markets.


Global brands must respect local needs, wants and tastes. These brands adapt to the local marketplace while fulfilling a global mission.


The organization’s senior leadership must champion the brand, ideally with the CEO leading the initiative. A leader’s continual articulation of the brand philosophy and the brand’s view of the world is meant to give the business strategy a recognizable face. The commitment is crucial, allowing for a unique positioning that transcends local idiosyncrasies and appeals to a universal aspect of human nature and experience.

Get the full report from Bnet