By Kory Waschick
What makes one brand better than another? When you think about it, answering this question can be quite complex.
A brand needs to be bold, memorable and appropriate for its audience. It needs to be recognizable and also provide a consistent image of the company it represents. When you break it down, a good brand must incorporate a set of ideals. The more ideals a brand surrounds itself with, the better it becomes.
So, what are these ideals? Alina Wheeler, a renowned expert in the branding world, has compiled a list of nine compelling aspects – all critical to any creative process responsible for building a brand. These truly are the essentials that any marketing director, branding team or CEO should pay attention to:
Vision: A compelling vision by an effective, articulate, and passionate leader is the foundation and the inspiration for the best brands.
Meaning: The best brands stand for something – a big idea, a strategic position, a defined set of values, a voice that stands apart.
Authenticity: Authenticity is not possible without an organization having clarity about its market, positioning, value proposition and competitive difference.
Value: Building awareness, increasing recognition, communication uniqueness and quality and expressing a competitive difference create measurable results.
Differentiation: Brands always compete with each other within their business category, and at some level, compete with all brands that want our attention, our loyalty and our money.
Flexibility: An effective brand identity positions a company for change and growth in the future. It supports an evolving marketing strategy.
Coherence: Whenever a customer experiences a brand, it must feel familiar and have the desired effect. Consistency does not need to be rigid or limiting in order to feel like one company.
Sustainability: Sustainability is the ability to have longevity in a world that is in constant flux, characterized by factors that no one can predict.
Commitment: Organizations need to actively manage their assets, including the brand name, the trademarks, the integrated sales and marketing systems and the standards.
The above list is an excerpt from Alina’s book, Designing Brand Identity, fourth edition.
Building a brand that rises to the top is no easy feat – make sure your branding team is comprised of members that can truly contribute to the process. Take a holistic approach when creating and growing your brand. Incorporating all these ideals above, and not just a few, will ensure that each aspect is thought about and paid attention to, so your brand becomes a real success story.