The Nike Swoosh, McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It,” the State Farm Jingle…seems like these things don’t have anything in common. But in fact, they’re all iconic examples of great branding.

Branding, in its simplest form, is any recognizable element that distinguishes one business from another. For most consumers, the most recognizable branding identifier is usually visual, like a business’ logo or distinctive colors. But branding can be messaging-focused too, like a great tagline or unique selling point. No matter the branding element, they all work together to help form a company’s distinct brand identity. So we’re breaking down the four most important pieces of a brand identity and how they work together to create an unforgettable brand experience.

1. Brand Position
Ah brand position…It’s the secret sauce and something we’ve spent a lot of time discussing in other blogs. A brand position is a succinct statement that defines who a brand is, what they do and the key difference that separates them from the competition. To develop their brand position, businesses factor in their unique point of difference, their target audience and the competitive landscape.

The brand position also serves as a messaging compass, guiding the way brands communicate with their audience. Speaking of messaging…

2. Key Messaging
With a clearly defined position, brands can shift their focus into key messaging. Key messages are a brand’s point of view on the topics most important to them and their audience. Key messaging can be really specific to a business’ unique process or industry, but some more common examples of topics include:

  • Company History
  • Quality
  • Customer Service
  • Philanthropy

No matter the topic, each piece of key messaging is created to reinforce the brand position and resonate with audiences.

3. Visual Branding Elements
Once a brand has defined their positioning and messaging, it’s time to focus on visuals. This includes logo, brand colors, typography, photography recommendations and any other visual pieces that make up the brand. Just like with key messaging, every visual piece should feel strategic, engaging and connected to the brand position.

4. Brand Guidelines
Finally, brand guidelines are a comprehensive manual for internal employees and external partners on how to bring a brand to life. They include the key information on positioning, messaging and visual elements needed to develop brand materials.

Whether used to create new marketing collateral or just educate new employees, guidelines are a valuable tool to help create consistency in the way a brand is represented.

 In the world of marketing, every brand is fighting for consumer attention. That’s why creating an ownable and unique brand identity is so important. Together, these four branding pillars create a brand identity that’s recognizable, unique and ownable. Ready to start your branding journey? Reach out and learn more about our collaborative approach.