For the CMO

4 Things Your Brand Needs

Give your brand a proper spring cleaning and make sure it has the necessary components.

Source: tumsasedgars / iStock / Getty

Branding can feel like a bit of an elusive term. A lot of businesses feel that if they have a logo and a tagline, they’ve got their “brand” all wrapped up. But a brand is so much more than that. Here are four things your brand needs to have in order to feel properly positioned.

  • Your aesthetics. This is what people typically think of when “branding” comes to mind. What are your company’s aesthetics? Yes, this means a logo—but also, what are the rules surrounding your logo? For instance, does it ever change colors? Can it be layered on other images? Also, what colors are you going to use in your marketing materials? Do you know the difference between your print colors and web colors? When using images, what kind of “feel” do they have? These are all important aspects of your brand’s aesthetics, which is a crucial component of your brand. For example, if you have a jovial pink flowered logo, you probably don’t have moody, edgy business cards. Everything needs to play together.
  • Your expertise. What are you known for? When people think of your business, what comes to mind? Is it high technological experience? Outstanding customer service? Affordable prices? Think Southwest—it’s an airline that’s known for its casual demeanor and above all, it’s low prices and free checked bags. Contrast that with Delta, which certainly isn’t known as the cheapest airline, but offers a world-class experience through its airport lounges. Identify what your brand’s expertise is and what makes it stand out.
  • Your customer experience. When a customer interacts with your company, what is his or her experience like? If you’re an interior designer, what are the steps between someone e-mailing you for a quote and he or she having a dream living room? Or if you have a brick-and-mortar store, what kinds of emotions does a customer experience while in your store? The experience of your customer plays a crucial role in your brand.
  • Your content strategy. Where are you showing up for your clients? Whether it’s a focus on e-mail marketing, a YouTube series, in person events and pop-up shops, or another plan of attack, deciding where you’re going to show up for your clients helps define your brand. The education and knowledge you provide to your clients is going to position you as an expert and help make a name for yourself within your chosen industry.