A brand voice helps you distinguish your brand from the competition. It keeps your communication consistent and it appeals to your audience.
The Six Elements of an Effective Brand
In this blog, we break down the six critical elements of a brand: typography, color, brand voice, customer experience, consistency, and repetition.
What is Branding?
“Great advertising triggers an emotion in you. It has purpose. It touches a nerve, and that provokes a reaction.” - David Dorga
Look at this billboard. It’s only five words on a black screen. But you know what it is immediately; it’s advertising McDonald’s breakfast sandwich.
There’s no picture, no logo, there’s not even McDonald’s classic red in the background. You were able to identify the author of this ad due to the power of the brand.
McDonald’s is so incredibly consistent with its marketing efforts that people across the world need only five words and a black screen to remember (and crave) its products.
Elements of a brand
A brand is not just your logo. A brand is your entire business. Your website, the fonts you choose, internal emails, support tickets and the people who sit at desks every day. Everything your business does contributes to your audience’s impression of you. These are the elements of your brand. Together, they create a cohesive, intentional experience.
Below, we break down the six critical elements of a brand: typography, color, brand voice, customer experience, consistency, and repetition.
When you look at the typeface above, I’d bet a lot of money you thought of space. But why? It’s just letters. Letters that are missing parts, too.
All of these fonts have similarities. They’re all sans-serif. They’re futuristic. They lack descenders and ascenders. They all make us think of space.
Although choosing a font might seem like a frivolous decision, it can play an enormous role in how people perceive your brand.
As Simple as a Serif
|What is it?||A “serif” is that little line that cuts off the ends of a letter. Serif fonts have serifs.||Sans means “without” in French. Sans-serif fonts don’t have serifs.||Script fonts are self-explanatory: they look like cursive or handwriting.|
|What does it mean for your brand?||Serif fonts evoke traditionalism, longevity and trust.||Sans-serif fonts evoke modernism, approachability, cleanliness.||Script fonts are not recommended for brands since they can be hard to read, but there are exceptions|
Frankly, I could write forever about the strategy behind typography. But I’ll spare you and summarize: the font you choose for your brand matters. There are hundreds of choices that go into creating a typeface. Those choices should communicate your brand’s message.
Why are so many social media sites blue? The short, stupid answer is: would you rather social media be yellow? Color affects humans on a psychological level. It toys with our emotions. Blue is calming, organized. It’s the best color to stare at for multiple hours a day. (And it doesn’t hurt that blue is most people’s favorite color.)
When it comes to picking your brand colors, understanding how they make your audience feel is essential. On top of making your audience feel the right stuff, colors also need to look good. Most brands have at least three colors: A primary color and two secondaries. They need to look nice when they’re side-by-side. Most importantly, they need to be chosen with design in mind.
Brands aren’t just pretty colors and pictures. They have a voice, too.
Take a look at the ad above. Now imagine that instead of a Haley-Davidson motorcycle, this ad had a picture of a Volkswagon Beetle. It wouldn’t quite work, would it?
The aggressive, masculine, high-energy voice of Harley-Davidson would look comical on a Volkswagon Beetle ad. That’s because the brand voice (the way the text sounds, feels and is written) has to match the experience of the brand.
Still have questions? I wrote a blog that goes into depth about brand voice. If you want more details, check it out!
Building a brand is not just the job of the marketing department. Every person that interacts with your business (from the CEO, to the intern, to the angry reviewer on Yelp) plays a role in developing your brand image.
When the Chick-Fil-A drive-thru gets backed up in the afternoon lunch rush, employees dawn their neon vests and take their service directly to your car. They take your order at your window, they run your food back to you from inside. Across the street, McDonald’s employees are staying cool in the AC while the cars in their drive-thru honk impatiently.
That is the brand experience. That is what customers remember when they’re deciding where to eat.
When it comes to branding, consistency is key. The main purpose of a brand is to allow people to recall your products and services.
When you see an Apple device, they are always the same. Even if the logo is obscured, you can tell it is Apple. The Apple stores are the same, the employees are trained to behave the same way. The user experience is always the same. That is why Apple is such a powerful brand. They have mastered consistency.
Apple has been able to create this experience because of its strict brand guidelines. The brand book they release to affiliates and partners is 64 pages long. That doesn’t even include their internal brand documentation.
TV commercials are repetitive. They’re annoying; that’s why we all pay for Netflix. But TV commercials work because they are repetitive.
Stanley Steemer is a perfect example. Just think of its trademark tune: “Call 1-800 Steemer!” Everyone who grew up watching TV knows that tune—and they probably will for the rest of their life.
Repetition keeps your brand in people’s heads. This way, the next time you spill red wine on your carpet, you’ll know who to call.
Build an Effective Brand with Presh
If you’re launching a new brand or you need help reviewing your business’s current brand, count on the experts at Presh. We work with IT Solution Providers every day to create a cohesive brand image that will last for years to come.
Learn more about our creative and branding services.