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What are the key elements of successful branding?

While the idea of branding might feel intimidating, it essentially refers to a business’ identity. Who is it? And what does the company stand for? Branding is something a firm cannot afford to ignore because, done well, it can provide an all-important edge over competitors. It can be difficult to grasp how to do it, but focusing on several key elements can make a difference.


Every business has a target market for its goods or services. That audience can help to define a company’s image. For example, Rolls Royce wants to be recognised for quality and luxury because its focus is on producing a small number of premium cars at high prices for wealthy customers. Nissan, on the other hand, is a brand known for its range of affordable cars that are fuel efficient. They manufacture vast quantities at reasonable prices for the middle and lower end of the market. Understanding your brand’s position is crucial for ongoing product development.


What is the idea in people’s minds when they imagine your brand? Remember Nissan? A fun product that is ideal for families or households with a lower income. While this is a powerful marketing tool, it can also be used against a business. For example, what if Nissan started making luxury vehicles for a high-end customer? What would buyers think? As a workaround, Nissan launched an entirely new brand – Infiniti – to facilitate its entry into a different part of the market. It was an expensive move, but an essential element in its growth.


Does what your brand have to say stick in people’s minds? Or does it fade into the background after a transaction has taken place? Skilled positioning has only limited value if a business can’t spread its message. To establish a brand, communicating how it wants to be remembered, through advertising, is another factor to consider.


This is not a mere abstraction. What is the core experience you want to guarantee consumers will have if they interact with your brand. If there is a substantial distance between expectation and reality, then your brand is likely to suffer. That could be through word of mouth, or negative reviews, and can cause substantial damage. Delivering on a promise, however, can generate a positive buzz around a firm’s brand.


This might feel like a surprising inclusion, but it has a part to play. Personality humanises a brand, adding relatable characteristics that allow it to become more than just a bland, corporate logo. By appealing to characteristics such as adventurousness or sensibility, a brand can become a reflection of how customers see themselves. That can be persuasive. Ideally the personality of a brand relates closely to its image and product; for example, it is more challenging to advertise a soft drink as adventurous compared to mountain climbing equipment.


A business putting effort into establishing an identity for their brand would be foolish to spoil it because of poor execution. Consistency in terms of product and message is key. If the product being sold is of varying quality, then consumers naturally lose faith in the ability of a brand to deliver on its promise and stop buying it. For example, Coca-Cola is the world’s most popular soft drink partly because people know that no matter where they are in the world it will retain its taste and quality. A consistent message makes sure the brand is not diluted by a confusing array of products and services. It helps to build familiarity and expectation.


The best brands all have a narrative. It can be the most powerful asset, something that makes the difference between a bland offering and another that resonates with people as well as inspiring them. McDonalds was a small, family-owned restaurant owned by two brothers that grew into the world’s largest fast-food restaurant chain. A story of triumph, and humble origins, like that appeals to people’s sense of wonder and excitement, in that example bound closely to cultural roots in the American Dream. While a brand’s story is something that may require more time to develop than other elements explored above, it is without doubt one of the most persuasive.

Find out more

If you want to learn more about how branding can add value to your work, the team at Dawn Creative is here to provide the professional support that you need. With many years’ experience, our teams collaborate with you to find a branding solution that works for your business.

You can view our full list of bespoke solutions or find out how our clients have benefitted from our work in the past. If you have any other questions or queries, you can contact us directly and let our in-house team know exactly what you need to optimise your approach and deploy a solution that fits your ethos and branding strategy.

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