Getting the most from your brand
We’ve developed a simple tool we call 3-D Branding™ that breaks a brand concept down into three distinct parts—brand visuals, brand messages and brand experience. Using these three elements, or dimensions, of a brand, it’s easier to get a full sense of what a brand is all about.
This is frequently referred to as the “graphic identity” for a brand, and it comprises elements such as logo, website, packaging, collateral material, signage and print advertising. For other brands, brand visuals might also include packaging, or even the look of a television spot. Brand visuals are typically the first way people encounter a brand, and distinctive visuals can become non-verbal shorthand for the brand itself.
These are all the messages a brand communicates—including slogan, statement of the brand promise, copy in collateral and other materials, even the way your personnel answers the phone. Brand messages are largely under your control; they give you the chance to make a clear promise and demonstrate your proof of that promise.
The most important dimension of all is how your audience experiences your brand. Do they understand the promise and feel it was delivered? Does it seem distinctive to them? Can it create loyalty to your brand that keeps them coming back, or even has them promoting your brand to others?
Ultimately, the secret of all brand success comes down to a simple concept: self-esteem. How a brand makes a customer feel about himself or herself determines its success. So, Marlboro cigarettes make men feel macho, Disney makes mom and dad feel like good parents, FedEx makes businesspeople feel like smart decision makers. Understanding this element of your brand is the first step toward making it stronger and more appealing.