26 Branding Elements Every Successful Brand Strategy Needs

Successful brands aren’t built by chance.

Patterns are repeated from one successful brand to the next which is evident in the branding elements used by the world’s most loved brands.

Effective brands are first constructed by a series of elements, which each have a job to do.

When one or more brand element is absent, so is it’s function and it’s contribution to the brand’s growth.

In this article, you’ll learn 26 branding elements to consider in your brand strategy development.

Successful brands aren’t built by chance.

Patterns are repeated from one successful brand to the next which is evident in the branding elements used by the world’s most loved brands.

Effective brands are first constructed by a series of elements, which each have a job to do.

When one or more brand element is absent, so is it’s function and it’s contribution to the brand’s growth.

In this article, you’ll learn 26 branding elements to consider in your brand strategy development.

26 Branding Elements For An Effective Brand Strategy

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What Are Branding Elements?

Brands are designed to grow. That is their purpose and the reason they’re initially developed. But how they’re developed wades into the realm of brand strategy and the world every strategist lives in.

A branding element or a brand element, is an essential part of a functioning brand. There are many elements within a brand each of which performs a specific function. 

When these elements all function as they should, they combine to influence the reputation of the brand, which lives in the mind of the audience

Are Branding Elements Visual Or Strategic?

The term “branding” has become synonymous with the visual design of a brand, yet the brand identity represents a small fraction of the functioning elements within a brand.

The elements of the brand ecosystem that aren’t visual represent upwards of 90% of the entire brand. Even the branding elements that are designed into the visual world are born from the work within the strategy.

In other words, all branding elements are strategic.

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What Are The Key Elements Of Branding?

So now that we know that a strategic brand is developed from many functioning brand elements, let’s take a closer look at these components and the categories they fall under.

Brand Substance Elements

Your brand substance is the essence behind your brand and provides the brand leadership team with an internal compass for making decisions.

Though many businesses create these elements and use them as marketing or website copy, their function is to provide guidance and direction for internal decision-making.

#1 Brand Purpose

The brand purpose is the reason the brand exists beyond the business function, which is of course to generate revenue and ultimately a profit.

Defining the purpose of the brand provides meaning to the work of the business and the broader contribution the brand makes to the audience and the wider world.

#2 Brand Vision

The brand vision is the image of the future brand. What will the brand look like in the coming years and what impact will it have on its audience and industry.

The vision is the north star of the brand and provides clear direction as to where it is going and what it intends to become.

#3 Brand Mission

The brand mission is the commitment the brand makes to achieve its vision for the future.

Every brand is build on a reputation. The reputation it builds becomes what it is known for. The brand mission provides that internal clarity to the commitment it has made and the reputation it aims to develop.

#4 Brand Values

Although brand values are often misused as a noble piece of website copy designed to impress the audience, that’s not their function.

Just as people have internal values, they develop to act as a guiding compass for decisions and actions based on what we hold dear.

Brand values therefore guides the way a brand behaves in the market.

Brand Positioning Elements

Brand positioning elements provide the key components that form the position on the brand.

The position represents that core reason the audience would choose one brand over another 

This differentiating reason is formulated from an understanding of who the audience is, what options they already have in the market through their competitors and how the brand aims to provide something different through outcome or experience.

#5 Audience Persona

Brands exist to serve the needs of a given audience. Without that audience there is no need to exist. Everything the brand does has an end goal of appealing to that audience to ultimately influence their buying decisions.

The more that’s understood about a brand’s audience, the better the brand is positioned to appeal to who they are and what they want.

#6 Competitor Research

Second to understanding the audience is understanding the options that audience already has in the market.

Every market is made up of a set of competitors all vying for the attention and ultimately the money of a certain market segment.

Understanding who these competitors are, what they offer and how the target consumer perceives these options is critical to defining an effective position.

#7 Differentiation Strategy

Only with an intimate understanding of who the audience is and the competitive landscape can you effectively define a difference your brand offers and ultimately a position it wants to own.

This difference represents the core reason you give your audience for choosing your brand over your competitors.

#8 Positioning Statement

With clarity on the market landscape from the audience to the competitors and the defining difference, the brands can develop an effective positioning statement.

Much like the internal statements of the brand substance, this statement is not designed as a piece of marketing.

Again, it’s a clarity statement to provide direction for the rest of the brand development from personality to messaging and beyond.