How to Brand - Part 3: Create Brand Messages and Brand Image

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Posted Aug 05, 2011
Susan Gunelius

Before you read any further, take a few minutes to catch up by reading Part 1 and Part 2 of the How to Brand series. You’ll need to understand the information in those articles before you can create your brand messages and image as discussed here in Part 3.

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Once you’ve identified market opportunities for your brand and defined the values that your brand delivers to consumers, it’s time to create the messages that will communicate your brand values and promise and establish your brand image in consumers’ minds. All of the work you’ve done so far will affect the brand messages and the tangible brand identity elements that will help to build your brand image.

Put on your creative hat, because you need to develop a logo, tagline, marketing copy, and a brand voice that will be used in all of your branded communications and in every customer touch point. Remember, consistency is paramount in branding, so every tangible element that you develop to represent your brand must consistently communicate your brand promise and support your unique value proposition to your target audience.

Your brand identity includes the following basic elements:

  1. Name
  3. Logo
  5. Tagline
  7. Color
  9. Typography
  11. Marketing messages
  13. Favicon (for online use)
  15. URL, Twitter ID, Facebook page, etc. for online branding

When you bring all of those tangible elements together, you have the basis of a powerful brand identity. With that in mind, you should create these elements before you roll out any messaging to employees or consumers about your brand identity.

Your brand image depends on your ability to consistently set and meet expectations. If your logo is blue today but pink tomorrow and yellow the day after that, consumers might get confused.  Even if you don’t plan to create a Facebook page for your company right away, it’s still important that you secure your brand identity online. That includes website URLs and social media profiles.

art of disney store sign

An excellent example of brand that has a powerful identity clearly communicated through tangible elements, including the elements listed above, is the Disney brand. This brand appears in theme parks, movies, television, games, furniture, jewelry, and more, but use of the brand message and identity elements always support the overall brand promise and value proposition. There is no missing the Disney font or Mickey Mouse’s ears anytime and anywhere that consumers see them! Marketer Drew McLellan wrote a great ebook called “Marketing Lessons from Walt” a few years ago where he talks about the strength of the Disney brand. Follow the preceding link to check it out. It’s a great read!

UPS Truck

If you don’t think typography matters when it comes to branding, think of how an identifiable font like the one Disney uses can help to create a brand image in consumers’ minds. On the flip side, when it comes to color, few brands are better examples than UPS who practically owns the color brown in the shipping market.

What font and color should your brand use to subconsciously communicate your brand message, image and promise? Choose wisely because your choices really do matter.

Make sure you can own and protect your brand identity by trademarking it through the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office before you invest in design, marketing, printing, and so on. The last thing you want to do is learn that all the time and money you spent launching your brand was wasted because your identity is considered to be a trademark violation.

Stay tuned for Part 4 of the How to Brand series which focuses on educating internal and external audiences about your brand through written brand identity guidelines and branded experiences that consistently meet consumers’ expectations.

If you missed earlier parts of the How to Brand series, follow the links below to read them now:


Part 1 - Research the Market and Consumers

Part 2 - Identify Brand Values

And stay tuned for the next post in the series: Part 4 - Brand education

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