I enjoyed an interesting discussion on ‘what are the three main elements of branding’ on the CMO network recently, here are some highlights:

Understand the term – fully (It’s more than the specifications of the logo and other livery).
Understand that the brand will have different meanings to diverse groups/markets.
Understand it is the customer who will determine what the brand actually is.

Interesting take—that the main elements are all anchored by understanding. This speaks volumes about the misnomers and misperceptions around brand and branding. I echo this sentiment and would add that before ANY brand discussion or intiative begins, define your terminology for all involved parties.

More traditional responses followed some expected parameters, such as:
1) Understand that Brands are the sum of all customer experiences (emotional and rational).
2) Manage the whole Customer Experience.
3) Do so consistently.

and
1. Integral part of Corporate vision.
2. Positive and deliverable perception.
3. Experience.

But there was another viewpoint that we subscribe to here at McKnight Kurland:

* Brand Identity: means positioning the brand in the consumer minds in a unique view so that the brand be noticed in the crowded market; the brand must be relevant to the rational needs and wants of clients;

* Brand Integrity: fulfilling what is claimed through the positioning and differentiation of the brand, being credible, honoring promises and establishing the clients` trust in the brand; the target of brand integrity is the spirit of customers;

* Brand Image: acquiring a strong share of clients` emotions; the brand value should appeal to clients` emotional needs and wants beyond the products` features.

This speaks about both sides of the brand—the rational plus the emotional connection. The strogest brands have both and understand how to develop them. What are your three main elements?

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