BASIC BRAND ELEMENTS: NAME, URL, LOGO, SLOGAN, CHARACTER, JINGLE, PACKAGE
BASIC ELEMENTS CRITERIA
Before discussing the system of basic brand elements, it is necessary to make a small remark. This article assumes that basic brand elements are the starting point for creating a marketing mix or marketing plan, which is primarily aimed at building a powerful brand in accordance with the concept of brand equity. According to the concept of brand equity, it is the set of consumer perceptions and associations about the brand that provide competitive advantages over other brands, ensuring demand and profit higher than for non-branded goods. More information about the concept of brand equity can be found by this link
To start with, basic brand elements are separate components that allow a brand to stand out among other brands and non-branded products
. The most important elements are considered to be the brand name, logo, domain name, slogan, characters, jingles, packages, etc.
Basic elements are key for any brand, around which, according to the concept of brand equity, marketing programs are built in order to increase awareness of the brand and improve its image in the minds of consumers.
For the selection of each brand element, marketers have developed general criteria
that allow an effective selection of optimal options:
- Ease of memorization, which implies the ability to recognize and recall the brand in various purchase and consumption situations,
- Adequacy of the element regarding the category and expectations of consumers about the attributes and advantages of brands of the same level,
- Attractiveness of the element in terms of current perceptions of style, beauty, aesthetics, modernity, permissible limits of intimacy, etc.,
- Versality of the element in terms of further expansion of use in other possible categories, target markets, countries, etc.,
- Adaptability of the element, which implies the ability to update it with changes in consumer values, fashion, designs, etc.,
- Protection of the element, that is, the ability to register a trademark and legal protection against copying and other unauthorized use by competitors.
In fact, such a system of selecting elements, i.e. analyzing each of them for compliance with all criteria, almost guarantees companies the elimination of ineffective options. On the other hand, do general criteria guarantee the selection of the most optimal option from all effective ones? The answer is not necessarily. The search for the perfect option can not even be dreamed of. It does not exist. Each option of an element will be better than others according to certain criteria, but will lose to other options according to other criteria.
However, in addition to general criteria, modern trends and tendencies
specific to each element must be taken into account when selecting each element, which ensures the formation of a shortlist of the most optimal options. Let us consider each of the elements separately, revealing the main trends in their selection and application. BRAND NAME
Brand names can be classified as follows:
- Descriptive names that directly indicate the field of activity (Japan Airways, Beer Point, Ukrzaliznytsia, Fitness Town)
- Explanatory names that immediately emphasize the advantages of the brand over others (Innovative Learning, 24/7 Locksmith, Kill Fat Gym)
- Classic names from ancient languages, mythology, etc. (Aurora, Apollo, Venus)
- Abstract names that are not related to any category or industry (Apple)
- Combinations of words that did not exist before the creation of the brand (Facebook, Microsoft, YouTube, TikTok)
- Invented names that did not exist before the creation of the brand (Google)
As we can see from the examples, it is not necessary for the brand name to meet all the general criteria for selection. Companies consider which criteria are most important for their business. We can see that the largest technological and innovative giants prefer either abstract names without a connection to any category (Apple), or completely invented words and combinations of words (Facebook, Microsoft, YouTube, TikTok, Google). First and foremost, this is explained by the advantage of versality and adaptability criteria (i.e. possible expansion of business in any direction) over criteria of category adequacy and ease of memorization.DOMAIN NAME (URL)
In today's reality, choosing a brand name is closely related to choosing a domain name. Moreover, the extremely high popularity of invented words and phrases is explained by the fact that in 2000 around 98% of all basic English words were used in registered domain names. The necessity of creating a brand page on the Internet forces companies to create such brand names whose domains are not yet taken.
For a domain name (as well as for a brand name), the criterion of rhythmic and beautiful sound is considered very important, which makes it easier to pronounce the name or domain and improves the ease of memorizing and finding the domain on the Internet in the future. To achieve this, marketers recommend using the following methods:
- Alliteration (repetition of consonants) - Coca-Cola, Kit-Kat, Tik-Tok
- Assonance (repetition of vowels) - Ramada, Arawak,
- Consonance, etc.
Moreover, for a domain name, especially an invented word or phrase, ease of spelling is also important. Indeed, an error in even one letter in the domain name is highly likely to lead the consumer to a completely different website, and several errors may worsen the perception of the brand as a whole. LOGO
Logos are powerful visual elements used to enhance brand awareness and/or create necessary associations by visually improving the brand name. Logos are usually devided into:
- Specified, which are essentially a stylized name (Coca-Cola, LG, Asus),
- Abstract, which are a symbol (Mercedes, Audi, Hyundai),
- Combined, which contain both a name and a symbol.
are used in cases where marketers are primarily focused on increasing brand awareness, while creating image associations is the task of other brand elements or marketing plans.
are most often used for powerful corporate brands with a large number of subsidiary brands or product categories. Abstract logos will also be very useful if the company plans significant linear or category expansion, as a well-known logo on the packaging will immediately evoke associations with the umbrella brand.
In cases where the brand name is a made-up word, phrase, or unrelated to the product, marketers most often use combined logos
to create an association of the brand with the category. For example, logos in the shape of a beer mug or boxing glove alongside a made-up name may be useful for a brewery or boxing club to create associations with the respective category.CHARACTER
Characters are an extremely powerful and effective element in both basic promotion and further marketing campaigns.
From the perspective of brand awareness, characters, through brand personification, are the most effective element as they significantly improve the ability to recall and recognize the brand compared to other elements. It has been proven that people remember and recall characters much better than any name, logo, slogan, etc. Characters can be:
- animated (Energizer Bunny, Barbie Doll, M&M's)
- fictional or real people (Marlboro cowboy, Colonel Sanders from KFC).
From the perspective of developing and strengthening image associations, characters are also indispensable, as they are extremely adaptable to changing circumstances. In fact, to change the direction of a marketing campaign and strengthen the necessary associations, it is only necessary to change the advertising, and the beloved character already conveys new information to consumers. Moreover, a successful character can live for decades, adapt to new fashion and realities of life, and become almost the main intangible asset of the company. SLOGAN
Slogans are short phrases that usually either call to action or summarize the information conveyed, thus fixing the necessary information. They are used both to increase awareness through recall and recognition of the brand and to promote image associations.
The disadvantage is considered to be their relatively low adaptability - slogans are developed for years, which excludes the possibility of their quick adaptation. Changes in slogans have occurred in the history of marketing, but it is considered an epochal event that indicates a significant rebranding of a product or company. Another disadvantage is the fact that excessive success can so deeply embed the slogan in the everyday vocabulary that even after the change of the slogan, it can remain in the consumer's consciousness for many years and hinder the promotion of new associations. JINGLE
Jingles were widely used during the dominance of radio and television advertising. Large food companies still use familiar jingles (such as "I'm loving it" or "Always Coca-Cola"). However, nowadays, in the era of TikTok and YouTube, many marketers tend to think that jingles have somewhat limited effectiveness in the ocean of content available on digital platforms. Jingles have a particularly small effect on young people who live in a completely different ecosystem compared to radio listeners and TV viewers. PACKAGE
Many marketers consider packaging not as a basic element, but as one of the defining elements of a developed marketing mix. For example, in marketing concepts from 4P to 12P, packaging always has its own place. Indeed, packaging is an extremely powerful element when it comes to making purchase decisions at the point of sale. Successful packaging or package change often leads to explosive sales growth. This applies to both new and established brands.
Creating innovative packaging from a functional standpoint or unique design from an emotional standpoint can create another point of differentiation for the brand. It can be difficult for competitors to copy, as no one wants to have the image of a brand that copies others. INTEGRATION OF THE ELEMENTS
As we can see, each of basic elements has strong and weak points in modern realities. Moreover, each company operates from its own logic and company history regarding the use of one or another element. It is important to understand the main thing - from the standpoint of the brand equity concept all basic elements can influence brand awareness and brand image to some extent. In this case, the main task of marketers is to create such a marketing plan and such a prediction of the future marketing mix so that the elements:
- complement each other organically at every stage,
- bring a higher total effect than individually,
- do not contradict each other in terms of consumer associations,
- ensure balanced growth of awareness and improvement of the image,
- have a well thought-out path for long-term development or anticipate the possibility of adaptation to evolutionary changes in the market.
Such integration of basic elements will allow for gradual and stable development of the brand in the long term and build a successful marketing mix
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