In our work with brand development and tracking of branding effectiveness, we have to accommodate the five aspects that define a brand. We conduct research to understand whether there is congruity between what the brand is – and says it is – and the perceptions of the various targeted market segments. This research can be conducted with both internal stakeholders (employees, board members, “friends,” professionals) and external stakeholders (customers, consumers, opinion leaders, other professionals).
The 5 aspects are:
- Brand promise: what consumers will actually get interacting with you and the feelings they will have in the “relationship” with you.
- Brand elements: the tangible and the intangible components that work together to clearly and consistently communicate the aspects of your brand.
- Brand persona: how consumers judge and evaluate you before doing business with you and, subsequently, establishing a relationship.
- Brand perceptions: how consumers comprehend your brand… and does it actually reflect/represent what you want it to.
- Brand expectations: every interaction with the brand matters, and must be what consumers expect.
We believe that a brand must be clear, reliable, consistent and believable to both internal and external constituencies. The branding research that we conduct explores these aspects with that in mind; we then make recommendations for minor and major shifts based on the perceptions of all types of stakeholders, and work with clients to refine and/or refresh the brand.