More than a Logo: Anatomy of a Successful Brand

Rugilė Mameniškytė, Graphic designer

Imagine your brand as a person – would you want them as a friend? Brands, much like individuals, are intricate, multifaceted and and always sending signals about who they are, sometimes without even meaning to. In the dynamic world of marketing and communication, it is crucial to have a solid understanding of your brand’s essence. To help with that, let’s break down the important parts of its structure. Let’s start by peeling back these anatomical layers.  

Breaking Down a Brand

To understand a brand’s structure, let’s use a circular infographic. At the brand’s core lie the essence, mission, vision, values, and promises. The layers of visual and verbal identity wrap around this center, creating a seamless and recognizable exterior. This resembles a continuous cycle, emphasizing the harmonious relationship between the brand’s internal and external aspects. You can create such a graph too – fill in all the parts and review: what is missing, what is already defined, and how to convey it through interactions.

Graphic based on the ‘Brand Thinking Canvas’ model presented by Anne Miltenburg in ‘Brand the Change’.

Brand core serves as the foundation of every successful brand – it’s the essence that defines and explains its existence. These are the principles steering the brand’s journey and influencing every external interaction. Consistency in communication is key, requiring brands to live up to their chosen values, mission, and promises in every aspect. For instance, if a company talks a lot about being sustainable but then has big Black Friday sales, customers will start questioning the company’s commitment to sustainability.

Visual and verbal identity represent its outward expression—the face it presents to the world. From the logo and colors to the slogan and emails, a brand’s identity is the factor that sets it apart. It forms the first impression, an immediate recognition factor that lingers in consumers’ minds.

Both visual and verbal identity go beyond social media posts or TV ads; it also includes how a product looks or what’s written on it. For example, think about a luxury phone case brand. If they send their products in a fancy black package with a soft velvet bag inside, instead of a regular brown box, it fits with their visual identity. Even the way a parcel is packaged says something about the brand, so it’s smart to use every chance to show customers who you are.

Just as people engage in meaningful interactions, brands need to build connections too. Brand interactions  happen throughout the entire customer experience – from social media posts to customer service interactions – all contributing to brand perception. Understanding and managing these interactions are crucial in building lasting relationships with audiences. The company’s employees are a big part in this relationship: their interactions with customers can effortlessly build a long-term customer base – addressing questions in comments, establishing a personal connection by listening to the customer’s needs, and offering special deals.

For instance, people often have a favorite pharmacist – not only due to their knowledge but also because of their warmth, helpfulness, right questions, and ability to recommend the products customers need.

Why Knowing Your Brand Matters

Smooth Communication Inside the Company

Understanding the brand’s anatomy can empower you to leverage every part of it and build an even stronger brand. It’s crucial to remember that it’s not only the CEO who needs to understand the brand, everyone in the company – from the marketing personnel or product developer to consultants or couriers –  has their own view of the business. Communicating your mission and values through brand workshops, training, or other presentations can provide employees with a better sense of the brand’s pulse and help them become and feel part of the brand.

Smooth Communication Through the Agencies and Partners

Our role as a communications agency surpasses creating eye-catching campaigns. We act as protectors of our clients’ brands, ensuring every interaction aligns carefully with the brand. A well-defined brand facilitates smooth communication within the company and with external partners, fostering a shared understanding and appreciation of the brand personality and easier promotion of the brand.

Understanding and revealing the anatomy of your brand enables your partners to navigate the realms of marketing and PR with clarity and purpose. It also empowers your employees to effectively spread the brand’s message and become ambassadors for your company. Through your brand’s essence, identity, and interactions, you can create authentic interactions that foster lasting relationships.