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Understanding the Layers of Your Brand

By June SpringJune Spring
A colorful cake with different fillings

Branding is a hot topic in marketing these days, but it’s defined in different ways and looked at from different angles. There are many components that make up a brand, and we call each component a Brand Layer. Here are our definitions of some of the most important Brand Layers:

Brand Foundation.

The base from which all brand elements will be created and measured against for accuracy. This layer consists of the following elements: Brand Vision, your company’s plan for itself; Brand Mission, what your company wants to create in the world, through its products or services; Brand Values, those ideas that your company brand stands for and that you believe in—and also what you don’t want to and won’t do.

Brand Basics.

These components of your brand form your business’s “face” to the public. Brand Basics shape and direct your customers’ views of your business. Telling your customers how you want to be perceived is an essential piece of a Brand Strategy for any small business, and the easiest way for you to do this as a small business owner is through your:

  • Brand Identity, the suite of visual elements that are used consistently in your marketing, including Brand Name, logo, etc.
  • Brand Content, the way you write and talk about your brand.
  • Brand Marketing that integrates both visuals and text about your brand, and that gets your message out to your audience.
  • Brand Offerings is the products or services that you present, along with the quality, warranties, and value that you include with your products and services.
  • Brand Experience is the process of working with you as seen from the clients’ perspective. But in order to create a positive experience, you have to have a strong foundation of systems, procedures, and processes built into your business—this is a basic level of professionalism that’s expected of every business.
  • Brand Positioning is basically how your brand compares with that of the competition. There are probably many businesses that provide the services or products that you provide: Brand Positioning determines where your business falls in the continuum of businesses in your field.
  • Brand Differentiation is another, more specific piece of your Brand Positioning. Your Differentiators are those things that make your business stand out from your competition—the things that you do or offer that are unlike anything your competition offers.
  • Brand Environment is the atmosphere at and within your company.
  • Brand Promise is the underlying guarantee or benefits that you offer as part of all of your services. These promises can be of quality, service, greatness, affordability, or speed of delivery.
  • Brand Awareness is the level of public awareness of your brand—who knows who you are and what you do. This is influenced by the strength and effective distribution of your Brand Basics, as well as by word-of-mouth.
  • Brand Gap is the difference between your Brand Positioning and Differentiation and how your consumers and clients actually view these things.

When all of your Brand Layers are working together, you’ll have a strong brand identity that will help your business to grow and prosper.

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