If branding is the heart of the business, then the essence of the brand is the heart of branding. The Brand Essence is set up, as well as a tool capable of capturing and communicating the relevant conceptual subtleties of the brand. To define the essence of the brand, you have to start by determining what truly makes it different and build the foundations of its own meaning to share with the world. Once identified, you’ll have a valuable asset that you can use to direct and support the growth of the business.

Some may think that what identifies a brand is its name or logo, but the reality is that they only point it out, indicate or dress it. The maximum degree of identification lies in the essence of the brand. Just as for human beings, our name, as its Latin root indicates, calls us. And our features and appearance, our wrapping, make us recognizable to the eye. While our character, personality, values, knowledge and other “intangibles” are the ones that really identify us in depth. They make us unique, unmistakable and in many cases inimitable.

The essence is intangible but always perceptible

The essence lies in the values and principles that each brand desires and is able to represent. Brands, in their essence, make us fall in love with the same or similar principles as human beings. Therein lies the magic and the difficulty of achieving it.

The purest essence of the brand is based on its values, its intangible benefits and its emotional differentiators

Brand values are transcendental and timeless, lasting over time: seriousness, courage, honesty… Intangible benefits are an added factor that makes us dream and multiply by N the value of an object or a service: exclusivity, elegance, personality… And in the differentiators lies what makes a brand unique, they are the most difficult to acquire. They can be simple nuances or arguments of enormous weight.

The essence of the brand is able to link who we are with what others think we are, transcribed in a short sentence

The Brand Essence is simple, concise, achievable, timeless, durable and extensible. It is not a slogan or tagline, but what the brand represents, beyond how it expresses it.

For example, and I’ll leave them in their original English version since they don’t get adulterated with the transcription:

  • BMW = Driving Pleasure
  • Walt Disney = Magical
  • Nike: Authentic Athletic Performance
  • Harley Davidson: Freedom

While a brand’s positioning may differ slightly from country to country and even its advertising campaigns may change over time, just like a person’s character, the essence of the brand will remain largely unchanged. For example, the essence of the BMW brand is shown in its slogans, ” The Ultimate Driving Machine“, “Sheer Driving Pleasure“, and more recently “Designed for driving pleasure“. We also saw how its famous “You like to drive” campaign was transformed into “When you drive, drive” to adapt to the circumstances of the environment, while always ensuring that it continued to consistently obey the essence of the “Driving Pleasure” brand.

Benefits of Defining Brand Essence:

  1. Reinforces the power of strategic brand positioning over time
  2. Focus on the main source of brand value in an engaging way
  3. Acts as a revealer of customers’ desires
  4. It is a source of inspiration for brand activation
  5. Facilitates business growth through branding

 

In conclusion, it should be noted that trademarks are also mechanisms of focus. The Brand Essence has the ability to associate a meaning to words to which our mind adds a certain image. Once we activate that meaning, we will obtain a valuable asset that provides a direction and roadmap for the growth of the business.

 

Carlos Puig Falcó

CEO of Branward