Brand Assets: Tips for Small Businesses Growing a Brand
Brand assets are the various elements that make up your brand identity and make it easy for customers to easily recognize your brand and differentiate it from others in the market.
Brand assets represent a company’s identity in the same way that clothing, accessory, or hairstyle choices show who a person is. Properly developed and managed well, these elements make your brand identity distinct and easily recognized.
What Are Brand Assets?
Brand assets are a collection of elements that make up your company’s external appearance. Customers should be able to easily identify these components and connect them with your brand. Together, your brand assets define your brand identity.
Why Are Brand Assets Important?
Brand assets help consumers recognize your brand — basically telling customers “This is who we are.”
Distinct elements, like this welcome message from Causebox — a subscription box service, ensure better customer recognition and recall. When customers can distinguish your brand from others, they are more likely to choose your products or services over others in the market.
But distinct is more than being different, it's also about being above the rest. This means your brand assets must not only be recognizable but also affect customers more deeply.
Therefore, you should aim to prompt an emotional response from your target market. Emotional connections build trust and loyalty among your customers, which leads to increased ROI on your advertising expenditures. If you're new to branding strategy, try partnering with a branding agency to get the best results.
What Are Examples of Brand Assets?
Some common types of brand assets are:
- or tag-lines
- Jingles, tunes, or music
- Color palettes
- Photographs, illustrations, and other images
- Product portfolios
The best brand assets are easily and intuitively connected to your brand like Apple’s bitten apple logo, Nike’s “Just do it” tagline, and Google’s three-color palette.
How to Determine Your Most Valuable Brand Assets
Some elements of your brand are more valuable than others. Identifying which are your strongest elements will help you build a focused strategy guaranteed to drive results. Here are some helpful tips on how to determine your most valuable elements.
1. Assess your brand elements
First, identify the brand elements that you believe are distinctive. This could include elements that are already associated with your brand or newly conceptualized elements that will add meaning and connect to your brand identity. How do these elements reflect your brand? What do you think makes them distinct from similar brands?
2. Learn from successful brands
Study or research how people recognize particular brands simply from a few elements, then ask yourself: What makes these elements recognizable? Why do customers connect with that specific element?
3. Gather data, collect feedback
Get feedback on your assets from both long-time customers and people not familiar with your brand. Consider asking: Which of your elements did the customers easily recognize and associate with your brand? Why? Which element had the least recall or weakest connection?
4. Interpret and apply your findings
The elements that were most easily recognized and associated with your brand are your most valuable assets — they will define and strengthen brand identity. What made them connect with your target market? What does the data say about the market’s perception of your brand based on these elements?
You may use Ehrenberg-Bass Institute of Marketing Science’s Distinctive Asset Grid developed by Research Professor Jenni Romaniuk, to plot out your findings.
5. Align with your advertising and marketing strategy
Making your valuable assets the focus of your advertising and marketing strategy will help you get higher ROI from your ad spending.
You should remember, however, that the narrative of your brand—the message you’re trying to tell people—should be consistent across the board.
What Is Brand Asset Management?
Brand asset management is the all-inclusive strategy around effectively creating and leveraging your brand’s assets, including how you maintain consistency, manage their use, and communicate their value.
Your assets need to align with your brand’s goals and objectives. They should clearly reflect your brand’s mission, values, and overall identity.
For example, Nike’s trademark “swoosh” and tagline “Just do it” align with their commitment to sportsmanship, determination, and athletic performance. This consistent message increases their recognition across the globe.
Your marketing department or marketing partner has the important task of organizing your and setting rules and guidelines on how to use your assets. The goal is to appear consistent with your brand identity.
How to Leverage Your Brand Assets
It’s not enough to simply identify which are your strongest brand assets. You must also know how to use them.
As mentioned, your brand assets comprise the face of your brand. They show the world who you are and communicate how you add value to your customers. How you use these assets affects how the world sees you, how they understand what you’re all about, and how they feel valued as customers. So how you use your brand assets could mean the difference between attracting customers and being ignored by them.
Here are some tips on how you can leverage each of these elements:
Consistent use of your assets across all marketing and promotional platforms encourages customers to associate these elements with your brand.
Use the Digital Assets Management (DAM) approach
Many of the marketing you do for your brand happens on digital platforms. As a result, you will have a lot of digital content. Using a Digital Assets Management (DAM) system makes it easy for your marketing team to organize and access.
Collect customer feedback
Regularly get feedback from your customers to measure how your brand assets resonate with your target market.
Use digital and physical channels
Your branding efforts need to be visible in both the digital and physical worlds. Their look and feel on billboards, magazine ads, posters, and business cards must be consistent with what is shared in online pop-up ads, social media marketing campaigns, blogs, and websites.
Brand elements that are similar to a competitor’s identity can cause confusion in your market. You should protect your unique designs and ideas by having them registered as a trademark.
If you plan to introduce new brand elements, make sure they align with existing components of your brand identity. Get customer feedback and test new assets before you release them.
Brand Assets Are Important
Your brand's identity is comprised of a collection of distinct elements. They are what your customer sees and associate with your brand.
cDistinct brand assets give you an edge over competitors and allow you to streamline marketing and promotional tools and strategies, which in turn bring higher ROI from your ad expenditures.