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TJ Tedesco

View from Mount Olympus

By TJ Tedesco

About TJ

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...

Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.

Tips for Creating Powerful Brand Elements


Last week, Fire Enterprises (FEI) marketing maven Marka and the rest of the FEI tribe discussed what FEI’s brand should represent to the marketplace. This week, Marka explains how to create effective brand elements for FEI. Remember, fire=print.

Branding discussions commenced at FEI’s marketing meeting on Tuesday morning. Salesman Zoot, numbers guy Numo, head honcho Org and of course marketing whiz Marka all attended.

Zoot, known for his bold sense of style, wore an outrageous ensemble as usual: A custom-embroidered purple toga, purple sandals, purple rings on his fingers, and a lime-green hat.

“What happened, Zoot?” Marka asked. “You almost match.”

“Purple hat’s at the cleaners,” Zoot grumbled.

“As you can see, tribe, one part out of sync can spoil the whole,” Marka said. “Same goes for FEI’s brand elements. If one element of our brand identity doesn’t fit, it can damage our entire brand.”
“We’ve figured out what our brand stands for,” Marka continued, “Now, we should create a consistent set of brand elements that accurately represent our brand promise and our customers’ expectations.”

“What constitutes a brand element?” Org asked.

“Good question, Org,” Marka said. “Here are some examples of brand elements.” Marka scribbled on the conference room whiteboard in coal:

  • Logo(s)
  • Tagline(s)
  • Color palette
  • Messaging
  • Marketing materials
    • Collateral
    • Letterhead
    • Web/social media presence
    • Etc.
  • Signage
  • Packaging
  • Public Relations
  • Customer Service

“In other words,” Zoot said, “A lot’s in a brand.”

“Right-o,” Marka said. “Let’s keep in mind that whatever brand elements we choose, we’ll have to live with them for awhile—we can’t just change our brand whenever we feel like it. So we should put significant thought into our branding decisions, making sure every element is exactly as we want it.”

“What makes a brand element effective?” Numo asked.

“If we can answer ‘yes’ to the following four questions, we’ll know we have a winning brand element.” Marka scribbled on the whiteboard:

  • Is it Memorable?—Memorable brand elements help increase brand awareness. When customers are looking to buy fire, we want them to instantly think of FEI’s logo, tagline, and everything we do.
  • Is it Meaningful?—Brand elements must directly connect with one or more key aspects of our brand identity. When prospective customers see our logo, our tagline, or our Website, they should immediately understand why they should work with us.
  • Is it Likable?—Brand elements must be visually and aesthetically pleasing. If we choose a garish color scheme or a complicated design for our logo that turns off customers, this brand element is a failure...even if it passes the “memorable” and “meaningful tests.
  • Is it Adaptable?—Consider Olympus Chariots’ tagline: ‘Your Partner in Everything Chariots.’ No matter how the chariot industry evolves, this tagline will work for them. Brand elements should be specific enough to mean something, but flexible enough so they’re easy to update if we need to adapt our brand.

“Great information as always, Marka,” Org said. “I can’t wait to create our new brand elements.”

“Now if you’ll excuse me,” Zoot said, “I’m going to throw out this hat.”

Next week: Marka discusses how to create an effective logo and tagline.

Today’s FIRE! Point
Creating new brand elements for your business? Make sure they’re memorable, meaningful, likable and adaptable.

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