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:

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or
Related Content
  • Melissa Sienicki

    Whether you are creating a brand from scratch or verifying that your current brand is everything it needs to be, this is the checklist to start with. Thanks, TJ!