5 brand elements you need to create a memorable brand
- Brand elements are important signals that help clients identify your company and differentiate you from the competition
- Visual elements—your colors, fonts, and logo—further your brand’s identity by evoking specific emotions
- Choose a memorable brand name and tagline to help shape the perception of your brand
When you want to build a memorable business, small business branding matters. Think of the most iconic companies you know. You can instantly visualize their logos, products, and marketing campaigns—for example, Coca-Cola’s commercials or Starbucks’ holiday cups. These are brand elements at work.
Brand elements are the parts of your identity that help clients spot your company in a field of competitors. Unlike the abstract aspects of your brand identity—such as your brand voice, core values, or brand positioning—your brand elements are a physical expression of your company. Since they’re easy to recognize, brand elements help shape your overall brand experience and keep your company in people’s minds.
Taking time to define your brand elements can help your small business stand out. Start with these five elements to launch your branding strategy.
1. Brand name
Choosing a business name is one of the first—and most important—steps to take before launching a company. Your brand name communicates your brand identity on your storefront, in your marketing materials, and in every elevator pitch.
When a brand name is memorable enough, clients even use it as a shorthand for a product or service. In casual conversation, you’ll often hear people say “call an Uber” instead of “call a rideshare driver” or ask for a Kleenex when they’re really just looking for a tissue.
The best brand names are usually short, sweet, and unique—without being generic or too similar to competitors.
2. Brand colors
Successful brands use specific brand colors in every visual element they produce. When used consistently, colors can be incredibly memorable, allowing your brand to stand out from the crowd. For example, the robin egg blue of Tiffany & Co.’s jewelry boxes is so recognizable that many people now refer to the shade as Tiffany blue.
Colors give shoppers a sense of who you are by evoking emotions. For example, yellow is often perceived as joyful, while black is usually considered elegant and understated. Using color meanings and symbolism to your advantage allows you to communicate with customers without even saying a word.
Many companies also create a core color palette of 1-3 colors, along with secondary colors to use in their marketing visuals. A color palette helps you design with more consistency while reinforcing the same emotions as your primary colors. Try using the Adobe Color Wheel to choose a color palette that’s attractive to your ideal customers.
Similar to colors, fonts also set the tone for your brand identity. This brand element communicates your brand personality and even experience in the industry. For example, serif fonts like Times New Roman are often perceived as serious, traditional, and elegant—think of Magnum Ice Cream’s ads, which portray an indulgent, premium brand of ice cream. On the other hand, tech brands like Google and PayPal use sans serif fonts like Arial to signal modernity and freshness.
However, it’s not just the font that matters. Consider your text’s weight (or boldness), the spacing between your letters, and other factors that affect readability. Some businesses also select secondary fonts to differentiate headers, subheadings, and standard text on their website designs.
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4. Brand logo
Your small business logo is often the most memorable aspect of your visual identity. Most customers recognize a can of Pepsi from its red, white, and blue globe, or a pair of Nikes from their signature swooshes. Over time, as your reputation and the public perception of your brand (known as your brand image) improve, your brand equity (the value of your brand) will too, meaning at just a glance, your logo becomes a symbol of high quality. For iconic brands, simply placing your logo on a product can instantly boost its value, as with major clothing lines like Adidas.
Even for less recognizable brands, a good business logo combines multiple brand elements—color, font, shape, and graphics—in one symbol that represents your company. Aim for a simple but unique design. Your brand logo should be versatile enough to be used in a variety of marketing materials but specific enough for your target audience to recognize it both online and off.
Ideally, your logo—or a simplified version of your logo—should also fit inside a circle. Many online marketing platforms, including major social media platforms, display business profile pictures inside circles, so test this out to make your presence pop.
A tagline is a memorable catchphrase that captures the essence of your brand. Often witty, catchy, or memorable, this brand element can drive brand recognition and differentiation from your competitors.
For example, when you think of the tagline “I’m lovin’ it,” it’s synonymous with McDonald’s—you might even hear the catchphrase’s jingle in your head. Likewise, Nike‘s “Just do it” tagline is actionable and inspiring—and likely something an athlete has told themselves multiple times over without realizing it’s a catchphrase.
Before you write your own tagline, consider what you offer and how you want clients to perceive your brand. Then, draft a list of taglines and narrow it down to those that best align with your core brand messaging.
Shape your brand identity with brand elements
Your branding elements are valuable assets that can make your company more memorable. While customers are constantly inundated with marketing and messaging, these elements are clear signals to help your target audience identify your business.
To get started, select a unique brand name that gives shoppers a taste of what you do and who you are, then start developing your visual identity, including your typography, brand colors, and logo. A catchy tagline can further help you build long-term brand recognition—though it won’t be the last brand element you create.
Once you have your basic brand elements in place, make your brand identity stick by using them consistently—online and in person. And when you’re ready to take your brand strategy a step further, learn how to run campaigns that strengthen customers’ connection to your core identity with our brand marketing guide.
The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.