15 essential aspects of any successful brand

Featured on Forbes Expert Panel:

1. Uniqueness

Being different and unique in a sea of different options makes users remember and recognize that specific brand, creating brand loyalty. This isn’t always easy as it requires high risk and taking chances—but long-term benefits are guaranteed. – Martina SeferovicOIP Inc.

2. Strong Values

Successful brands are usually governed by a set of values. The greatest brands share those values with the world, confident that each decision throughout the company will be governed by those values. When your values become your North Star, you make better decisions. And by incorporating those values into your brand message, your clients know more than what you do—they also know who you are. – Ian BouchettLedgr

3. Authenticity

The best brands are those that create a culture that is truly authentic with what problem they are trying to solve. To do that, focus on the benefits rather than the features of your brand or product and make sure you align with partners who do the same. – Joni Hanson DavisBeli

4. An Understanding Of Your Audience

Deeply understand who your target audience is. To do this, undertake demographic, psychographic and day-in-the-life research. Learn all you can about your audience, their challenges, when they face them and how often, where they currently go to seek help with these challenges, who they follow and what and where they read. This way, you can craft every part of your brand to attract and be visible. – Jaqui LaneThe Book Adviser

5. Responsiveness To Consumers

New trends indicate that consumers demand more valuable content. Therefore, the essential element for branding a brand is responsiveness to the needs of its target audience. Create useful, entertaining and original formats and content according to the type of communication channels used. – Francisco DavalosWhizzbang Media

6. A Compelling Story

One key element is the story of your brand. Your brand needs to have a story. How did you come to found the company? What is the purpose, the big picture or the great vision of the company? Make people feel your mission and your vision. Stories help to create trust and help people connect with the brand. – Sabrina GrafHeartbeat Consulting

7. Great Content

Content is vital. As a business, you may need to select the type of content that corresponds with your brand archetype. Consider what kind of experience you want your audience to have. It is imperative to note that great content can help a brand connect with its audience, especially in an industry of sameness. Content can set you apart, positioning the brand as a force to reckon with. – Stephen OshoComercio Partners Limited

8. Clarity And Transparency

Clarity and transparency of the mission and values are the North Star of customer and team confidence in what to expect from a brand. Taking the time to define them, publish them and create systems and processes throughout every piece of the business that are aligned makes all of the difference in building a successful brand. – Danielle LevyDanielle Levy & The Boardroom League

9. The Unvarnished Truth

I’ve found it’s vital to not build a brand around what clients want to hear but around what they need to hear. If you challenge them by telling them the unvarnished truth, it is not only more helpful, but it’s also more memorable. And if nothing else, branding is just the name we give to the act of becoming memorable to your clients and prospects. – Sam WallaceSheffield Haworth

10. Client Testimonials

Client testimonials are a major key branding element to build social proof of your spectacular product and service. Your target demographic wants to see people just like them having had an amazing experience. People want to hear other people talk about how their pain points were relieved. This way, they don’t just feel sold on your brand, but also feel like they’ve made the smartest decision for themselves. – Sam KaufmanOn The Level Construction, LLC

11. Intuition Of Customers’ Needs

When a brand narrows down to an ideal avatar, the gem is to become intuitive about your customers’ needs. It could be as simple as, for example, knowing that dark napkins don’t leave lint in fine dining. The subtlety is appreciated by those in the know. A brand is developed by establishing a reputation for thoughtfulness or empathy regarding the service you provide and its favorable long-term effects. – Benjie NunnCreditHub

12. Genuine Purpose

Today, many brands are leaning into purpose—infusing it into key communications, targeted messaging and even products. Ensuring that anything you say can be backed up with aligned programming, impact measurement and real engagement is key to getting the purpose right. It is essential to make sure that this content doesn’t just sound good but actually is good. – Emily Kane MillerEthos Giving

13. Purposeful Engagement

In today’s chaotic business environment, the key to building a successful brand is absolute authenticity and purposeful engagement. Gone are the days of self-centered brand messaging that does not contribute to a higher purpose. Customers want to engage with brands that speak the truth, show vulnerability, are sensible and ultimately aspire to contribute to a better world. – Bruno GralpoisAgency Mania Solutions

14. Merchandise

Merch is essential for successful brand building because it can be used throughout the sales cycle to gain brand awareness, entice sales and promote loyalty. It’s a powerful addition to marketing campaigns, and can be delivered via direct mail or in person at events or sales calls. It can also be used internally with employee onboarding and teamwork initiatives to communicate and solidify company culture. – Valerie Hayman SklarCorporate Specialties LLC

15. Complete Alignment

Authenticity is key—that is, being real in all ways, at all times. It is also essential to ensure that all elements and manifestations of your brand align well with and support one another. Alignment on a vertical plane alone is not enough, however, your brand must be supported and reinforced in all aspects from all sides if you wish it to ring true and be successful. – Philipp HeckerBento Engine