To find the treasure, you must see a rainbow first. And to improve your brand, you need to get to know two groups of brand elements.

Two groups of brand elements: the treasure at the end of a rainbow

When I published the article about storytelling in the time of corona, I was feeling optimistic.

It was July, and the first wave of covid ended. The countries started to open their borders slowly to each other, and we began to enjoy (partial) freedom of movement.

That’s why I wrote about coronavirus ads that reached the planet of the Little Prince in the past tense.

  • I believed that the time had come for us to stop feeling like the Little Prince.
  • I hoped we would no longer find ourselves trapped on tiny planets of apartments and houses, in the dark universe of quarantine and social distance.

Nevertheless, November brought us new measures and recommendations.

Once again, we must retreat to our tiny planets. We’re supposed to look towards the light of distant stars and fight not to drown in another wave of virus and fear.

But in this post, I won’t write about stars. I’ll write about another symbol that stood out during the months of the fight against coronavirus. 

It’s a rainbow.

With the help of this symbol, I’ll explain a concept that’s related to marketing. The concept is about two groups of brand elements: tangible and intangible ones.

Would you like to know which are tangible and which intangible brand elements? Are you interested in discovering the differences between them?

In that case, keep reading.

If you are a Little Prince, what is your company

In the post “Storytelling in the time of corona: on the Little Princes’s planet”, I compared all of us who experienced quarantine in March and April with the Little Prince.

We were looking at the lights on in the neighbouring apartments, just as the Little Prince looked at the stars and enjoyed their glow.

However, not only the lights in the neighbouring apartments looked like the stars shine in the darkness of the coronavirus.

Nowadays, the light coming from offices is also similar to the glow of stars. It’s a glow we see long after the stars stop emitting light and heat.

In other words, there are many (small) businesses whose glow we can still enjoy even though, due to the coronavirus, the lights went out, and the office doors closed.

And although we may not be aware of that fact yet, all those businesses might quickly cease to exist.

Rainbow is colourful, so are brands

It’s crystal clear that the coronavirus is not only dangerous to humans, but also the economy. Yet this “corona story”, as well as the corona crisis, doesn’t end with the knowledge or awareness that danger exists.

The story continues with hope, hope that the things will get better. We also hope that the danger will diminish, while we will regain previous habits and former small pleasures.

The most evident symbol of hope appeared this spring on the windows and balconies of many apartments and houses. It’s a rainbow, usually drawn and coloured by the youngest.

And yet, while it’s up to the children to feel hope, it’s up to us, adults, to fight and try to find solutions to the current economic problems.

In that sense, a rainbow isn’t only a symbol of hope in this post, but also one of the ways to overcome this challenging period, especially for many small business owners.

The rainbow here represents a brand, your brand. The reason is that brands, just like this natural phenomenon, are made of two groups of elements: tangible and intangible.

And the good news is that it’s possible to work on both of them during the period of reduced business activity.

Are you wondering how you can work on them? Keep reading, and you’ll find out.

Rainbow is colourful. That’s the fact. However, brands too are colourful. That’s how I see it, and that’s why we should be aware of two groups of brand elements that make the colourfulness possible.

Two groups of brand elements

There is one interesting definition of a brand that fits perfectly into this post. The definition is the following one:

Brands are intangible promises made tangible through recognisable signs.

Brand: Not Just a Logo, Heidi Cohen

What makes this definition so appealing? The appealing part is that here we see the two groups of brand elements:

  • Tangible elements (signs)
  • Intangible elements (promises)

Tangible elements: sun and rain

The tangible brand elements are those elements that we use to differentiate a brand visually and verbally from the competition.

Their purpose is also to make potential customers notice the brand, remember its characteristics, and connect it with certain feelings and sensations.

The tangible brand elements are, therefore, the signs that reflect its visual and verbal identity:

  • Brand name (naming)
  • Brand logo
  • Brand colours
  • Brand voice 
  • Brand tone, etc.

These elements and signs represent a WAY to express the essence of the brand — its mission, vision and values — and reach the hearts of potential customers or clients.

If the brand is like a rainbow, then its tangible elements are the sun’s rays and raindrops. They allow colours to appear before our eyes. Sun and rain are the way.

Intangible elements: the treasure at the end of the rainbow

The intangible brand elements are those feelings that potential customers or clients start to feel after coming into contact with the brand.

Their purpose is to “open the path” to purchase, to justify it, and elevate the importance of the product.

Therefore, the intangible brand elements are the promises, meanings, and feelings awaken by the tangible ones.

Those feelings may be: 

  • Hope
  • Joy
  • Nostalgia
  • Melancholy
  • A sense of significance, etc.

The feelings are the GOAL because they arise in the heart of potential clients, while the connection between a brand and its clients are, as is well known, always emotional.

A brand is like a rainbow. The intangible elements are the treasure at the end of the rainbow. Finding treasure is the goal. Reaching the feelings, too.

To find the treasure, you must first see the rainbow

To conclude, the coronavirus made many of us feel like the Little Prince. The virus has also made many companies, especially the small ones, look like distant, tiny stars whose light is still visible in the dark, but threatens to subside.

However, not all stars — not even the smallest ones — have to be dying. 

Just as we are advised to rediscover ourselves in quarantine conditions, so too can companies rethink their brands during reduced business activity. Moreover, they can redesign it, improve it or make it more appealing.

In that context, the rainbow is a symbol, but not only of hope. It’s also a symbol of branding that follows the logic: To find the treasure, you must first see (and create) a rainbow.

In other words, to make your brand (more) accepted and loved, embrace both groups of brand elements. Work on the tangible ones while striving for the intangibles.

A Writing-Friendly Question: Is it possible to achieve positive results if you work only on the tangible elements?

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From NO to YES, there is only one CLICK. Please share this text.

Categories: Branding

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