To find the treasure, you must see a rainbow first. And to improve your brand, you need to have a good grasp of the two groups of brand elements.
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-19 ended. The countries started to open their borders slowly to each other, whereas we began to enjoy (limited) 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.
Furthermore, I was hoping that we would no longer be nor feel “trapped” on our tiny planets of flats and houses, in the dark universe of quarantine and social distance.
Nevertheless, November brought us new measures and recommendations regarding coronavirus.
Once again, we must retreat to our tiny planets and look towards the light of distant stars, fighting not to drown in another wave of virus and fear.
However, in this post, I won’t be writing about stars.
I’ll write about a symbol that stood out during the months of the fight against coronavirus.
That symbol is a rainbow.
In other words, I’ll use the symbol of the rainbow to explain the two groups of brand elements: tangible and intangible.
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.
Table of Contents
If you are a Little Prince, what is your company?
In the post “Storytelling in the time of coronavirus: on the Little Princes’s planet”, I compared all of us, who experienced quarantine in March and April, with the Little Prince.
Namely, just like the Little Prince who was looking at the stars, we were looking at the lights on in the neighbouring flats.
However, not only the lights on in neighbouring flats resembled light from twinkling stars. The lights that were coming from numerous offices were also similar to the glow of stars.
As you will surely have known, we can see their glow long after stars stop emitting light and heat.
In other words, we can still enjoy the “glow” of many (small) businesses even though, due to the coronavirus, in many of them the lights turned off, and the office doors closed.
All those businesses might quickly cease to exist.
What do the rainbow and a brand have in common?
The crisis will eventually end —we all know it— but for now, it continues to be present both in our lives and our national economies.
Notwithstanding, we continue to hope that the situation will soon change for the better. We are optimistic that, when the danger diminishes, we will anew be able to “regain” our habits and small pleasures.
The most evident symbol of hope appeared this spring on the windows and balconies of so many flats and houses all over the planet. It was a rainbow, usually drawn and coloured by the youngest.
But while children feel and express hope, it’s us, the adults, who should take the initiative and try to find solutions to the current economic challenges, caused by Covid-19.
That‘s the reason why, in this post, a rainbow doesn’t represent only a symbol of hope.
It also symbolises a way to overcome this period, which turns out to be extremely challenging for many businesses, particularly the small ones.
In a nutshell, the rainbow here represents a brand. Your brand, my brand. Any brand.
The reason is that brands, just like this natural phenomenon, are made of two groups of elements: tangible and intangible.
What‘s more, it’s possible to work on improving both groups during this period of reduced business activity.
Are you interested in finding out how to enhance the tangible and intangible elements of your brand?
Keep reading, and you’ll find out.
What are the two groups of brand elements?
There is a definition of a brand that is extraordinarily suitable for this post.
Brands are intangible promises made tangible through recognisable signs.Brand: Not Just a Logo, Heidi Cohen
What makes this definition so fitting? The answer is simple. It helps us distinguish the two groups of brand elements:
- Tangible elements (signs);
- Intangible elements (promises).
Tangible brand elements: sun and rain
The tangible brand elements are those elements that we use to differentiate a brand from its competition both visually and verbally.
Their purpose is to help potential customers notice the brand, remember its characteristics, and associate it with positive feelings and sensations.
The tangible brand elements are, therefore, the signs that reflect both visual and verbal brand identity:
- Brand name;
- Its logo;
- Tone, etc.
These elements represent a WAY to materialise the essence of a brand — its mission, vision and values — and reach the hearts of potential customers or clients.
If a brand is like a rainbow, then its tangible elements are like rays of the sun and raindrops. These elements allow colours to appear before our eyes. In a word, sun and rain are the “HOW”.
Intangible brand elements: the treasure at the end of the rainbow
Their purpose is “to lay the first stone” towards the purchase.
Therefore, the intangible brand elements are the promises, memories, and feelings awaken by the tangible ones. For instance:
- Happiness, etc.
In conclusion, the invisible brand elements are the GOAL because they arise in the hearts of potential clients. The connection between a brand and its clients is, as widely known, emotional.
A brand is like a rainbow. The intangible elements are like the treasure at the end of the rainbow. Finding treasure is the goal of branding activities. Reaching the feelings is the “HOW”.
To find the treasure, you must first see a rainbow
To conclude the post, let me reiterate that the coronavirus caused many of us to start feeling like the Little Prince.
Moreover, due to the virus, many businesses, especially the small ones, began to look like distant, tiny stars. Their “glow”, although still visible in the dark, is threatening to subside.
However, not all stars —not even the smallest ones— have to be dying.
Just like we can grow as persons in quarantine conditions, businesses too can rethink their brands during reduced business activity.
What’s more, they can redesign it, improve it, and make it more appealing.
Having said that, the rainbow is a symbol, but not only of hope. It’s also a symbol of branding because, to find the treasure, you must first see (or create) a rainbow.
In other words, to make your brand more appealing, a good rule of thumb is to work on both groups of brand elements.
Improve the tangible ones while striving for the intangibles.
A Writing-Friendly Question: Is it possible to achieve positive results if you focus only on the tangible elements?
From NO to YES, there is only one CLICK. Please share this text.