Brand identity ideals

  • Vision-compelling by an effective, articulate, and passionate leaders is the foundation and the inspiration for the best brands.
  • Meaning-The best brands stand for something — a big idea, a strategic position, a defined set of values, and a voice that stands apart.
  • Authenticity-clarity about its market, positioning, value proposition, and competitive difference.
  • Differentiation-competes with brands that want our attention, our loyalty, and our money.
  • Durability-have longevity in a world in constant influx, characterized by future permutations that no one can predict.
  • Coherence-feel familiar and have desired effect on brand experiences
  • Flexibility-Position company for growth and change in the future.  Supports evolving marketing strategy.
  • Commitment-Manage assets, including brand name, the trademarks, the integrated sales and marketing systems, and the standards.
  • Value-Building awareness, increasing recognition, communicating uniqueness and quality, and expressing a competitive difference to create measurable results.


The signature-structured relationship between a logotype, brandmark, and tagline.

Typology of marks

  • Wordmarks-a freestanding acronym, company name, or product name that has been designed to convey a brand attribute or positioning.  Ex: Google
  • Letterforms-a unique design using one or more letterforms that act as a mnemonic device for a company name. Ex: Univision
  • Emblems-a mark in which the company name is inextricably connected to a pictorial element.  Ex: TiVo
  • The pictorial marks-An immediately recognizable literal image that has been simplified and stylized. Ex: Apple
  • Abstract/symbolic marks-A symbol that conveys a big idea, and often embodies strategic ambiguity.  Ex: Target
  • Characters-central to advertising campaigns and are cultural icons to embody brand attributes and values. Ex: Geico

The sequence of cognition- brain acknowledges and remembers shapes first.  Visual images can be remembered and recognized directly, while words must be decoded into meaning.  Shape–>color–>form

Look and feel is the visual language that makes a system proprietary and immediately recognizable.  Basics:

Design-Intelligence made visible.

Color Palettes-Systems may have a secondary and primary.

Imagery-photography, illustration, or iconography.

Typography-systems incorporate this.

Sensory-material qualities (how something feels in your hand–texture and weight), interactive qualities (how something opens or moves), and auditory and olfactory qualities (how something sounds and smells).

Benefits of brand licensing

Licensors or Brand owners

  • Enhances the brand image
  • Grows the value of the brand
  • Increase awareness of the brand
  • Reinforces brand positioning and brand message
  • Attracts new consumers to the brand
  • Reinforces brand positioning and brand message
  • Attracts new consumers to the brand
  • Builds competitive advantage
  • Builds stronger relationships with customers
  • Gains entry into new distribution channels
  • Lets consumers exhibit their love of the brand
  • Protects the brand via trademark registration and policing of marketplace
  • Provides consumers genuine alternatives for illegal and unauthorized products
  • Generates incremental revenues through increased sales of core product, royalties from the sale of licensed product

Licensees of Manufacturers

  • Increases market share
  • Opens new retail channels
  • Gains shelf space at retail
  • Increases awareness of their product
  • Attracts new customers to their product
  • Builds competitive advantage
  • Increases sales through a wider assortment of products
  • Lends credibility to their products
  • Generates incremental revenues through the sale of licensed product

Brand roles


  • Set licensing goals and establish objectives
  • Approve annual strategic licensing plan
  • Approve prospective licensees
  • Approve licensed products, packaging, marketing, and collateral materials
  • Provide access to licensable assets and/or develop style guide
  • Register trademarks in appropriate categories
  • Pursue trademark infringers
  • Execute license agreements


  • Set licensing goals and establish objectives
  • Approve annual strategic licensing plan (brand acquisition)
  • Approve prospective licensors
  • Develop, manufacture, and market approved products
  • Monitor marketplace for trademark infringers
  • Deliver quality royalty reports and payments


  • Develop strategic licensing program for presentation and approval
  • Create sales materials to solicit interest from licensees or licensors
  • Prospect qualified licensees or licensors
  • Negotiate terms of license agreement
  • Guide contract management process
  • Lead the acquisition and/or development of licensable assets, or the creation of a style guide
  • Manage product, packaging, and collateral material approval process
  • Administer royalties
  • Police marketplace for trademark infringement
  • Handle daily program needs

The brand identity process demands a combination of investigation, strategic thinking, design excellence, and project management skills.


1. Conducting research

  • Clarify vision, strategies, goals, and values.
  • Research stakeholders’ needs and perceptions.
  • Conduct marketing, competitive technology, legal, and language audits.
  • Evaluate existing brands and brand architecture.
  • Present audit readout.

2. Clarifying strategy

  • Synthesize learnings.
  • Clarify brand strategy.
  • Develop a positioning platform.
  • Co-create brand attributes.
  • Write a brand brief.
  • Achieve agreement.
  • Create a naming strategy.
  • Develop key messages.
  • Write a creative brief.

3. Designing Identity

  • Visualize the future.
  • Brainstorm big idea.
  • Design brand identity.
  • Explore applications.
  • Finalize brand architecture.
  • Present visual strategy.
  • Achieve agreement.

4. Creating touchpoints

  • Finalize identity design.
  • Develop look and feel.
  • Initiate trademark protection.
  • Prioritize and design applications.
  • Design program.
  • Apply brand architecture.

5. Managing assets

  • Build synergy around the new brand.
  • Develop launch strategy and plan.
  • Launch internally first.
  • Launch externally.
  • Develop standards and guidelines.
  • Nurture brand champions.

Metrics for Brand Management:

Insert Chart here!

Corpus Callosum

Left Brain: Logical, Sequential, Rational, Analytical, Objective, Looks at parts

Right Brain: Random, Intuitive, Holistic, Synthesizing, Subjective, Looks at wholes

Collecting data: Market sizing, awareness, attitudes, recognition, reputation, statistics, and demographics

Listening: One-on-one interviews, Focus groups, SWOTs, Visioning

Design: Imagine, Realize, Celebrate, Simplify

Focusing: Goals, Segmentation, Mind Map, and Positioning

Weaving: History and future, competitive analysis, trend analysis, benchmarking, perceptual mapping, audit readout

Dreaming: Visioning, Mood Board

Observing: Customer experience, ethnography, digital ethnography, usability studies, mystery shopping, eye tracking



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