The 7 Essential Elements of an Effective Brand

11 August 2020


Look, as a brand designer, I tend to talk about branding a lot…

But in all this time something I’ve yet to cover is what makes a brand truly effective. Is it a beautiful colour combination? An eye-catching logo? Maybe the perfectly formed business plan?

Honestly, it’s none of these things. Don’t get me wrong – they can all help. But the truth is a logo doesn’t make a brand, colours will never be able to cover up what a brand lacks and even the perfect business plan can’t build a community around your business.

That’s why I thought it was about time I shared the 7 essential elements of an effective brand.

Target Audience

For any business to effectively create products and services that are needed, you’ll need to ensure that you’re speaking directly to your target audience, and unfortunately you’ll struggle with this unless you’ve identified your target audience first – you’ll end up just shouting into the abyss!

Make sure you know exactly who you’re directing your marketing towards, their interests, values, hobbies (demographics) but also their location, age, income (psychographics). This understanding of your target audience will give direction to all of your branding.

Mission Statement

Many business owners get put off by these two words, but they don’t have to be scary, a mission statement is just simply a brief sentence that describes your business – when I say brief I mean it, don’t overthink it, it can be as little as one line long!

The most common general outline you can follow goes something like: [Business Name] is a [what you do] that helps [target audience].

But if you’re struggling with this or you think it sounds too bland and boring, try this outline: You know [problem]? Well what we do is [solution]. In fact, [proof].

This guideline is much more ‘to the point’ about the problem your company solves, and can really help speak to and connect with your target audience much more easily than a standard mission statement.

The truth is, without a mission statement, you don’t have a basis for your brand and it’ll be exponentially harder to create a product or service that speaks to your audience.

Brand Voice

The way you write social media captions, blog posts, and how you reply to emails are all part of your brand voice – it’s the way in which you express your brand and it’s values through words.

More importantly though, the definition of brand voice points towards the purpose behind those words. Challenge yourself, for those that create a lot of content it can be easy to become lazy with your wording and captions – make sure you’re not falling into this trap, select your words carefully and ensure every sentence elevates your brand and speaks to it’s community.

Professional Design

To exhibit a professional business, it’s vital to invest in professional design.

Professional design creates a sense of trust, authority and experience – all crucial elements of a successful small business. I understand, investing in a professional designer when you’ve just started your business isn’t always feasible, but this doesn’t mean you can’t have professional design.

There are a wealth of tools and resources out there to help those that struggle with creativity and design – this guide by creative market is a great start.

Brand Style Guide

With the huge variety of elements that you’ll gather through your branding process, compiling these into a brand style guide couldn’t be more important. This can be as simple as a document containing all of your logo variations, patterns, icons, brand collateral, colour palettes, fonts etc.

Don’t forget to include any inspiration that was gathered during your design process, keeping this at the front of your mind will serve as a great reminder of the overarching ‘feel’ of your brand, and will give context to all of the elements above.


What good is all of the research, planning and designing of your brand without using it? Alternative versions of your logo were created for a reason, so don’t rely solely on your primary logo. Include your secondary logo in your website footer, your email signature or promotional graphics, don’t let it go to waste! While it’s important to create a brand, it’s much more important to use your brand.


Last, but absolutely not least, is consistency.

Consistency goes farther than a consistent brand appearance, using the colours and fonts you chose is easy. Consistency means sharing tips and inspiration on social media when you’ve said you’re going to, sending an email to your customers when promised, it means sticking to that blogging routine you started.

Consistently showing up builds brand recognition, this in turn grows your audience, and what does a larger audience mean? Increased income, yay!

Consistency can be hard, especially in your first year. So don’t feel pressured to take more on your plate than you can manage, it’s always better to under promise – no one will be complaining when you over deliver!

Struggling with branding your small business? We’d love to help – check out our affordable design packages here!

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