What is a Brand Essence?

Sallie Bale • 12th Oct 2022

Brand wheel guide header image

Have you ever thought about what makes your favorite brands memorable and recognisable? The answer lies in their brand essence. Sitting at the centre of the brand essence wheel, a brand’s essence is like a signature dish – distinctive, engaging and unforgettable.

As an internal tool, a brand’s essence helps the marketing team maintain consistency in their messaging. But it also plays a crucial role in external communications, often becoming the core of any external-facing communications and messaging. In fact, a brand’s essence may even become its strapline.

So what exactly is brand essence? It’s a distillation of the brand’s proposition in a few short words, presented in an engaging, creative, and compelling way that has a fluent flow. Essentially, it’s the heart and soul of your brand, and it should reflect your brand’s identity and values.

To create a strong and memorable brand essence, you need to ensure it has four essential elements. Firstly, it should be authentic, which means it should reflect the true nature of your brand. Secondly, it should be distinctive, setting your brand apart from others in the market. Thirdly, it should be emotive, evoking emotions and feelings in your audience. Lastly, it should be motivating, inspiring your audience to connect with your brand.

But how do you define your brand essence? A brand essence wheel template or model can provide a framework for defining and articulating your brand’s essence. We use a brand wheel as our framework. This helps us to keep all the foundational information about the brand one one page, and can easily be referred to by marketers, designers, copywriters, agencies and freelancers.

brand wheel
Brand Wheel Framework

It’s essential to conduct brand essence research to determine the key values and attributes that make up your brand’s essence. A brand essence workshop can also be helpful in this process, as it allows stakeholders to come together and define the brand’s essence collaboratively.

Examples of brand essence statements include Nike’s “Authentic Athletic Performance” and Apple’s “Think Different.” But every brand’s essence is unique, reflecting the brand’s identity, values, and personality. A brand essence may become the external facing strapline, however its job, first and foremost, is internal.

In conclusion, brand essence is the core of your brand’s identity, the one thing that sets it apart from others in the market. By using a brand essence wheel model or template and ensuring it has the four essential elements – authenticity, distinctiveness, emotion, and motivation – you can create a brand essence that resonates with your audience and sets your brand apart. Remember, your brand essence is your brand’s signature dish, so make it memorable and unforgettable.

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