Branding is a process that virtually all marketers will have heard of, but a far smaller portion understand how the sausage gets made. This isn’t to say that branding is a necessarily messy process, but that the concept of what will make one brand memorable and another forgettable is sometimes misconstrued.
One of the crucial components of any brand is its distinctive assets. Coming in a plethora of forms, distinctive assets are the elements of a brand that can be recognised at the drop of a hat by a consumer without the need for additional reference points or triggers. A good example would be the whistle heard at the end of McDonald’s adverts. The whistle itself has nothing to do with the brand and bears only a partial resemblance to its original form, but hearing those five notes will still invoke the thought of McDonald’s in its target consumers.
In any case, distinctive assets aren’t limited to jingles. There are a whole range of elements that can be considered as contributing towards the overall brand in this way, as outlined by The Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science:
By building on these distinctive assets over time, you can forge a brand that is more than just a name or a logo, allowing for far greater scope in terms of your marketing communications. The benefits of establishing powerful distinctive assets, or codes as they can also be known, has been outlined fantastically in this case study of Snickers by Mark Ritson for Marketing Week.
To demonstrate the effectiveness of distinctive assets, we’ve put together a short brand logo quiz where names and prominent discernible features have been removed from a series of famous brand logos. Try your luck and see how the codes built by these brands can lend you a helping hand!
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