To brand or not to brand, is that the question? Hopefully not. If you are questioning whether you should brand your advertising, then perhaps a career in marketing is not for you. A more useful question to ask is not if, but how to brand. How can you increase the odds to make the brand an unmissable part of any piece of marketing communications?

Branding can be via the brand name, which can be spoken or shown. Every brand has this branding option, even though it appears branding is often treated like chilli powder – something to be sprinkled sparingly within the communications. However, for the lucky few that have them, branding can also be via distinctive assets. Distinctive assets are the non-brand-name triggers for the brand name in category buyer memory. When you see the golden arches, hear the word 'priceless', watch an interview with Jennifer Aniston, or see a sheepdog bound by, these are all potential brand triggers that can evoke the brand name in your memory, without the brand name itself being present. The right set of distinctive assets can provide a neurologically rich vein of branding options for an advertiser to work with.