If it’s possible to describe an ad in one sentence without mentioning the brand, or an established brand asset, then you may have a branding problem, according to an industry expert.

In a WARC Best Practice paper, Developing brand assets, Dominic Twose, author of Marketing Knowledge and former Global Head of Knowledge Management at Millward Brown, outlines the importance of brand assets.

These represent a huge opportunity to boost instinctive consumer recognition and have been shown to be effective, he says, citing a Kantar Millward Brown study which showed that brands with the strongest assets are on average 52% more salient than their rivals.

“When you see the golden arches, hear the word ‘priceless’, or see a sheepdog, these are all potential brand triggers that can evoke a brand name in your memory, without the brand name itself being present,” he observes.

So choosing which assets to invest in is a first priority, and there is widespread agreement on what makes a good brand asset: it requires simplicity, distinctiveness and uniqueness.

There is also an argument for consistency, Twose adds – look at how Disney has used the Mickey Mouse figure, the ears silhouette, the distinctive, hand-written ‘D’ logo and the Disneyworld castle throughout much of the brand’s life.

Not only should the assets themselves be consistent but they should be used consistently across all media channels, including point of sale and on pack, to help generate instant recognition.

“Once you have a strong branding device, it is like gold dust, and should be ditched only for very sound reasons,” Twose advises.

Sourced from WARC