The Importance of Distinctive Brand Assets in Marketing

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By: Dr. David Bridwell, People Scientist

A distinct brand asset consists of any visual, or auditory or verbal element that is strongly associated with your brand. This consists of logos, color schemes, slogans, taglines, and more.

These distinct brand assets are designed to help potential customers understand that brand. And together, these brand elements can combine to make your product the intuitive choice. 

That’s because the more we’re exposed to something the more we generate a positive impression of that thing and the better we’re able to combine multiple pieces of information together to form a coherent and intuitive understanding of what the brand represents. 

For Kentucky Fried Chicken, visual brand elements might consist of their logo, the image of Colonel Sanders, the image of fried chicken, the image of a bucket of KFC, or even the particular color of their logo. Each of these elements can be paired together to remind the audience that they are viewing a KFC ad, and they can be paired together to create associations between their logo, their color scheme, and their product. 

Ultimately, this helps to create associations between the visual areas of the brain that process the visual aspects of the brand and other areas of the brain that process more complicated aspects of the brand, like logos and taglines. 

These associations can be created by repeatedly presenting visual imagery alongside the logos and taglines. And creating a strong association between visual brain areas and other brain areas involved in language and memory ensures that lots of information can be conveyed to your audience with a quick flash of your logo or brand element.

A powerful example of this comes from the Geico lizard. The quick appearance of this lizard on a billboard or on a phone screen can remind the audience of the company, Geico, as well as the phrase “15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance.” That’s the power of distinct brand assets. Seeing the image for 100 to 300 ms, as is common when it scrolls along the phone or passes on a billboard, can engage related memories about the product that linger after the ad disappears. 

This means that distinct brand assets (which have been richly associated with the company and product) are more effective and carry more information compared to brand images that the audience hasn’t previously been exposed to. 

So if you consider two different brands who have to pay to present an image to 10,000 people, the brand that uses a distinct brand asset will be able to instantly invoke associations with other aspects of the company, helping the audience understand who they are. Their ad will be much more effective (for the same amount of views) than another brand who uses an unrecognizable or novel visual image in their ad. 

Overall, having recognizable and distinct brand assets ensures that you can convey a large amount of information in a short amount of time, boosting the brand’s psychological connection with the audience. That’s why it’s important for brands to stay present and mentally available. At the end of the day, they get more bang for their buck.