To begin with this blog and explain Brand DNA, it would be good to draw a parallel with the natural world. Marketing and advertising are social disciplines that act as positioning and promotion tools and generators of strategies to persuade, dialogue, or convince. Likewise, they are social actors with a life of their own, like the brands they create, capable of adapting and modifying their environment.
DNA is a compendium of genetic information of living beings, and in the same way, brands are born, grow, reproduce and die. That means that in the brand’s DNA, we can find different key aspects: emotional, numerical, philosophical, and behavioral. That is why the brand’s DNA, its essence, is crucial when determining its growth and evolution. Therefore, it makes it the backbone of a brand’s identity; what is and what is not a brand. At the same time, it defines their personality, behavior, virtues, needs, past, present, and future.
The ten factors that makeup brand DNA
To build a brand’s genetic map, we can use several factors to help us understand how an organization works. These factors define the organization’s relationship with its brands and determine its DNA.
It refers to the origin of its meaning, the reason for being. It is a key concept for constructing and developing a brand and its subsequent positioning.
Firstly, this is the most human brand factor and responds to specific basic questions, such as the objective facts that define a brand or company. Secondly, how we present the brand to others, the tone in which it speaks, how it communicates, its codes, and what it thinks of itself. Thirdly, the emotional dimension of the brand from the customer’s point of view, what it represents, and what the client feels when working or consuming that brand. Finally, the thoughts the client projects when using a brand and the image others decode.
It includes a set of factors shared by the members of an organization linked to their way of being and performing. These factors become singular facts perceived both inside and outside an organization. They are what mark its differentiation, positioning, and its internal cohesion.
It refers to those attributes that are capable of transmitting the brand’s very essence. They do not change over time and serve as means of connecting with customers.
Personality is the combination of features that determines the key elements with which the brand is expressed. It is acquired through its most representative values and benefits.
It helps to understand the why and what of a brand, both inside and outside the organization. It goes beyond the brand’s functional benefits and has an emotional and social reach.
The way of relating to stakeholders, the levels of communication, and the language used, make up an amalgamation of characteristics that a brand’s DNA includes.
“What we cannot communicate does not exist.” So this transcendental factor must have an impact on the brand’s message. Also, in its tone, content, the stories it tells, and the emotional impact that results in connection with the target audience.
Positioning is crucial to understand the role of the brand in the market and the needs, emotions, and desires it satisfies. It is a solid, credible, relevant, differential, and lasting definition that describes the essence of the brand and its reason for being. At the same time, it gives it meaning, making it understandable for internal and external audiences. You can learn more about positioning here.
This factor is closely linked to the concept of positioning. It is not easy for today’s brands to stand out in a globalized and oversaturated market. Differential values are the factors that make the brand unique, distinguishing it from the competition. They can be both rational and emotional.
This factor is often not taken into account but is decisive when building a brand. It is about the tangible and intangible space a brand occupies, defined by its nature and rational and emotional aspirations before its stakeholders. This territoriality is closely related to positioning and creates the context in which it will develop.
Know thyself, impact later
There is no doubt that brands are part of the daily life of human beings. In a certain sense, they are also living elements that grow, develop, mutate, transform, evolve, and sometimes die. Therefore, for successful brand management, it is necessary to investigate its structure, history, and DNA to obtain the most significant possible knowledge regarding its essence and its reason for being.
In short, the brand’s DNA will help us better understand its place in the world. Likewise, we will be able to have a detailed overview of the health of a brand and the ills that may afflict it and be prepared for the threats that may arise. Therefore, building a brand means making its DNA, those fundamental pillars on which it is based.
Today, with the incredible development in new communication channels, new technologies, generations Y, Z, millennials, transmedia, virtual reality, and sharing economy, among others, brands are much more than a story, a unique selling proposition, or a simple icon. They are a complex amalgamation of ideas, values, proposals, and attributes that impact customers in countless ways in an increasingly interconnected and globalized world.