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February 24, 2014

At the Core of the Core—The Brand “Essence”

The identity of a brand is largely formed from the confluence of its positioning and strategic personality, that is, from the singular way in which those two core components stream together, and outward toward the prospect. The identity is a brand’s DNA configuration, a particular set of brand elements, blended in a unique way, which determines how that brand will be perceived in the marketplace.

In his fascinating book, Mythmaking on Madison Avenue, researcher Sal Randazzo points out that a brand sometimes even has a “soul,” defined by Randazzo as “its spiritual center, the core value(s) that defines the brand and permeates all other aspects of the brand.” Closely related to the brand soul concept is the idea of a brand’s “essence,” meaning the central nature of what it represents to all those who come in contact with it. The essence of a brand is the core of its identity.

By distilling a brand, product or service down to a single word essence, after completing an exhaustive analysis of the brand’s targets, positioning alternatives, and personality opportunities will guide a brand to harness a stronger identity and leverage that simplicity of a single word to build the the brand awareness and brand equity.