• Home
  • Learn
  • Branding
  • Brand assets: What they are, why they're important, and how to leverage them for success

Brand assets: What they are, why they're important, and how to leverage them for success

Working in a large organisation with over 100+ employees? Learn how to communicate visually, boost productivity, and stay on brand, at scale. Get in touch(opens in a new tab or window).

What do geckos, apples, and windows all have in common?

They are all used as visual representations in the brand assets of successful brands. Geico uses a gecko as its mascot, Apple uses an apple for its logo, and Microsoft developed Windows, its most popular software.

Brand assets are a key component for developing a successful branding strategy(opens in a new tab or window). Once you identify your brand assets, you can leverage them for a distinct and consistent brand presence that can improve brand awareness, sales, and loyalty.

What are brand assets?

Brand assets are design and marketing elements that convey a business identity and are easily recognized by consumers. They promote a quick association and help set a brand apart from its competitors.

Consumers love brands for a number of reasons, ranging from the comfort a brand’s product or service evokes to the ease of decision-making to the social status purchasing from a brand provides. Your branded assets will enable you to develop a relationship with consumers on their path to fulfilling their needs. The more they see your brand assets, the more familiar you will feel to them.

According to the International Food Information Council, familiarity has a significant impact(opens in a new tab or window) on food purchasing decisions among 33% of US shoppers. When it comes to shopping on popular platforms like Amazon, 23% of consumers choose to shop on Amazon due to familiarity(opens in a new tab or window).

Key brand assets to establish

There are a few brand assets that are key to establishing a strong brand presence.

  • Brand name: If you’re just starting out or are considering a brand refresh(opens in a new tab or window), you have the opportunity to develop a brand name(opens in a new tab or window) that is catchy, meaningful, and easy to remember. Successful brand names are usually determined by selecting a name style, such as naming it after the founder (Dell), using an acronym (IBM), or describing what the product or service does (Microsoft).
  • Logos: Logos(opens in a new tab or window) are a quick visual cue for your customers. Developing and maintaining a recognizable logo is key to a successful marketing and branding strategy. Include multiple variations (colors, sizes, and configurations) of your logos in your brand kit(opens in a new tab or window) to ensure proper use in different marketing materials.
  • Slogans and taglines: Slogans and taglines are short phrases that customers associate with a brand. Famous taglines(opens in a new tab or window) include Nike’s “Just do it” and Allstate’s “You’re in good hands.” Both of these are immediately associated with the brand so that whether a customer reads or hears it, they instantly know what company the content is about. Note: Always pair your taglines and slogans with your logo to maximize the effect of your campaigns and solidify your brand identity in your customers’ minds.
  • Color palette: Color plays a key role in first impressions and the overall appearance of your brand. Study the psychology of color(opens in a new tab or window) to decide which colors align best with your brand identity and the emotions you want to evoke from your audience. Microsoft’s color scheme(opens in a new tab or window) is an eye-catching combination of bold colors that has become synonymous with its products. The four squares in the logo are placed together to appear like a window. Each square represents Microsoft applications: “… the red for Office applications, green for Excel, blue for Word and yellow for Outlook.”
  • Audio: Research shows that we tend to remember music(opens in a new tab or window) even better than our own memories. If you want to make your brand stick in the minds of your consumers, creating a catchy jingle or audio recording might be your answer. McDonald’s is famous for its jingle with the trademark phrase “I’m lovin’ it.” Many of us could just hear the tune “ba da ba ba bah(opens in a new tab or window)” and automatically associate it with McDonald’s.
  • Photographs: Quality photography has the power to differentiate your brand from another. Lune Croissanterie(opens in a new tab or window), a Melbourne-based company that makes croissants, portrays its identity unlike other companies that sell baked goods. Its photographic style emulates the precision and attention to detail of a high-tech company like Apple. Lune captures its croissants by zooming in on the croissant with a sharp, minimalist approach.
  • Videos: Product video(opens in a new tab or window) is another effective way to evoke positive emotions and interest from your target audience. Behind-the-scenes footage can give your customers an inside look into the work behind your brand and help build trust. Lune’s videos(opens in a new tab or window) provide an inside look into how its bakers make its croissants.
  • Typography: Typeface and font styles should be artful, timeless, and purposeful. For your brand, select a font that reflects the message or emotions you want to communicate. Coca-Cola’s classic font choice has a playful and timeless aesthetic to match the brand’s identity. Its first logo(opens in a new tab or window) was developed in the 1890s and looks similar to the one most know and recognize today.

Other common brand assets include:

  • Graphics
  • Tone of voice
  • Smells
  • Flavors

Brand vs. digital assets

Although brand assets can also be digital assets, brand assets are distinctly created for the purpose of fostering a direct association with your brand.

Digital assets are any digital files you have the right to use but that are not necessarily used to convey brand identity. These assets can be a special project to promote a marketing campaign for an influencer or customer in which the focal point is not your brand but rather the user. For example, GoDaddy features entrepreneurs who use GoDaddy in short videos on its Instagram page(opens in a new tab or window). These videos highlight the typical GoDaddy user; however, the focus of the video centers on the business owner rather than on GoDaddy itself.

Why are brand assets important?

Distinctive brand assets are integral to increasing awareness, improving marketing ROI, and strengthening your brand identity. Over time your brand assets will become more recognizable, increasing customer trust and brand loyalty. Once you’ve successfully increased awareness and trust, you can focus on maintaining loyal customers rather than attempting to convert new customers, the more expensive feat.

Brand assets build trust

To build trust, present a unified brand through your brand assets while also providing quality service or products. Customers will begin to expect high quality whenever they see your branding. They will believe that your product or service is one they can trust.

Building a reputation of reliability to increase conversions is a two-part process that sets you apart from competitors. One part is delivering a great product or service by understanding and meeting your customer’s needs. Another is making sure that your audience chooses your brand over another because they expect a positive experience. Whether you emphasize your stellar customer support team or present an approachable company vibe, use your brand assets to communicate and connect with your customers, and a trusting relationship will form.

Brand assets improve ROIs

To save money and improve your ad spending ROI, make clear, consistent branding a priority. Repetition of your marketing assets will make people more familiar with your brand. Familiarity is an integral step in the customer journey(opens in a new tab or window) due to the “mere exposure effect(opens in a new tab or window),” which is a phenomenon that causes people “to like something more as a result of previous exposure to it, however brief and fleeting.”

Successful global brands know how to familiarize themselves with audiences and make purchasing from them a habit. As creatures of habit(opens in a new tab or window), people tend to define themselves based on the choices they repeatedly make. Consistent brand assets align with a consumer’s need for a consistent, comfortable, and satisfying lifestyle.

Brand assets strengthen brand identity

A strong brand identity is built on a foundation of distinct and clear branding guidelines(opens in a new tab or window). Your guidelines should include specific brand asset instructions, image specs, and conditions for when each of the assets can and should be used. The more specific you can be about your brand assets, the more cohesive your brand identity will be.

Brand guidelines(opens in a new tab or window) are especially important to help prevent misrepresentation of your brand. If you have a large team or many stakeholders who use and edit your existing brand assets, clear guidelines can help streamline the content production. From the colors you use to the size and orientation of your logos, every design aspect of your brand assets should remain consistent.

How to identify and manage your top brand assets

To identify your top brand assets, audit your past, current, and future branding elements. To do this, you can try using a customer journey map(opens in a new tab or window). Compile these elements into a list or folder and gather feedback from your target audience as well as your internal team. As part of your auditing process, hold focus groups with customers to get insights into how customers really perceive your brand.

Questions to collect feedback on brand assets:

What emotions do these branding elements evoke? Do they resonate with you?

Are any of these brand assets confusing or misrepresentative?

Can you identify which brand each asset is associated with?

What does this marketing content make you think of?

Once you’ve collected the data, you can use the “Distinctive Asset Grid(opens in a new tab or window)” to interpret the results. This grid, developed by The Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science, has four categories: Avoid, Use or Lose, Ignore or Test, and Invest Potential. By assigning each element a percentage within each square of the grid, you can determine which assets to include in your brand asset repertoire and which to discard.

For example, let’s say one of the brand elements in your audit is a video featuring your brand mascot. However, your brand mascot is one that highly resembles a competitor’s mascot. Through audience research and testing, you discover that this asset has a very low fame and uniqueness percentage in the “Avoid” quadrant.

Most of the elements that place a low value in the Avoid quadrant can probably be discarded or rebranded to decrease the chances that your audience confuses you with another brand. Moreover, customers often seek out novelty in their personal lives and their spending habits, as novelty has the capacity to enhance well-being(opens in a new tab or window). A novel rebrand can attract new customers and help satisfy disgruntled ones.

Use a brand management tool

Once you’ve compiled your most effective brand assets, use a brand management(opens in a new tab or window) tool to organize and streamline them. A tool like Canva will help you and your team members accurately use and adjust existing brand elements for your marketing and branding content.

Through the use of Canva’s folders, templates, and brand kit(opens in a new tab or window), you’ll be able to easily use, edit, and download any asset you need. With Canva’s brand kit feature, you can preeminently upload your logos, colors, and fonts so that anyone who uses the account has access to these assets. You can also organize existing graphics, photos, and other assets into folders that your team can choose from.

A screenshot of Canva’s brand kit menu options within the Canva platform.

Canva’s brand kit feature allows users to select from preloaded logos, brand colors, and other assets from within the platform.

Test new assets & experiment before final launch

Have you ever watched a fantastic ad for a product or service, only to realize you have no idea which brand is actually behind the ad? Reviewing and testing your ads or pieces of content with an audience before launch is crucial to success.

During your brand asset audit, you may discover outdated assets or branding elements that your audience does not recognize.

As a result, you and your team might decide to rebrand all of your branding material. However, before you hit publish on any rebranded elements(opens in a new tab or window), take the time to test out your ideas. Through surveys, focus groups, and other types of experiments, you can discover which new elements can be approved for launch.

Testing and experimenting with your rebranded materials can give you the confidence to move forward in your branding strategy. With this mindset, you’ll find that your brand assets have the power to increase customer satisfaction, improve retention, and leave a positive influence on your community.

Related articles

See all

Bring your ideas to life in minutes

Express yourself with the world's easiest design program.