What Is Brand Essence? 5 Examples (2023)

If you had to describe yourself in less than five words, what would you say? For people, these words are the foundation of a personality. But for companies, they refer to the brand essence.

What Is Brand Essence? 5 Examples (1)

All successful businesses have a core spirit that makes up the soul of the brand. At Dyson, it's efficiency. At Disney, it's magic.

Defining brand essence is essential for building a cohesive brand identity, creating impactful marketing campaigns, and connecting with customers. Considering that over 75% of consumers buy from brands that share the same values, it's important for companies to signal what matters most to them.

Brand essence is just one part of creating a strong, memorable brand, but it sets the stage for every other aspect of your identity. So before you design a logo or craft company values, you have to understand what brand essence is and how to shape a strong essence statement. (Don't worry, there are plenty of examples along the way to inspire your brainstorming). Let's get started.

What is brand essence?

Brand essence is the soul of a brand and acts as a foundation so the brand appears consistent and authentic. It defines what a brand stands for, shapes the overall identity, and aims to invoke a particular thought, feeling, or emotion in consumers. Typically, it's expressed in two to three words.

Like people, brand essence can't be fake. Consumers can tell when a brand isn't being true to itself, which can hurt sales and long-term customer loyalty. That's why companies use brand essence as a guidepost for all future branding efforts, from designing a logo to choosing images for a social media campaign.

Consider the brand essence statements of well-known companies:

  • Airbnb – Belong Anywhere
  • Patagonia – Responsible and Sustainable
  • Starbucks – Rewarding Everyday Moments
  • McDonald's – Consistency
  • BMW – Driving Pleasure
  • Nike – Authentic Athletic Performance
  • The Nature Conservancy – Saving Great Places

All great brands have a distinct essence that keeps customers coming back. Brand expert and author Kevin Keller refers to this as a "brand mantra" and says its purpose is to "define the category of business for the brand and set brand boundaries. It should also clarify what is unique about the brand. It should be memorable…it should be short, crisp, and vivid in meaning."

If you create a brand essence that's unique and leaves a lasting impression on customers, you're sure to see a number of benefits.

Importance of Brand Essence

Most marketers know that strong branding can bring in customers and build life-long loyalty. But its essence is what makes people fall in love with a brand and continually choose it over competitors. Beyond driving sales, here's how brand essence can elevate your business.

  • Inform brand decisions: It's much easier to create values, define a mission statement, write taglines, design new products, and build marketing assets when your brand has a north star guiding every decision. Without a clear brand essence, your company can take more time than necessary to make key decisions. This can cause frustration for your team and confusion for customers as everyone struggles to understand what your brand truly values.
  • Define your competitive advantage: Your brand can't be everything to everyone, but a brand essence helps you figure out what target audience to focus on. For BMW, this means attracting buyers who want a great driving experience. But for Volvo, it's finding customers who prioritize safety. Knowing your competitive advantage hones your efforts and makes it easier to show customers what sets your brand apart.
  • Build trust: A study by Edelman found that 81% of consumers need to trust a brand before making a purchase. A brand essence can help build trust by highlighting the emotive and human elements of your brand. For instance, consumers trust Apple to "Think Different" because of its consistent branding and innovative product track record. When choosing your essence, consider words that reflect the brand and embody the human characteristics of your target audience.

Now that you understand how brand essence influences your company's efforts and customers' perceptions, let's go through a few examples to inspire your brainstorming.

5 Brand Essence Examples

It's easy to think of a favorite brand's tagline or logo, but the brand essence isn't always so obvious. As you look through the brand essence statement examples, see if you can connect the company's spirit to its marketing campaigns, visual identity, or product offerings.

1. Dyson: "Efficiency"

Efficiency is the crux of Dyson's DNA. The company that gave us the first bagless vacuum makes brand essence clear through its line of vacuums, hand dryers, hair care, lighting, and air cleaners. All of the products are designed to make customers' lives more efficient by getting rid of cords and bags and combining multiple products into one.

2. Arc'teryx: "Unrivaled Performance"

Arc'tryx is a Canadian outdoor gear company that's known for its high prices and high-quality products. The brand essence revolves around unrivaled performance, which translates into an innovative product design process that combines science, engineering, and craftsmanship. Not surprisingly, the brand is named after the first reptile to develop the feather for flight, furthering its core as a company that's constantly evolving.

3. Trader Joe's: "Outstanding Value"

Everything about this grocery store centers around providing customers with value — from the products offered in stores to the way it bargains with suppliers. Trader Joe's takes value to heart, which is why it doesn't offer coupons, loyalty programs, or membership cards. Instead, the brand outlines the steps it takes to keep costs low and shoppers happy.

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4. Ralph Lauren: "Success and the American Dream"

What you wear matters to Ralph Lauren customers — it signals status and a commitment to the American Dream. The brand captures this feeling in its brand essence statement by focusing on the Lauren family story and creating ad campaigns that feel like snapshots into the life of America's elite.

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5. Adobe: "Creativity for All"

Adobe caters to a wide variety of customers, but creativity is at the core of every product and campaign. This brand essence has helped Adobe become one of the top choices for creatives, from product and web designers to artists. It's easy to see how creativity unites the brand's identity and attracts anyone looking for design software.

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While a strong brand essence is essential, it takes work to create one. You can get started by following the guidelines below.

Brand Essence Framework

To come up with a brand essence that fits your company and resonates with customers, you want to make sure it includes several elements. As you work through each guideline, try to find a balance between being authentic and aspirational to build trust and evoke an emotional connection.

  • Make it relevant – Brand essence is a feeling or attitude that customers desire. For instance, Apple used the rise of personal computers to introduce its "Think Different" attitude and compete against Microsoft by targeting young contrarians.
  • Make it timeless – An essence should be relevant today and consider how the brand may expand in the future. You don't want to change your brand essence often (or ever) since it's the core of your company's identity. If Jeep suddenly changed its essence from "Adventurous" to "Luxury," buyers would be scratching their heads when comparing the off-road SUV to a plush Lexus.
  • Make it memorable – People remember short, succinct, and punchy messaging, like Nike's "Just do it." While that's the company's tagline, it highlights the importance of keeping your brand essence statement two to three words. Branding experts Al and Laura Ries put it best when they said "a brand becomes stronger when you narrow its focus."
  • Make it distinct – A brand's uniqueness highlights how it's different from competitors. Travelers who look for unique stays on Airbnb are usually not the same people who get elite status through the Hilton Honors program.
  • Make it believable – Your brand essence must be authentic for customers to believe in it and hand over their hard-earned dollars. If every experience with Disney wasn't full of wonder, people would doubt the brand's "magical" essence. You can earn people's trust by keeping all brand touchpoints consistent so the essence is always there and always clear.

Shaping a strong brand essence is no simple task, but it's worth the effort to build a reputable brand. Once you distill your company's core down to its most basic essence elements, you'll be able to define your brand identity, make quick brand decisions, and build customers' trust.

Topics: Brand Experience


What is brand essence with example? ›

Brand essence is the soul of a brand and acts as a foundation so the brand appears consistent and authentic. It defines what a brand stands for, shapes the overall identity, and aims to invoke a particular thought, feeling, or emotion in consumers. Typically, it's expressed in two to three words.

What are five brand examples? ›

Examples include Apple, Nike, Coca-Cola, Advil, and Tylenol.

What are the 5 brand personalities? ›

There are five main types of brand personalities with common traits. They are excitement, sincerity, ruggedness, competence, and sophistication. Customers are more likely to purchase a brand if its personality is similar to their own.

What are the 4 key elements of a brand essence statement? ›

This then becomes a summary statement that includes all four aspects to define the brand: 1) who the target consumer is, 2) the frame of reference for the brand, 3) the benefits that the brand provides the consumer, and 4) the support of the promised benefit.

What is Nike's brand essence? ›

For instance, Nike's essence – “authentic athletic performance” – was translated to the following two slogans: “Just do it!” and “I can.” But, “Saving Great Places” happens to be The Nature Conservancy's brand essence and its slogan.)

What is McDonald's brand essence? ›

Our brand essence is “trusted friend”.

What are 5 brand values? ›

Don't forget to be clear and specific
  • Leadership: The courage to shape a better future.
  • Collaboration: Leverage collective genius.
  • Integrity: Be real.
  • Accountability: If it is to be, it's up to me.
  • Passion: Committed in heart and mind.
  • Diversity: As inclusive as our brands.
  • Quality: What we do, we do well.

What makes a good brand name 5 things? ›

It's vital that the name is distinctive, authentic, memorable, enduring, and defensible, so it resonates with your target audience, sticks in their minds, builds and maintains trust with your consumers, and remains relevant as your company evolves.

What makes a good brand examples? ›

Good branding is an important part of a successful marketing plan, and it consists of both tangible and intangible elements. Some of the most recognizable aspects of good branding include a company's name, logo, slogan and other symbols, along with the names and symbols of its products and services.

What are the 5 brand personality dimensions and examples? ›

Five key dimensions of brand personality include Brand Competence, Brand Sincerity, Brand Excitement, Brand Sophistication, and Brand Toughness. Many brands choose to use a brand character as a vehicle to express their brand personality and facilitate their brand storytelling process.

What does the Big 5 model of brand personality include? ›

Aaker came out with five dimensions of brand personality – sincerity, competence, excitement, sophistication and ruggedness. Her work has triggered interest among scholars to explore the concept of brand personality.

What are the 6 personal branding types? ›

According to research, there are 6 main personas that best identify personal brand types - altruists, careerists, hipsters, boomerangs, connectors & selectives. Every branding type represents a motivation through which individuals share information and establish how they're seen within their industry.

What is an example of an essence? ›

Essence is whatever most sums up the heart and soul of something, its truest most indispensable qualities. The essence of Las Vegas is poker chips and dreams; the essence of Johnny Cash is black clothing and country music.

How do I identify my brand essence? ›

How to Market Your Brand Essence
  1. Identify your brand's mission and values.
  2. Identify your target audience.
  3. Differentiate your brand from your competitors.
  4. Identify your brand voice.
  5. Create a visual identity: colors, fonts, logo.
  6. Come up with a slogan or tagline.
  7. Be consistent.
  8. Build trust.
Sep 28, 2020

What are the 5 elements to be considered in communicating brand position? ›

These five things – awareness, relevant differentiation, value, accessibility and emotional connection – drive customers from being aware of the brand to preferring the brand to being loyal to the brand to insisting on the brand — accepting no substitutes.

What is Coca Cola's brand essence? ›

Coca-Cola – Sharing and Happiness

Coca-Cola has always positioned itself to be a part of a happy experience. While others try to center themselves around refreshment and satisfaction, Coca-Cola's brand essence is that it becomes part of the experience.

What is the brand essence of Gucci? ›

The essence of Gucci is its exclusivity.

What is personal brand essence? ›

Brand Essence is a step-by-step process that offers you a way to discover the most important points of a career and create statements that best describe your individual brand. You may also use this exercise to create stories for interviews and conversations.

What is the Chick Fil A brand essence? ›

We should be a part of our customers' lives and the communities in which we serve.” We should be about more than just selling chicken. We should be a part of our customers' lives and the communities in which we serve.

What is Starbucks essence? ›

Branding is about communicating what makes you distinct in a way that builds desire and loyalty. The essence of the Starbucks brand is to be a meeting place.

What is big idea brand essence? ›

What's a “Big Brand Idea”? A “big idea” is the essence of what and why your brand exists. It should make sense of everything your brand stands for, where you are going and why people should care. It should distil your purpose, vision and mission into something powerful.

What is brand valuation in 5 points? ›

Definition: Brand valuation is the process used to calculate the value of a brand or the amount of money another party is prepared to pay for it. Description: A brand comprises tangible as well as intangible elements relating to the company's style, culture, positioning, messages, promises and value proposition.

What are the 4 pillars of a brand? ›

The main brand pillars are purpose, perception, identity, values, and brand experience.

What is brand value very short answer? ›

Brand value is a term used to refer goods and services which are associated with a particular name, sign which so is popular among the consumers.

What are the 3 types of brands? ›

The Three Types of Branding
  • A corporation or company brand.
  • A product brand.
  • A personal brand.

What is a brand name example? ›

A brand name is the name that you use to identify the family of products or services that you offer or a single line of products or services that you offer. For example, Nike is the brand name used on most products manufactured by Nike, Inc.

What are the 4 qualities of a good brand name? ›

A good brand name should have following characteristics:
  • It should be unique/distinctive (for instance- Kodak, Mustang)
  • It should be extendable.
  • It should be easy to pronounce, identified and memorized. ...
  • It should give an idea about product's qualities and benefits (For instance- Swift, Quickfix, Lipguard.)

What are 3 important aspects of a successful brand? ›

Consider these three core elements:
  • Vision statement—What do you want to achieve? What are your core values? ...
  • Value proposition—What value does your organization provide to customers that no one else can? ...
  • Positioning statement—How do you want to be perceived in the marketplace?

What makes a strong brand? ›

Having a strong brand is all about consistent and recognizable company expressions; to offer not only products and services but also meaning. In many ways, a strong brand is the nucleus of a company's success and is the result of an effective brand strategy.

What is an example brand personality statement? ›

Your personal brand statement has to be strong, descriptive, short, and catchy all at the same time. Some examples include: “I help individuals reassess their life choices to discover their true paths to success.” “I develop sustainable business models and marketing strategies to fuel small business growth.”

What are the 5 personality dimensions in marketing? ›

The model categorizes human personality based on five factors: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism (OCEAN).

What is an example brand of brand personality? ›

Sincerity—down-to-earth, honest, wholesome, cheerful(Disney, Hallmark, Amazon, Cadbury) Excitement—daring, spirited, imaginative, up-to-date(Tesla, Red Bull, Coca-Cola, Nike) Competence—reliable, intelligent, successful(Volvo, Google, Intel, Microsoft) Sophistication—upper class, charming(Tiffany, Rolex, Gucci, Apple)

What is Big Five model examples? ›

Big Five Personality Traits
Big Five TraitRepresentative examples
NeuroticismWorried, nervous, emotional
ExtroversionSociable, fun-loving, active
OpennessImaginative, creative, artistic
AgreeablenessGood-natured, softhearted, sympathetic
1 more row

What is an example of a personality? ›

Examples of personality can be found in how we describe other people's traits. For instance, "She is generous, caring, and a bit of a perfectionist," or "They are loyal and protective of their friends."

What are the 4 types of personality? ›

The four temperament theory is a proto-psychological theory which suggests that there are four fundamental personality types: sanguine, choleric, melancholic, and phlegmatic.

What are the 5 A's of personal branding? ›

The 5 A's of personal branding include Authority, then Authenticity, Aspiration, Artisanat and Affinity.

What is the 5 step approach to personal branding? ›

To build a strong personal brand, you need to (1) know yourself, (2) know your audiences, (3) focus on reality instead of perception, (4) create and communicate your story, and then (5) consistently evaluate and continually improve.

What are the 8 elements of personal branding? ›

While the earlier post explained how to create your Personal Brand, this article focuses on the “Key Elements” that should be included in your brand.
  • Be Authentic. ...
  • Define core values. ...
  • Develop Expertise. ...
  • Be Consistent. ...
  • Be visible. ...
  • Network to promote your brand. ...
  • Dress the Part. ...
  • Be Professional.
Nov 11, 2014

What are the five essence? ›

5Flower Essence or Five Flower Remedy is the remedy for emergency, otherwise called the 'rescue remedy. ' It is used in emergency for emotionally upsetting moments and distress. Five Flower Remedy is a combination of Cherry Plum, Clematis, Impatients, Rock Rose and Star of Bethlehem.

What are 5 sentences for essence? ›

a toiletry that emits and diffuses a fragrant odor.
  • Selt-trust is the essence of heroism.
  • Self-trust is the essence of heroism.
  • The essence of language is human activity.
  • The essence of Arsenal's style of football was speed.
  • In essence, all computers are the same.
  • To annotate the essence of life with friendship.
Jul 24, 2020

What are the 12 brand archetypes? ›

There are twelve brand archetypes: The Innocent, Everyman, Hero, Outlaw, Explorer, Creator, Ruler, Magician, Lover, Caregiver, Jester, and Sage.

Who made the brand essence? ›

Essence was founded by Matt Isaacs, Andrew Shebbeare and Andy Bonsall who previously worked together at Accucard, a credit-card company backed by LloydsTSB, where they developed an in-house digital marketing arm called Creative Services.

What at is Coca Cola's brand essence? ›

Coca-Cola – Sharing and Happiness.

What is one example of essence? ›

Essence is whatever most sums up the heart and soul of something, its truest most indispensable qualities. The essence of Las Vegas is poker chips and dreams; the essence of Johnny Cash is black clothing and country music.

What is Starbucks brand essence? ›

Branding is about communicating what makes you distinct in a way that builds desire and loyalty. The essence of the Starbucks brand is to be a meeting place.


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