Brand Essence – A Brand Building Concept

Brand essence is a compact summary of what the brand stands for. Brand identity structure includes core identity, extended identity and a brand essence. Typically the brand identity will require 6 to 12 dimensions in order to adequately describe the brand’s aspirations.

Because such a large set is unwieldy, it is helpful to provide focus by identifying the core identity i.e. the most important elements of the brand identity. All dimensions of the core identity should strategy and values of the organisation and at least one association should differentiate the brand and resonate with the customers. The core identity is most likely to remain constant as the brand travels to new markets and products. The core identity creates a focus both for the customer and the organisation. The extended identity includes all of the brand identity elements that are not in the core. Brand personality is an element of extended identity.

Core identity has 2 to 4 dimensions that compactly summarize the brand vision. Brand essence provides further focus by giving a single thought that captures the soul of the brand. The brand essence can be viewed as the glue that holds the core identity elements together.

Characteristics of brand essence:

  • Should resonate with customers
  • Drive the value proposition
  • Should be own able
  • Provide differentiation persisting through time.
  • Should be compelling enough to energize and inspire employees and partners of the organization.


Brand essence represents the identity while tag line represents the brand position. The function of essence is to communicate and energize those inside the organization while tag line’s function is to communicate with the external audience. Brand essence is timeless or for a long period of time while the tag line has a limited life. Brand essence is relevant across markets and products whereas the tag line is more likely to have a confined arena.

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