A promise made to customers, shareholders, employees and stakeholders. It lives in the hearts and minds of our employees, customers, consumers before, during and after any transaction with our products or services. It may be symbolised by a logo but its identity runs much deeper than cosmetic appeal. It is an encapsulation of the spirit at the heart of our purpose, mission and values.
Anything less would be like putting lipstick on a gorilla.
Brands behave like people
Like people, the way a brand looks, presents itself and talks are the ‘physical’ or ‘experiential’ attributes that connect it with the world around it. But look a little deeper and it is the essential personality that makes the brand special and different, relevant and engaging (or not). This distinctive personality is driven by a set of "underlying values" the heart of which can be encapsulated into an "essence" or ‘DNA’.
While the time and resource to make well-considered decisions is shrinking, the level of knowledge and intelligence needed to make those decisions is escalating as is the cost of failure (reputational and financial).
So where do we place our trust? Quite simply, in brands that earn it.
In many industries the homogenisation of new technologies, together with ever-shorter development cycles, makes it hard to differentiation products and services solely on specification or price. Time pressure compounds the dilemma for decision-makers and the security of a trusted brand, whose values resonate with their own, has become one of the most vital selection criteria.
There are three vital components on which every great brand depends.
We call this the Brand Triangle:
If a brand is not distinctive it simply will not cut through the noise of a busy marketplace.
The brand should satisfy deep-seated needs in ways that transcend the physical product.
Every touch-point on the customer journey should be aligned to reinforce, not diffuse, brand character.
You can create a unique competitive advantage, making your brand the preferred choice in your audiences’ minds, by managing it carefully.
If you are not managing your brand, who is?
Emotional benefits - enabling the brand to ENGAGE
Only when the ‘Functional Requirements’ have been satisfied, can the promise and
delivery of higher values and benefits be added to drive preference and loyalty.
Functional Requirements - equipping the brand to COMPETE
Rational factors like ‘awareness’, ‘relevance’ and ‘need fulfilment’
are essential ‘best practice’ criteria for the category.