branding 101, understanding branding basics and fundamentals
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branding 101, understanding branding basics and fundamentals

why our brands important let’s take a
look at one of the best brands in the world coca-cola the total market value
of the company is around a hundred and seventy five billion dollars but one
asset in particular makes up about 75 billion of that and it’s not the secret
recipe it’s the brand brands are both a strategic as well as a financial asset a
strong brand creates customer loyalty and that increases the value of your
company value which can grow if you continue to invest in the brand there
are many other benefits of brands brands allow you to set higher prices for your
products and services people associate higher quality to branded products and
they’ll pay more than for a generic version even when the two products are
identical why because they trust the branded product more brands make and
keep their promises once your product is branded you typically earn a higher
market share while lowering your cost of sales loyal customers don’t need to be
marketed to as much with an established brand it’s easier to launch new products
when consumers see the brand’s logo on a new product they instantly associate the
brand promise to that new product from day one there are other benefits of
brands than just the marketing advantages for example studies show that
companies with great brands have lower employee turnover popular brands help
companies recruit the most talented and passionate employees brands creates
status and esteem for your company in the minds of industry leaders community
leaders the media and financial markets like Wall Street but despite all these
benefits it may not make sense for you to create a brand there are certain
business situations where it would be a waste of money for example in completely
new markets where there are very few if any customers you’d be smarter to invest
your resources in growing awareness and interest in the category first if you’re
already the a leader with most of the market share
creating a brand probably won’t pay off if you’re in a highly fragmented
industry with hundreds or even thousands of small competitors a brand may not be
able to reach enough customers to make it worthwhile if you’re a business is
such that you have only a handful of customers perhaps even one customer like
the government branding won’t do much so take a look at your situation before you
jump right into it but if your business depends on creating loyal repeat
customers a strong brand is the surest way to do it you the branding process has five steps
first we have to define the brand and everything that goes into it a brand is
a promise so we have to clearly define what that promise is and the core values
behind it think of the values as the DNA of the
brand at this step we also define how the brand links to your overall business
and other brands that you may have brands don’t exist in isolation so we
have to give them a home so to speak somewhere in your portfolio we also have
to define what are called brand drivers brand drivers define how the core values
will be manifested into the marketing mix or key business processes that
support the brand it’s all the things associated with a brand that help you
translate its value into actions the next step of the branding process is to
position the brand essentially we are shaping how customers think about the
brand we identify who those customers are what benefits they seek from your
products and services and what they currently believe about those products
and services versus the competition at this step we’re making the direct link
between the products value proposition and the brand promise
once you define the brand promise and how its position in the market place you
need to express the brand imagine the brand as a person a person needs a name
a personality in an identity in terms of what they look like you do the same for
brands at this step we create brand names and logos to help customers easily
recognize the brand and remember the promise that it delivers at this stage
it’s time to build awareness of the brand and put it to work for you
we do that by communicating it and we do that both internally to our own
organization as well as externally to the market why internally your employees
and distributors play a critical role in delivering the promise they create and
deliver products and services that deliver
benefits that customers expect given the promise the brand has made keeping a
brand strong means we have to communicate continuously and most
importantly consistently to reinforce the promise in people’s minds if you
don’t brands lose their value and that leads us to the final step of the brand
building process measure you want to measure the value of the brand or what
we call brand equity it’s what you accrue when you develop promote and
deliver an authentic brand promise as brand equity increases company value
increases you also measure the brand’s performance is it living up to the
promise and isn’t doing what you expected it to for your business the
brand building process takes time and money but if you do it right you’ll
create strong healthy brands that make your business more successful let’s start building a brand first we
have to identify the values of the brand remember that a brand is a promise and
underneath that promise must be a supporting set of values they’re like a
foundation underneath a home for example if I make a promise to you it’s because
I believe certain things are important otherwise I wouldn’t make the promise
the same is true of brands that we created marketing think of brand values
as the key behaviors or virtues of the brand that need to be expressed
consistently day in and day out taken together these values form the essence
or the theme of the brand they’re like a belief system of the brand determining
the brand values starts by understanding the overall marketing strategy of your
business what kind of products and services do
you offer what are the key trends and new opportunities in your markets who
are your customers and who are your competitors given that what is your
overall value proposition in the marketplace you’ve got to have a solid
marketing strategy before you can build a solid branding strategy the two are
closely linked for this course I’m going to use a hypothetical company that wants
to create a brand for one of its new products let’s assume we’re in the watch
business we’re coming out with the new line of smart watches that integrate
with other tech products like smart phones let’s say that our strategy is to
create a watch ideally suited for families but not just families in
general we are targeting the parents specifically we want to position our
watch as the ideal watch for moms and dads for now let’s call it the parent
watch remember that’s the name of the brand not necessarily the name of the
product itself now given our marketing strategy we want to create a brand that
delivers this promise of being the ideal watch for parents we start by
identifying the key values that this new brand must have for this promise to have
any meaning to it so I start by listing beliefs that people
might have about parents for example parents are special being a parent is an
important role in the life of many moms and dads being a parent is hard work
parents do everything they can to help their families by creating this list I’m
looking for one or a collection of some of these to shape and form the main
theme of my new brand I want to create a sentence that conveys what the brand is
all about let’s try this the parent watch celebrates Parenthood by helping
parents be the very best they can be I like this it’s aspirational it’s
linked directly to my strategy and it has a strong emotional appeal we can
always revise and fine-tune this later but for now let’s stick with this as the
core purpose of the parent watch brand both why it exists and what it believes
take a look at the brand’s you have now or the brand you want to create ask
yourself these questions what is the belief system underneath those brands is
it linked to your marketing strategy is it clear what this brand stands for now
and what it wants to be in the future building a strong foundation is the
crucial first step to bring your brand to life a brand’s values form the foundation of
the brand but now on top of that foundation you need to build more about
the definition of the brand think of it as expanding and stretching it out you
do that by creating brand drivers brand drivers are more detailed in descriptive
aspects of the brand they come in different forms they could be attributes
of the brand itself they could be functional or emotional
benefits that the brand delivers they could be self expressive benefits in
other words what the customer is saying about themselves when they consume the
brand to create brand drivers make an exhaustive list of phrases or sentences
about the brand that stretched the brand’s core purpose don’t worry too
much about the wording of these and don’t try to filter them later on you’ll
group them into similar categories and that’s where you’ll edit them to get the
most relevant brand drivers let’s go back to our case study the new brand for
a SmartWatch that’s ideal for moms and dads we call it the parent watch its
core value is the parent watch celebrates Parenthood by helping parents
be the very best they can be given that what else might this new brand be about
let’s start with the list we had already parent watch believes that parents are
special being a parent may be the most important role in a person’s life being
a parent is hard work parents do everything they can to help
their families let’s create more by asking ourselves what else goes into
being a great parent let’s write these from the parents point of view parent
watch helps me do the impossible by balancing tasks and getting it all done
in the day it helps me protect my family it helps me perform my duties at home
work and everywhere else it helps me stay connected to my kids
it helps me teach my kids important life lessons it may
said fun to be a mom or dead wearing parent watch tells the world that I care
about my family above all else do you see what’s going on here
we’re creating a list of specific things that are important to our target
audience then we take those and turn them into attributes of the brand itself
or a benefit that the brand delivers when you do this for your brand you
should have several dozen of these try to create as long a list as possible
then group into categories such as functional benefits the basic job that
the product does emotional benefits how a product makes a consumer feel economic
benefits how a product saves time and money self expressive benefits how a
product makes us appear to others other types of benefits such as benefits to
society or to the environment now once they’re grouped into categories we look
for ways to refine or combine them into a more coherent list for example these
two drivers parent watch helps me do the impossible by balancing tasks and
getting it all done in a day and parent watch helps me perform my
duties at home work and everywhere else it seems similar perhaps I could tighten
these up into one phrase such as parent watch helps me balance multiple tasks at
work home and everywhere else brand drivers put more meaning into the brand
we call them drivers because these are the ideas that you use to express and
communicate what your brand is all about you so what is it that you actually brand
well that’s kind of a trick question you don’t brand things rather you create
a brand with its core promise and list of associations as we did in the last
two videos then you attach something to that brand promise like a product or a
company name by attaching that product or a company name to the brand your
customers associated with the brand now I know that may seem like a subtle point
but here’s why I make it don’t think of branding like taking an iron and burning
it onto the side of a product or it’s packaged like Cowboys do when they brand
livestock that’s the single most common mistake people make when doing branding
they think you can just slap a logo and a clever name on the side of a product
and voila here’s my new brand to be a savvy
branding professional you want to avoid this mistake and instead follow a
discipline step by step process with a set of tools to create and manage your
brand’s that’s what this course is all about
now once you’ve created the core brand promise and list of associations the
correct question to ask is what kinds of things can I attach to the brand the
answer may surprise you we’ve already mentioned products inside
this bottle is fizzy brown water with the syrupy sweet taste when we associate
it with the coca-cola brand the consumer memorizes this association for future
reference every time a consumer drinks what’s inside here they instantly recall
the brand promise and subconsciously think to themselves promise made promise
kept that’s why we sometimes call a brand a locus of emotions it’s all the
emotions inside that are triggered by a brand that define it a brand is a memory
jugger a shortcut so to speak to make that memory jogging a bit easier we give
the brand a certain look and sometimes a name when you wrap that name and
look around the product consumers have a much easier time making that connection
maybe that’s why it feels like we are branding a product like using a branding
iron on livestock it’s not only products that can be branded you might want to
brand just one feature of that product Hertz the car rental company brands it’s
gold club an exclusive club for loyal customers
you can also brand a single ingredient within the product my favorite example
is when Intel created the now iconic Intel Inside brand most people have no
idea what the Intel thing actually did or how it worked
it didn’t matter as long as the computer they were about to buy had Intel Inside
they were satisfied promise made promise kept if your product has a unique
technology especially if it’s something you own perhaps with patents you can
also associated it with a brand Toyota for example branded its hybrid synergy
drive as part of its fleet of eco-friendly cars can you brand services
absolutely a service is the same as a product in that they are both benefit
delivery vehicles Google for example offers a wide range of services that are
branded in fact an entire company can be branded take Starbucks for example you
can also create a string of brands for example Amazon Kindle delivers books
using whisper net technology a branded company a product and Technology
all-in-one you may be thinking hey wait a minute what if you take this too far
that’s a good question if you’re not careful you may end up with what I call
brand chaos where your brand too many things in a way that might confuse the
customer to avoid that take a look at your current brands or brands you want
to create then try to identify what you’ve actually branded a product a
feature and so on good brand builders then start to think
about how these different brands exist together to deliver value for the
customer brands need a home a place to live they
not only need a place to live but you also need to determine the relationship
the brand has with other brands in that home you do this by creating a brand
architecture think of architecture the same as you would when building a house
the architect decides how many rooms you’ll have where they’re situated in
the overall structure of the home and the role of each room bathroom kitchen
and so on to create a brand architecture we do the same thing now there are many
formats and models for this but here’s a general way to think about your options
when building a brand architecture first you could create what’s called a house
of brands each brand stands on its own and has no relationship with the others
consumers know the names of the brands but they don’t know the name of the
company that owns them in other words they don’t know the name of the house
itself your company but just the rooms inside the Procter & Gamble Company is
probably the best example of this it owns many familiar brands that we use
every day like Crest toothpaste Tide laundry detergent and Febreze but most
consumers won’t know that P&G owns these brands or that these brands are owned by
the same company at the other end of the spectrum is the branded house in this
approach the company is the brand all products and services within that
company are associated with that single company brand but they themselves don’t
exist as a brand when you think about a company like caterpillar your mind
conjures up images of tractors and heavy equipment but you probably can’t think
of a product brand within caterpillar it’s what we call a master brand because
it governs over all the company’s products and services BMW is another
great example now in between these two architectures is a third
it’s called a blended house think of it as a mix of the two a little bit of a
master brand with a few individual brands connected to it a good example is
Marriott International the hospitality company
it has a strong master brand Marriott along with 18 sub brands like courtyard
and Residence Inn it’s a nice approach because consumers associate many good
qualities with the Marriott name but then each Hotel property has its own
brand promise for specific market segments when you combine these with the
master brand Courtyard by Marriott consumers instantly understand that
unique promise pretty cool so which approach is best well it
depends on your strategy the brand that house approach is more cost-effective
because you’re spending money to build one single brand but this limits where
you can expand it’d be strange if caterpillar wanted to go into the food
business for example a house of brands is expensive because you have to build
each brand from scratch but then you have total freedom to go into any new
market without affecting the other brands P&G for example can expand into
just about anything many companies use the blended approach to give themselves
the best of both worlds building the brand architecture helps customers
understand your brands the way you want them to and that’s a real advantage to
building brand equity brands can take on a life of their own
almost to the point where they seem like a person and just like us they can have
their own unique personality our final step in the define stage of the brand
building process is to create this personality or what we call a brand
persona given the brand’s promise you give the brand a set of human-like
characteristics that your customers would expect from someone who keeps this
promise now why does this matter well your target audience will better
understand your brand if they can associate it with or think of it as a
human being brands with a personality stand out more
we tend to like them more and most importantly we want to maintain a
relationship with it in marketing that’s a huge advantage because that
relationship causes customers to be more loyal and that’s what valuable brands do
to create a brand persona you have to create a list of personality
traits that shape the overall personality of our brand now various
researchers in the field of marketing have studied brand personalities to find
out what kinds of traits might be available to use one of the most
recognized in this field is dr. Jennifer occur in her classic research report
titled dimensions of brand personality she outlines a framework of personality
traits that brands can take on the five core dimensions are sincerity excitement
competence sophistication and ruggedness now within each of these are more
detailed traits for example under sincerity we would find down-to-earth
honest genuine and friendly now these traits are further broken down
into sub traits for example under the trait friendly we would find the sub
traits of warm happy cheerful and caring now out of this long list of dozens of
personality traits our goal is to select a handful that create this unique brand
persona let’s go back to our case study the parent watch let’s take a look at
our core value the parent watch celebrates Parenthood by helping moms
and dads be the very best they can be you also want to look at your long list
of brand drivers taken together ask yourself if parent watch was a person
how would you describe its personality I selected the following traits family
oriented caring intelligent reliable strong wholesome spirited and of course
fun now keep in mind that these are not intended to be the traits of an ideal
super mom or dad rather these are the traits of a brand that helps parents
become the ideal super mom or dad do you see the difference your brand may have
traits that are similar to your target audiences what’s most important is that
the brand has traits consistent with someone who would make and keep its
promise that makes the brand more trusted in authentic speaking of
authenticity and trust where your customers believe these traits just
because you pick them from a list they will as long as you carefully selected
them to define someone else besides the brand that someone else is you and
perhaps your colleagues the people who ultimately make and keep the promise
authentic brands are those that reflect the characteristics of the people who
deliver value to the marketplace now that’s great brand building you creating and defining your brand is only
the first step of the brand building process at this point the brand is still
an empty vessel empty because you haven’t made or kept any promises to
customers remember that a brand is a promise kept over and over to a target
audience to the point that they believe and trust it trust builds loyalty and
that is your next step to identify the specific customers that you want your
brand to be relevant to for that we use a marketing technique called
segmentation segmentation means dividing the market of potential customers into
similar groupings there are four ways to do it
demographic segmentation focuses on physical characteristics of customers
like gender age they’re hided weight even hair color it’s a very useful way
to segment especially if your brand’s promise delivers on something related to
a customer characteristic if you’re marketing shampoo for redheads for
example then you’d want to group your customers by hair color closely related
to demographic segmentation is Geographic use this approach when you
want to group people by where they live or where they work it can also include
things like where they go for certain activities or where they just hang out
if your brand promise is related to that location
this way of grouping customers makes the most sense
next is behavioral segmentation here we focus on things that potential customers
do or how they behave it includes things like purchase behavior lifestyles and
things like how customers use a product once again it’s the right way to segment
customers if your brand delivers something of value related to this
behavior for example people who want to drive fast are going to appreciate
brands that promise speed finally is attitudinal segmentation this is what
goes on in the customers head about the benefits they seek group
customers by their needs or benefits they’re looking for is extremely
powerful because it gets right to the core of your brand’s promise for example
if you’re building a new brand for an automobile you’d want to group customers
around benefits such as fuel economy luxury eco-friendly or status selecting
the right segmentation approach is critical because it helps you with the
next two steps of the brand building process Express and communicate branding is about making and keeping a
promise over and over to the point where consumers trust you and they become
loyal what do you promise and when do you promise it you answer these
questions by analyzing your potential customers when people buy products and
services they’re buying a collection of benefits you can categorize these
benefits into three types functional benefits refer to a product’s physical
performance for example when buying a car functional benefits include size of
the engine passenger seating or how the car handles economic benefits are
related to saving money or saving time with the car economic benefits would
include the miles per gallon annual maintenance cost or the cars reliability
finally our emotional benefits these are related to the psychological feelings
you get when using a product for a car it would include things like status or
self esteem customers buy things for a mix of these benefits but some are more
important than others if you know what’s most important to them you can appeal to
that need when deciding on your brand promise you can also raise this sense of
importance they place on another factor and focus your brand on that instead you
also want to understand the steps customers take when buying something
that will help you shape the overall experience they have with your brand and
decide the best point to make the promise typically those steps are as
follows first is need recognition phase this is where customers realize that
they want something the next step is information search once customers feel a
need to have something they start gathering information about solutions
for that need once a customer gathers the information they go to the next step
which is to evaluate the alternatives customers make choices based on what
features are important in which brand does the best
job in delivering those features it’s critical that you communicate your
brand’s promise at this point eventually the customer will narrow their choices
down to one brand and go to the purchase phase finally is the post purchase
behavior phase once customers start using the product or service they
compare the results with their expectations that the brand deliver on
the promise how did the product make them feel when they used it this phase
is also critical because customers will form opinions about your brand and share
their experiences good or bad with other customers great brand builders know they
have a role to play in each step of the customer buying process they know where
these steps take place when they take place and who’s involved with these
insights you’re ready to develop an effective brand experience perhaps the most central idea in all of
marketing is that of positioning a company’s value proposition is the
single-minded claim that it makes to change the customers mind and cause them
to do something that something could be to buy a product or to try a product or
to pay a certain price or to visit a website or just to think about your
brand and its benefits in a certain way how you position your product in the
market will ultimately determine the overall promise you make to create your
brand now let’s make a distinction here in a marketing plan you create a value
proposition that is this central piece of your marketing strategy so how does
that relate to brand positioning are they the same well not necessarily but
they’re closely related the brand promise is essentially your overall
value proposition it’s a broad definitive statement of the bundle of
benefits to customers by the brand it’s a clear articulation of precisely what
it is that gives the brand an edge over competitors think of brand positioning
as the long-term strategic positioning your marketing strategy value
proposition is more like a short-term tactical positioning let’s do an example
to see this connection using our case study of the parent watch we know that
our overall brand positioning is the parent watch celebrates Parenthood by
helping moms and dads be the very best they can be now by design we’ve set that
at a pretty high level but what if you’re about to launch a new product or
perhaps just introduce a new feature on an existing product for that you need a
more tactical short-term positioning for example let’s assume our parent watch
has a new feature that allows us to SMS people automatically moms or dads can
use it to create reminders for their kids that come directly from them via
text messaging I’m not sure kids would like it but I bet parents would
so how do we position this new feature for ideas on that you go back to your
brand drivers recall that brand drivers are more detailed in descriptive aspects
of the brand so let’s look over our list created in Chapter two now here’s one
that might work parent watch helps me stay connected to my kids
nice our new SMS feature becomes a credible reason to believe this value
proposition and therein lies the connection between brand strategy and
marketing strategy think of these value propositions designed around your brand
drivers as RT B’s or reasons to believe for the overall brand strategy promises
made promises kept so take a look at your brand’s what
features and benefits of your products and services are you emphasizing in your
marketing strategy then look at your brand drivers to find the ones that
connect best to those benefits that helps your target audience believe the
brand is doing its job well and can be trusted to do it in the future you at this point in the brand-building
process you’ve defined the brand in terms of its values drivers and persona
you’ve positioned the brand in the market and linked it to your marketing
strategy now you’re ready to move into the next phase which is how you express
the brand to do that you create a name a visual look and feel for the brand and
you create a total customer experience for the target audience when they
encounter the brand in this video I’ll review the important considerations you
make when naming the brand the name you select for your brand should do the
following reflect the values and purpose of the brand create an association with
the brand’s persona be easy to say be unique and memorable now before coming
up with names you need to consider what it is that you’re branding a company a
product or service a feature within that product or service or perhaps a
technology how do all your brand’s fit together in other words what is your
brand architecture which we covered in Chapter two let’s do an example with our
case study for this example I need to create a hypothetical company that I’ll
call the California watch company it makes a variety of watches in these
categories luxury high-end watches sport watches for running biking and so on
smart watches for technology lovers and family lifestyle watches my brand
architecture is house of brands so these four categories of watches are branded
independently of each other and not connected with the main company name
let’s focus on our new line of family lifestyle watches beginning with our
first entry into the market the parent watch helping moms and dads be the very
best they can be my product is a SmartWatch that connects with a
customer’s smartphone so it can do a lot of things my strategy is to offer one
model of watch but in different styles and colors
customers can load different functions into the watch depending on the ages of
their children apps for babies toddlers and so on
pretty cool watch do you remember the brand’s persona one of the traits was
intelligent that seems to fit so given the tight connection between my brand
and the product that delivers on the promise I’d be smart to name my product
the same as my brand in this case that makes the most sense for my target
audience once they understand my brand’s promise they’ll associate that promise
with the watch itself if I name it the same otherwise they might get confused
the name parent watch is connected to the values and purpose it’s unique and
easy to say and it seems to fit my brand’s personality the name strikes me
as strong reliable but at the same time fun I like it
there are times though when it makes sense to come up with a name that is
completely new with no literal meaning the name Sony is a completely made-up
name the name Apple also has no connection with the company’s products
and services in that case you have to select the name then communicate the
name in its Associated values and purpose so that people start to make the
connection it’s usually harder and more expensive to do but it can yield a
powerful brand name that sticks in the minds of consumers and that’s an
effective way to create and keep customers the look and feel of the brand is what
consumers see when they encounter it it’s like a visual identity system a way
for customers to instantly recognize when the brand is present to create the
visual identity of the brand you’ll need the following elements first you’ll want
some type of distinctive logo or symbol a logo can take many forms it can be an
object that represents your brand a good example is the Apple logo it can be an
abstract symbol like the Nike swoosh or it can be a word mark which is the words
of your company or brand name set in a specific way the Google logo is
considered a word mark to create a logo it’s best to hire the services of a
professional graphic designer the designer will need to know the brand
values the core promise the brand drivers the persona and of course the
brand name taken together these elements will help the designer create a graphic
look that matches what the brand stands for once the logo is created you’ll need
to have your designer create different versions of it we call these logo
lockups while your master logo should always be rendered consistently you need
variations of it for different placements and usage for example you may
need color and black and white variations or you may need versions for
small spaces like a business card or a large version for the side of a building
your designer should also create a color palette for the brand some of these
colors are used for the logo itself but you should also have complementary
colors that can be used along with the logo these complementary colors might be
used in advertising or perhaps in product packaging or even used for the
product itself your designer should also help you select specific typefaces for
the brand a distinctive font helps strengthen the identity of the brand
along with the you should also have standard
typographic treatments your typographic identity should include specific ways of
handling key types of texts such as headlines or how you write URL addresses
your brand identity should include a consistent style for images all photos
and images used with the brand logo should have a consistent look and feel
image guidelines should also define when and how certain types of images are used
will you use photography or illustrations or both will they be black
and white or color Nike for example relies on large close-up high contrast
images to capture attention and create a distinctive feel finally you wanted to
find a consistent tone for the way you say things it’s like creating a voice
for the brand this applies to everything from headlines in a printed to the tone
of a press release outline the specific language and words that can be used for
example should the tone be formal or more conversational that depends of
course on your brand’s persona so take a look at the brand’s you manage and check
to see that each of these elements are in sync with your overall brand essence
these elements must work together in harmony to create a winning brand
identity when your customers buy your products
and services they go through a distinct set of steps sort of a process we call
it the customer experience or sometimes the brand experience when it’s related
to a brand each step of the experience is called a touch point where you can
figuratively speaking touch the customer and reinforce the brand promise this
forms a tighter more loyal relationship with the customer the first step is to
define the touch points for the typical customer first is need recognition this
is where the customers realize they want something the next step is information
search where they gather information from a wide variety of sources this is a
critical step because this is when a customer is most receptive to your brand
message once a customer gathers information they evaluate the
alternatives based on what features are most important and which brand does the
best job in delivering those features eventually they go to the purchase phase
where they actually buy the product now you might think that the buying process
ends here with the final purchase but there’s one last step called the post
purchase behavior phase once customers start using the product they compare the
results with their expectations that the product work is expected how did the
product make them feel when they used it what do they say to others about their
experience once we define the touch points we go back to our list of brand
drivers our goal is to select a driver from the list that we can emphasize at
each touch point we have to decide where the touch point happens when it happens
and what to say to the customer that relates to that brand driver now it’s a
bit tricky but it’s a key ingredient of successful brand building let’s try it
with our case study the parent watch for the need recognition step I want to use
the driver being a parent may be the most important role in a person’s life
I’ll use this driver in my advertising because of the strong
emotional message within it for information search and evaluate the
alternatives I’m going to emphasize all the benefits of the parent watch like
protecting my family stay connected to my kids and so on I’ll
do this on the brand’s website when customers buy the product I’ll emphasize
that parents are special we’ll create a store environment in a shopping
experience that makes moms and dads feel great about being a parent and finally
in the post purchase phase I’ll drive home the message wearing parent watch
tells the world that I care about my family above all else
perhaps I’ll do this with text messages directly to the parent watch or perhaps
follow up with direct mail I want to reinforce that the customer made a smart
choice great marketers know they have a role to
play in each step of the customer experience they know where these steps
take place when they take place and who’s involved with these insights
you’re ready to communicate the brand to the marketplace you branding is all about making and keeping
a promise as a brand builder you’re the one who makes the promise but who keeps
it is it the product service well if so then who is it that stands behind your
products and services it’s your employees and partners like
distributors who keep the promise brand delivery boils down to people and if
they don’t understand the brand they’re likely to struggle trying to keep that
promise employees have to believe in the brand
and live it every time they come in contact with a customer in this video
let me share with you some ways to effectively communicate your brand
internally there are two parts to this first you have to train your team and
then you need to consistently reinforce it otherwise people stop believing that
the brand is important when you develop training programs about the brand you
should consider developing different programs for different types of
employees frontline employees for example deal with customers every day
the training program for them will be much different than for people back at
headquarters including your senior executives ideally every employee is
trained new ones and especially old ones existing employees might have to change
their mindset a lot to embrace and believe in the brand take an airline
next time you fly watch the Airlines employees listen to what they say
imagine how training on the brand would be different for pilots flight
attendants baggage handlers as well as reservation agents who sell tickets
every job in every contact with customers is different so the training
should match that so what do you train employees need to know the brand promise
how it links to the company’s values the drivers customers will experience when
they encounter the brand the brand identity including look and feel the
name and of course the persona importantly they need to know how they
should think feel and act what words come out of their mouth what actions do
they take to deliver the promise you have to help them
make that bridge from the brand promise to their actions or they won’t be able
to truly live the brand training is important but it’s not enough you must
reinforce it to keep the brand closely tied to the culture of the company first
of all make sure the brand identity is visible throughout the company later
I’ll talk about how to create branded spaces like your company’s front lobby
as a way to reinforce the brand every time the employee walks through it
they’re reminded of the brand most companies appoint a brand champion
and a team of brand ambassadors these are the influential company employees
who represent what the brand stands for they can help others understand how
their words and deeds linked to the brand and its drivers speaking of
employees many companies focus on hiring the right people from the very start
given the characteristics of the brand what characteristics of potential
employees would best align with the brand your Human Resources partner may
be able to help you with that perhaps the best way to reinforce the brand
internally is to do a great job delivering on the promise externally
when employees see that the company consistently lives up to its promises
even in tough times it strengthens their resolve and commitment to the brand so
take a look at how your company communicates internally to its employees
good brand builders look for these everyday opportunities to reinforce the
brand one of the most important steps in the
brand building process is to create a brand book just as the name implies the
brand book is the complete story of the brand and all the elements that go into
it it establishes strict guidelines on every aspect of how a company’s brand
will be managed this affects everything from how the logo can be used the look
of your website how social media is used advertising product design and so on a
basic brand book should include an overview of brand values the core
promise the drivers and persona low those specifications and examples of how
to use it logo lock ups for different uses the color palette font styles
typography image and photography guidelines and writing style and the
tone of voice now a good brand book is a reference document to help employees and
your marketing agencies execute the brand properly that’s why it’s sometimes
called a style guide you might also include things like brochure guidelines
specifications for signage and outdoor advertising design layouts for a print
and web based projects your store design social media guidelines even your
letterhead and business card design now be sure to include visual or written
examples of each of these the more detailed information you include in the
brand book the more helpful that will be to make sure the brand is managed
consistently while these guidelines are important a great brand book goes even
further it could be used to train your entire team
it could help employees understand the brand’s essence it could be created in a
way that inspires people to believe in the brand it might include stories about
the brand and how it served its customers it could outline brand goals
and how it links to the company’s overall strategy a brand book can help
employees know what it means to live the brand day in and day out great branding
is about May and keeping promises in a consistent way
a brand book is an essential tool to help you do just that a very important component of branding
is the product or service that you put in the marketplace they need to do their
jobs in delivering the benefits that were promised now keep in mind they’re
not the only things that have to live up to the brand’s promise every touchpoint
in the customer experience can potentially play a role but it’s usually
the products or services that are the focal point of your branding effort that
means you must teach the people who create your products and services about
the brand take a look at your current products you may notice perhaps the most
common problem when getting into brand building the benefits that your products
deliver currently are not the same ones promised by the brand oops
in other words there’s a gap between product performance and the brand and it
can happen in two ways your product may be under featured or it may be over
featured here’s how to find out make a list of all the key features on your
product or service then for each feature write down the main benefit that the
feature delivers remember that benefits come in different forms functional
economic emotional self expressive and so on then with that list of benefits
take out your long list of brand drivers for each benefit try to connect it with
at least one of the drivers ask yourself does the benefit link to or somehow
support any one of the brand drivers let’s do a quick example with our case
study the parent watch let’s imagine the watch has an app that automatically
sends SMS text messages to kids to remind them to do their homework I can
scan down the list of our brand drivers and yes I see two on the list that
seemed to connect with this feature the parent watch helps me stay connected to
my kids and the other driver that fits it is this parents do everything they
can to help their families now if you find that many of your features and
benefits do not connect to your brand drivers you have a problem your product
is over featured with unrelated benefits and this will confuse your customers in
this case you need to go back to your development team and start creating a
new version of the product that closes this gap you may find that the features
and benefits on the product only cover a small number of drivers once again you
have a gap that needs to be closed and you do that with new product development
take a look at your product development pipeline and do the same analysis you
may be able to collaborate with your development team to modify these
products now to be more aligned with the brand promise if so those products will
do a better job at keeping the promise that the brand has made now don’t forget
that when I say the word product the same applies to any service that you
offer in the marketplace a well-developed brand informs how your
products and services will perform what they look like and how they deliver an
experience consistent with the brand’s S’s you to make a promise you have to
communicate it the key is to select those communication channels that are
most consistent with the essence of the brand it’s authentic persona a simple
framework for this is answering the questions who what why where and how
first you have to decide on why you want to communicate are you telling the
market your overall strategic brand positioning the core brand promise or
are you building tactical awareness around some new feature or benefit of
the product if so this type of campaign would link directly to your tactical
marketing positioning during the positioning step of the brand building
process we answered the next question who that of course is your target
audience you identify the specific customers that you want your brand
message to be relevant to you group your customers using one of four segmentation
approaches demographic Geographic behavioral or attitudinal the one you
use depends on what you’re about to communicate if it’s a new feature you
may want to use behavioral segmentation if it’s about an emotional benefit of
your brand attitudinal is likely the best choice narrowing your target
audience makes your communications campaign more efficient next is what you
are communicating and for that you need to refer to your long list of brand
drivers the brand drivers give ideas about the specific message you want to
include in the communications pick the brand driver that is best suited for
what you’re announcing to the market and the target audience you’ve selected
using brand drivers this way in all your communications reinforces the brand
promise and builds brand equity where you communicate depends on several
factors remember the customer experience touch points and the steps of the buying
process in Chapter four select which step is most relevant to the brand
driver and what you’re announcing to the market you may want to reach the target
audience in their homes places of work during leisure time or perhaps online
the entire customer experience gives you many options and finally is how you
communicate the media channel you select depends on the target audience how many
of them you want to reach the complexity of the message you’re sending and how
frequently they need to hear the message marketers have a wide choice of
traditional media including television radio print advertising outdoor
billboards and digital medium which includes social media websites and
mobile channels each type of media has advantages and disadvantages TV
commercials for example can reach millions of people but it’s expensive
billboards on the other hand are not that expensive but they’re limited in
what they can achieve it’d be hard to explain how to use a complicated product
in a billboard whichever channel you use be sure to refer to your brand book to
make sure all the design elements and tone of the communication are on brand social media is an essential part of any
brand building effort no matter what business you’re in consumers expect a
way to learn about your products and share their experiences with others
online social media is a powerful way to communicate your value proposition and
enhance your brand the most valuable and respected brands in the world use
digital channels for brand building coca-cola for example uses Facebook
Twitter Instagram Tumblr and other channels and these are all integrated
around its main social platform a website called coke journey
according to coke its mission is to inspire moments of optimism and
happiness and build our brands to use digital channels effectively follow
these guidelines first make sure all the sites have a common look and feel they
don’t have to be identical in their design but they must adhere to the
standards defined in your brand book that means all logos trademarks colors
font styles and typography are exactly per standard otherwise you may confuse
customers if a social media site doesn’t look like the brand second be sure all
sites use the same voice of the brand the tone and style of writing should be
consistent with the brand’s personality third be sure to define who can and
cannot post things to the various social media sites it’s essential they be
properly trained on the brand and how to communicate the brand’s values and how
to comply with the company’s social media policies finally be sure to
specify the role of each social media site overall they exist to support the
core brand promise but individually they might each have a different role and for
that you need to refer to your list of brand drivers each social media site is
another touch point in the customer experience and just as you do with your
other touch points you can link each social media touch point to a different
brand driver let’s do an example with our case study the parent watch our
overall brand promises the parent watch celebrates Parenthood by helping moms
and dads be the very best they can be but I’m going to create my brand’s
Facebook page to be all about this brand driver how busy parents do the
impossible by balancing tasks and getting it all done in a day it’ll be
full of helpful tips on all the things parents do the brand’s Twitter feed will
be about high profile moms and dads and their successes the Pinterest board on
the other hand will be full of inspirational quotes about parents and
how important they are to their families I’ll also create a mobile campaign where
moms and dads can opt-in to receive helpful tips on teaching their kids
important life lessons pretty cool so take a look at your digital channels
make sure they adhere to the brand book that they have a specific role tied to a
brand driver and that they are properly managed taken together social media
sites create a community of brand loyal customers who interact with each other
and with your company that’s the foundation for a strong customer
relationship the packaging around your product is
another great way to communicate your brand and build equity it’s one touch
point within the total customer experience but packaging is such an
important touch point because it may be the first physical encounter your
customer has with the brand it may also be the last physical encounter they have
right before they buy the product it’s that last 10 seconds right before the
consumer decides to buy that makes it so important to get the design of your
packaging right as a brand builder you’ll want to work closely with your
internal or external design team and you’ll need to give them guidance on
these three factors first what is the functional role of the packaging a
products packaging can do a lot of work it can protect the product that’s inside
while it’s in the store or warehouse while it’s being shipped as well as when
the products in your customer’s home or work location the packaging can explain
important information about how to use the product or any warnings that might
apply it could explain how to store or care for the product what ingredients
are inside or the price of the product the packaging might have other roles
such as making the product easy to find in a store serving as a gift box or
being easy to dispose of or recycle next you need to decide the key brand and
promotional messages to go on the packaging take a look at your value
proposition and reasons to believe also take a look at your list of brand
drivers and review the functional economic and emotional benefits that the
packaging may be able to convey use the packaging to reinforce your positioning
and the brand promise here’s an example from coca-cola look at the various
images on the can a beach ball sunglasses surfboard barbecue grill hmm
I get it coke means fun at the beach that brand driver is communicated very
nicely by this simple and clever design finally you need to give guidance around
the design of the packaging and for this take a look at your brand book the
packaging most likely will have the brand name and tagline it should have
the brand’s visual identity including logos and color schemes but also look at
the brand persona what are the personality traits of the brand and how
can the packaging be designed to embody these traits for example take a look at
this packaging from Gatorade even the bottle itself looks like the distinctive
G and the word Gatorade very clever take a look at your current product packaging
and compare it to the guidelines in your brand book is the packaging living up to
all the expectations of the brand could your packaging take on more
responsibility in the customer experience great packaging is much more
than a slick protective wrapper around your product packaging design offers a
unique opportunity in both a consumer and business to business markets to
influence customers and brand perceptions leverage to its fullest it
can work hard to create and maintain long term brand loyalty you to keep your brands healthy you need to
measure their performance on several factors first what is the basic
awareness of the brand you need to conduct market research to measure the
percentage of people that recognize the brand when shown the logo or hear the
name of the brand basic awareness is especially important within your target
audience so be sure to direct your marketing research efforts to those
specific customers after a basic awareness you also want to measure how
well the target audience understands the brand can they tell you what the brand
stands for do they understand its distinctive qualities and
characteristics what do they associate the brand with and how closely does it
match with your core promise and brand drivers you may have very broad
awareness of the brand but if customers aren’t understanding it the right way
then you need to go back and either sharpen the drivers or communicate your
brand more effectively finally you want to measure how well the brand is
creating customer loyalty and for this you measure customer retention rates or
repeat purchases or you might measure how likely they are to recommend the
brand to others if you find yourself slipping and customer loyalty it could
be a sign of several things first the brand may be losing its relevance it
might not be delivering benefits that are important anymore to the customer or
the brand lacks differentiation the degree to which customers perceive the
brand to have a differentiated positioning distinctive from the
competition or finally it could be a problem with consistency in terms of how
well the brand delivers across all the touch points if you’re inconsistent and
keeping the promise people lose trust now these are all the external factors
that you measure out in the marketplace you should also measure a few key
internal indicators for example measure the clarity that employees have about
what the brand stands for and its values and positioning how well do your
employees understand the target audience customer insights and brand drivers your
employees are the ones who keep the promise so they have to have
a clear understanding of it be sure to measure the commitment your company has
to the brand in terms of how much support it gets
is it getting its share of the budgets and investments needed to keep it strong
our key individuals devoting enough time to it versus other brands or programs
finally try to assess how well protected the brand is are other companies
infringing on your trademarks or designs or others taking unfair advantage of
your brand by violating your patents or proprietary methods and materials hey
you’ve invested a lot to create and manage the brand so it’s essential that
you keep others from diluting it measurement is important if you measure
these factors routinely you’ll be able to spot trends and head off any problems
with your brand before they happen measuring brand performance is not
enough you’ve got to actively manage the health of the brand and keep brand
equity growing but things in the world around you change and if you’re not
prepared your branding strategy may derail and you end up losing ground in
the marketplace sometimes those unexpected events happen
internally the priorities in any organization are constantly shifting a
change in leadership a new acquisition a change in strategy or perhaps a sudden
downturn in financial results might impact your branding efforts a lot
disruptions can occur externally as well new competitors emerge new regulations
or legal actions might affect your ability to market a product a bad
customer experience or a product recall may be going viral on social media sites
consumer trends change and all of these things might affect your ability to
address the brand from moving forward so here are some tips to help you cope with
these types of challenges and manage your brand’s effectively first all
brands should have a brand steward which is the single individual responsible for
managing brand compliance within an organization everything from product
development to brand identity what often happens in a company is that employees
drift away from the brand standards they’re not doing it intentionally but
they might create a new version of the logo or color palette to fit what they
need at that moment in time a brand stored watches over the organization and
reigns in any initiatives that aren’t in compliance that’s why many companies
have the CEO or others senior officer of the company serve as the brand steward
along with brand stewards you need brand champions people to represent the brand
throughout the organization and there should be one from each cross-functional
department of the company not just marketing these brand champions form a
committee that should hold regular brand review meetings they had the job of
reviewing brand performance measures and recommending ways to improve
performance the committee should review and update the brand drivers cutting out
the ones that are less relevant and creating new ones that better reflect
the trends in the market at least once a year the brand champions should conduct
a brand audit how is the brand performing on all measures both
internally and externally what trends are encouraging and which ones caused
some concern finally the brand team is responsible for reinforcing and
energizing the company around the brand and everything it stands for creating
branded spaces in your company lobby or corporate training rooms is a great way
to do this events and employee activities that celebrate brand
performance get people to see how committed management is to the brand and
it helps clarify the brand’s essence brands are both a financial and a
strategic asset they deserve all the time and attention managing them as you
would any other critical asset of the business you

About Ralph Robinson

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29 thoughts on “branding 101, understanding branding basics and fundamentals

  1. I love love love this channel can not believe it's available for free ! β€β€β€πŸ€— thank you ❀😊

  2. first I thought "wow, that's a 1 hour video of just talks. It's going to be really boring….." but then it's got so much interesting points to jot down. Really well made! Only recommendation is maybe can add more (real life) examples or case studies besides the parent watch, such as the one you mentioned with House of Brands or Brand Houses. Great job!

  3. Lifelong customers are the most important components of running a successful business. Good relationships = success

  4. I have a question, so let's say we are making products that comes from overseas like Japan and we are i north America. You do basically only communicate online with the companies, so how do you make sure you make good relationship with the company and the employees when you are not physically there?

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