Knowing who you are - your brand

If you missed the introduction to my seven part series on 7 steps to marketing success please click on the link to check back and see what it’s all about. This week we start to get into the nitty gritty and knowing who you are as a business and your brand.

Understanding who you are and defining your brand is an often overlooked step in many businesses. New business owners in particular often ignore this step and instead jump straight in to Step 2 and create a logo, so they can tick that box and get on with other aspects of setting up their business.

While logos are clearly important, as we’ll see in Step 2, the logo alone does not constitute your brand. A brand is a lot bigger than that. Your brand should describe the ‘character’ of your business. It needs to be able to convey who you are, what you stand for, and the personality of the business. Only once you understand who you are can you go on to produce your visual identity, including your logo.

There are six primary areas you need to concentrate on to define what can best be described as your ‘brand platform’. These are:

Brand Vision The brand’s guiding insight into its world.
Brand Mission How the brand will act on this insight.
Brand Values The code by which the brand lives. The brand values act as a benchmark to measure behaviours and performance
Brand Essence The brand’s promise expressed in the simplest, most single-minded terms. For example, Volvo = safety; AA = Fourth Emergency Service. The most powerful brand essences are rooted in a fundamental customer need.
Brand Personality Attributing human personality traits (seriousness, warmth, imagination, etc.) to your brand as a way to achieve differentiation. Usually done through long-term above-the-line advertising and appropriate packaging and graphics. These traits inform brand behaviour through both prepared communication – marketing content, imagery etc. - and through the people who represent the brand - your employees.
Brand Tone of Voice How the brand speaks to its audiences.

These six factors, which combine to create the brand platform, are the DNA of the business. It’s generally not something that’s always obviously visible, but it is a fundamental part of any successful business - and once set in stone will lead you perfectly on to what I’ll be covering next week - creating your visual identity.

Brand Platform Source:

Next week I’ll be looking at how to create your visual identity but if you can’t wait until then click on the button below to download the booklet.

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