Understanding and building your own brand platform
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So, what is a brand platform?
A solid brand platform empowers diverse suppliers to invest confidently across TIME, MONEY and PEOPLE in ways that will garner dependable, repeatable and scalable revenue.
A brand platform consists of 10 specific brand assets that, when created in sequence, provide business leadership with tools to manage all functions — specifically sales and marketing — with direction and alignment. The 10 assets are listed below, along with a few ideas on how to craft the assets on your own or with your team.
-Background:The company background is like a rudder for a ship. Defining it helps guide the brand by creating awareness of how the its DNA came into present day. “How did your company get started?”, “What brought you to where you are today?” and “How did each of your leadership team members arrive?” are questions you should ask. Talk about the questions as a team. See if there are any common threads in team members’ histories. Use the discussion to learn new things about each other and document milestones of the company history along the way. Be careful not to make this a timeline, but an understanding of how the brand got to be where it is currently.
-Goals/Objectives: Put them in writing. How much revenue do you want out of a marketing campaign investment? You need to know that amount to build a platform that will deliver on your goals. Go for the brass ring but set your actual course on what’s achievable. Objectives must be measurable! Objectives are how you confirm progress against goals. Some common objectives include increasing sales, driving awareness or educating consumers.
-Barriers: Dig deep. Be vulnerable. What’s in the way of achieving your goals? What could compromise your objectives? Write out a list of barriers without feeling like you must fix them. Separate the list into marketing, sales, human resources and operations. Know what impact each function is having.
-Strategy: Strategies are the commitments you make to invest in your marketing, so you can deliver on objectives and ensure your goals. Start by looking at your barriers. Specifically target marketing and sales barriers which — with a bit of creativity — can quickly convert into strategies. What initiatives do you need to invest in to meet your objectives?
-Audience: List the groups you believe you sell to. Then, cross off those that do not pay you. If they have not been in your receivables list in the last two years, they aren’t your most strategically valuable audience. Who is left? What’s consistent across those still on the list? That’s your primary audience. Next is your secondary audience — those not directly paying you but still involved. Lastly, do you have nonpaying stakeholders that are critical? These people likely sit on the list that was crossed out. Nonpaying stakeholders could be employees, beneficiaries, partners and vendors, essential components of your supply chain, influencers, board members and even the greater public.
-Insight: What’s a category truth? Something you can say is setting the tone across the category your audience is within. What is a common behavior you’ll see your primary audience exhibit? What needs remain unmet? How does your brand offer your audience a solution?
-Position:P osition is where you sit versus your category or industry. Once you know where you sit, you can determine how to defend your position. For example, in the automotive industry, Volvo has a reputation for safety, while BMW has a reputation for performance. You and your competitors all have positions. Knowing yours means you can defend it.
-Promise: Your promise is what you can operationally deliver every single day. It’s not trendy. It isn’t catchy. It’s real, and it can be proven in a court of law that THIS IS WHAT YOU PROMISE TO DELIVER when you sign a contract or create a transaction of any kind with anyone buying from you. When you sell on promise, to the right audience and with the right positioning, you can sell on value versus commodity.
-Support: When you make a promise, it’s important to be able to support it. Support comes from your years of experience, credentials, certifications, patents, client list, case studies, testimonials and processes. Well-defined support helps you demonstrate credibility, consistency and stability in your promise. It also provides reinforcement for your position in the marketplace.
-Tone/Personality: Tone is the way you speak, the things you say and the words you use. Personality is the way you behave, the things you believe and the acts you demonstrate. The other nine assets listed above are technical and can be proven. Whereas the asset of tone/personality is emotional and subjective and makes your brand uniquely yours. It is what creates the emotional connection with your promise. When done correctly, it nails the emotional formula of the audience you are looking to secure.
When you work through the 10 assets listed above, you have the basis of a brand strategy. There might be holes, or things you need to figure out. And there might be a to-do list coming out of that. Our next article talks about how you walk through a 30/60/90-day plan to close any gaps, including approaches for user research, mood boards and concept statements in safe do-it-yourself techniques.
If you’d like to attend a workshop for a brand strategy session, Jayne Agency is providing as much access as possible. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll help you find a workshop — so you can explore the 10 assets shared here.
To View the WeUSA Artcle: https://digital.weusa.biz/?issueID=37&pageID=96