Basic Foundations of Building a Brand
Question, what do you immediately think of when you hear the word branding? Did the logo pop to your mind right away? Sorry to disappoint you but the answer to that is... NO. Logo doesn't equate to branding, actually far from it. Unfortunately, you are not the only one that thinks of logos as brand.
Why do so many people point to the logo when asked to define a brand? Stephen Houraghan of Brand Master Academy perfectly summed it by stating that, "It's because the logo is the first visual representation of a brand and it's visual nature makes it easy for our brains to remember. We store the logo in our mind as a shortcut to recall the experiences we've had with that brand. The job of the logo, therefore, is to facilitate recognition and recall. When Brand Strategists build brands, 90% of the brand is built before they get to the visual identity. That means that the Logo represents only about 10% of the brand. So if you're building a brand and starting with the logo, you're selling pretty tickets to a show that doesn't exist. When the audience turns up and sees there's no show, they'll quickly leave feeling disappointed. That's why so many businesses that skip strategy fail. Build your show first, make the show about your audience and then hand out the tickets."
First things first, let's define Brand Strategy. Brand Strategy has multiple steps and levels. It embodies carefully crafted and streamlined pathways that represent specific core goals of a brand as it evolves. Strategizing a brand involves multiple stages that defines its innermost character and traits. Branding requires thoughtful articulation of its messaging, identity and execution to create a purposeful and meaningful experience in order to achieve its highest level of longevity, unique experience as well as an authentic and long lasting relationship to its target audience .
People have personalities so as your brand. In order to create good business you need to build a successful brand from inside out. When branding, it is vital to know its basic foundation first which will then help build your target audience’s loyalty. That means, being able to create an authentic and strong messaging for your brand which is the foundation that will take your brand to the next level. It all starts with your story and your PVMV ( Purpose, Vision, Mission, and Values ).
How to figure out your brand's Purpose? Purpose is the result of combining Passion and looking into what you think the world needs. Your passion should evoke an emotion that brings about that intense feeling of enthusiasm for someone or something, an idea, proposal, or a cause. Passion is about the willingness to go above and beyond as well as expanding your insight and knowledge about it. The brand's purpose answers the question, “How can it impact the lives of its target audience ?” It is also important to know that purpose goes beyond money and it should clearly answer, "Why does the brand exist?"
PASSION + WHAT YOU THINK OTHER NEEDS ? = PURPOSE
Next is to identify your brand's Vision. It is about envisioning and creating the future with your brand in it. Examples are:
Microsoft :Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
Uber:We ignite opportunity by setting the world in motion. We take on big problems to help drivers, riders, delivery partners, and eaters get moving in more than 10,000 cities around the world.
Those who truly know where their brand is going, are more likely to get them there. Look at your vision as a guiding light that influences key decisions for your brand.
Moving on to Mission. Mission should represent the commitments and the significance for your brand to stay true with what it's all about 24/7. Being consistent to your brand's mission will play a pivotal role towards consumer loyalty . Examples of brand mission are:
JetBlue: To inspire humanity—both in the air and on the ground. We are committed to giving back in meaningful ways in the communities we serve and to inspire others to do the same.
Dropbox: Our mission is to design a more enlightened way of working.
Basically, Vision is what the future holds and Mission is about creating that future. It's important to know that being able to successfully recognize your brand's mission and making sure you abide by it at all times, will provide you a strong guide for future strategic decisions in relation to your brand.
Last but not the least, Values. Values is how the brand should be conducting itself in pursuit of its purpose, vision and mission. Look at it as how your brand should behave and how that behavior affects your target audience's purchase decision and loyalty. A good example is
We Sell the Highest Quality Natural and Organic Foods
We satisfy and delight our customers
We promote team member growth and happiness
We practice win-win partnerships with our suppliers
We create profits and prosperity
We Care About our Community and the Environment
It is vital for the values to resonate to you as the owner of the brand. Values of your brand should be of highest regard and should be practiced and ingrained to your day to day operation which includes customer relations and interactions. Consistency to your brand's values is the key to develop genuine human affection and advocacy towards it.
Truly knowing the basic foundation of branding or rebranding should be your first priority. Your PVMV should come first in order to create a stronger framework for your brand. Imagine the disaster that can result if you build a home without preparing the construction site and pouring the foundation..that is going to be the most likely result if you start your branding with a logo.
It is also important to understand that defining your brand should always start by getting to know your authentic self. Any disconnect between the true essence of your brand and yourself will lead into a weak foundation and will not create the brand’s longevity and consumer loyalty. Human beings consist of more than getting or spending. In reality, most consumers resonate more on how they feel and not what they think about a brand. That said, a humanizing and thoughtful strategy will do so much better in satisfying a brand’s audience and it starts by truly knowing by heart the brand's PVMV and acknowledging that YOU ARE YOUR BRAND & YOUR BRAND IS YOU.