A brand has multiple parts that make up one finished system. There is a lot be considered in order to arrive at the finish line with something that speaks to your target audience and expresses your brand’s point of view brilliantly. Lots of steps. Lots of iterations. Lots of thinking and planning, testing, building and tweaking.
Understanding those pieces and parts, brand “anatomy” as it commonly is referred to, can give you a strong foundation of what to think about when building your brand. When creating your brand, you want to elicit all of the senses because a brand is a “feeling” and based upon who your buyer persona is and what they feel about your brand, you need to craft a brand that resonates with them.
Below are the many pieces or “anatomy” that make up a brand.
What is the name of your brand? Whatever it is, it will be how your customer identifies and remembers you. Is it easy to say? Memorable? Does it connect the dots for your demographic to what your service suite is or to what you are selling?
Not many people want to tackle the heady stuff, but it’s necessary to really define your brand. You want to have a robust business plan that explains what solutions your brand brings to the table and how you are different from others who say they do the same.
A brand promise (or value proposition) is a simple expression of the brand benefit based upon a customer’s expressed need. Said another way, the experience is the brand. What experience does your brand PROMISE to the customer at every touchpoint?
A brand’s mission needs to be concise and to the point and once defined needs to be communicated consistently so as not to confuse an audience. It needs to be easy to understand, differentiates you, is believable, unique, remarkable and relevant.
Brand positioning determines how you stand out against your competition. It includes your differentiators. What does your brand do for people? How is it different from the other brands and/or competition in the category? It is paramount to be as explicit as possible and distill down the narrative so you aren’t sounding like all the others in your space.
Brand identity is how people recognize a brand. It’s an accumulation of a logo, color palette, and imagery. It’s a brand’s overall visual aesthetic.
This speaks to the reason to care about a brand. Most consumers enter the purchase path first based on emotions, so it is important to know why consumers should care about what a brand is offering.
Brand quality does not mean the product/service quality itself, but the perceived quality in the customer’s mind. For example, a Ford Focus gets you from point A to point B just the same as a BMW 7 Series, but some people might feel differently. BMW goes to great lengths to give the impression it really is the ultimate driving machine.
The brand experience has many levels. What kind of “experience” is your customer having during the buying process and because of the solution your brand provides? In other words, does your solution work? Having a positive brand experience often times leads to brand loyalty.
Where is your brand’s proof? Do you have proof of concept (the solution does what it says) and social proof (everyone is talking about it)? Are you certified, degreed, accredited? Do you have high scores on Yelp or other reporting services? How do your reviews sound? All positive?
Sometimes called brand values, brand character describes attributes about your company that a consumer might find attractive. Would you say your brand stands for honesty, respect, expertise, or responsibility? You should share them with your customer.
How is your brand packaged? In other words, if you offer a product, how does it look when it shows up? It’s important because it reflects the brand’s identity in many ways. If it’s a service, how is it received? How does the customer feel about the delivery of the service?
Your brand personality connects on a social level. What personality traits would you associate with your brand? Fun, warm, traditional, edgy, serious, creative? Analyze your audience to determine personality parameters when developing your brand.
Your brand vision is the eyes of your brand. Vision is about looking at what’s beyond today. It’s your big ambitious goals that inspire your audience to support your brand.
Sometimes to cast a wider net, you need to associate with other brands. You can do so through sponsorship, endorsements, or even a partnership. Just be sure to make sure your associations align with your brand’s values because those associations are sticky.
Brand pricing isn’t just important to determine how much money you will make but pricing also directly impacts your brand image. How many times have you thought, “It must be better quality because it’s at a premium price?” A higher price implies higher quality, so if you offer deep discounts, people may think something is awry.
A brand is built and created using all of these elements, which then work alongside one another to form a cohesive whole. Be sure that your brand isn’t missing any one piece or part as you need it to be performing optimally 24/7. Finger on its pulse? Check.