Join Drew Boyd for an in-depth discussion in this video Identifying your core values and purpose, part of Branding Foundations.
- 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 create in 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 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. Here at lynda.com, check out the Marketing Fundamentals course to learn all about the marketing planning process. 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 a new line of smartwatches that integrate with other tech products like smartphones. 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 wanna position our watch as the ideal watch for moms and dads. For now, let's call it The ParentWatch. Remember, that's the name of the brand, not necessarily the name of the product itself. Now, given our marketing strategy, we wanna 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 wanna create a sentence that conveys what the brand is all about. Let's try this. "The ParentWatch 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 ParentWatch brand.
Both why it exists, and what it believes. Take a look at the brands you have now or the brand you wanna 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.
- Identifying your core values and drivers
- Linking your business model to the brand
- Identifying customers
- Developing your brand promise
- Expressing brand identity
- Creating a brand book
- Expressing brand in social channels, through advertising, and in packaging
- Measuring brand performance