10 steps to build your brand's foundation
Note: You can download the PANDO. Brand Pyramid underneath the article.
In this saturated world of products and services and commercial activity, it is easy to disappear into the crowd. But that is exactly what you do not want. So how can you make your best efforts to stand out? Branding! Branding does not only give you an “unique” identity
but it also allows customer loyalty.
So how do you go about building your own brand?
There are tools that can help you and today we would like to introduce you to one of the most efficient ways: using a Brand Pyramid. Below there are the 10 segments of the PANDO. brand pyramid.
In five years, your company disappears. What value will the world miss most?
They say that what humans need to be happy is a sense of purpose. And what your company needs to matter, is as well, a purpose! Purpose drives goals! It gives people something to connect to and to get behind! And it gives meaning to a commercial enterprise beyond profits and the bottom line ever could. Your MTP will define you, and define what you are doing for the world and for people.
So you must figure out your MTP before anything else. The MTP is the foundation to your new organisation. And it is the first aspect you must settle for your Brand Pyramid.
For example: Check out the MTP of Tesla “Accelerate the transition to sustainable transportation.”
What values do you have to abide by to deliver your mission?
Your company is like a person. Your brand is who you are. And people have values. So, what are your company’s values? What is the code of conduct, the moral guideline? Your values will guide the way you make your choices in your goal to deliver your Mission to your customers.
Your values will also determine the kind of partners you take on and other business connections you make. And this makes sense because it would be much easier to work with people who share your values. Plus, it contributes towards creating a more consistent brand image.
You only buy fair trade products? Well good for you! You believe in supporting university students by giving them jobs? Great! Once you know your purpose, you must know your values. What will your company do or not do in order to achieve that purpose? That’s step 2.
For example: at PANDO. our values are reliable, brutal honesty, edgy & bold, authentic and truly passionated
What do you want your newspaper headline to say in fifteen years?
Now that you’re getting started, you must know where you want to go. Your vision will be your ultimate goal. Having a vision that is in line with your purpose and your values are very important because that will enable a smooth transition from where you are now to where you want to be.
Your vision is also something your customers can share; just like your values. It does not only give a direction but also creates a bond of trust between you and your customers.
Briefly characterize: Nature vs City, Expensive vs Cheap, Warm vs Cold, Young vs Old,, Loud vs Silent etc.
This basically means what lifestyle is your service/product associated with and links closely to your buyer persona. Your product could be as wide-ranging as the Nintendo Wii was or as niche as an app for stamp collectors, which serves a specific lifestyle. Remember: that is something that helps a lot in marketing.
Figuring out the lifestyle aspect is another step towards consolidating your brand image. Keep it in line with your values, vision and purpose and you’re well on your way towards creating a consistent brand.
What sentence do you want your customers to say to themselves in their heads when they see your brand?
Perhaps it is not something as limited as a sentence, but rather what you want your customers to think and feel about your brand. It is the overall impression. Do you want them to think, “Classy women wear this brand” or “Hip and cool and street” or “Stable and reliable” or a multitude of other possible impressions. The correct message means that you have managed to express successfully to your customers what your company is all about.
You can give the impression or relay the message you want by way of your product design, promotional methods, marketing campaigns, corporate social responsibility initiatives, etc. All of these, if done consistently, will contribute towards solidifying your message in the public psyche.
Simply put, your message is your reputation.
What is your product or service?
Now we come to the first of the well-known 4 P's
Well, this one is clearly a no brainer. Your product must match your brand identity. It would make no sense for your product to be an app for artists but you push forward a strictly traditional, uncreative, strict and cold brand identity. While that persona may be ideal for certain industries, it is perhaps not quite so appropriate for the arts.
Where is your product being sold?
P #2. The place of sale for your product or services matter a lot! You would not be pushing exclusivity and elegance while peddling your wares on a street cart! Likewise you would not see a Cartier counter on a music festival.
The place adds to the identity of your brand and is one more step towards creating a whole, rounded image for your company
. And of course, it must fit in with all the points already mentioned above.
How much is your product being sold for?
P #3, pricing is another way of creating consistency. It goes without saying that you cannot push for an image of affordability when your products/services cost 30% more than the average industry going price.
It is important that you match your pricing to your buyer persona and existing brand image. How much would your customers be willing to pay? How much would they expect you to charge considering the other aspects of your brand. For example, with the amount of importance the Body Shop places on free trade sourcing, I almost expect their products to cost a little bit more than another brand on the same luxury scale in the same industry.
How will you advertise for your product?
This is the last but not least. The most important (perhaps) step of all
. Promotions bring together all the aspects of your brand image and brings it forth into the world for all to see. So you better make sure everything else is in order.
The method of promotion is also something you must fit into your brand identity. How will your promotional campaigns run? Where will be they be? What kind of images will you use and what sort of messages will be on the banner? Which sports teams will you sponsor and what events will you be present at?
The method and style of your promotion must match the rest of your brand identity as it is the ribbon on the top and it is how the world will get to know you.
In summary, consistency is always key. It will make you more memorable to your customers as well as encourage the development of a loyal fan base. Consistent pushing of the message you have decided on is what will make the market remember you and trust in the values and principles your company stands for. It will also guide the decisions you make for your company because the first question you will ask it, does this fit into the brand image? And you can take it from there.