The basis for a strong brand is its position. Your position is the foundational statement that will drive every key decision within your organization. This is the space or reputation that a brand claims in the marketplace. It is the existential “who are you?” question that companies have to ask and answer for themselves – truthfully! – if they are to move forward. Does your brand try on new taglines every year? That’s a sure sign of a deeper positioning problem.
Products lose their relevance, but great brands can live forever. That’s because brands aren’t products, but promises. Your brand is the value you offer to customers. The answer to “what does your brand offer?” should be one or more powerful benefits that keep customers coming back – and telling their friends. Brands need to be better, different, cheaper… or they will not be around very long.
Audiences have the ability to move and adapt faster than ever before. Like the people they are comprised of, they age, their tastes evolve, and their needs change. Does your brand move with its audiences – or can it meet the next generation in a similar space? Many brands focus on whom they want to attract when they should be focusing on who wants what they offer. Are you dishing up fresh, hot, fast pizza? Identify the audiences that desire exactly that. Then, create reasons for them to love your product above all others.
The best messaging comes from the heart of the consumer, not the product details. A brand’s message must continually evolve or the brand will lose its relevance. This requires continuous care and even-handed stewardship. The message must accurately reflect the brand position and clearly communicate the offer using language that the audience recognizes as one speaking exclusively to them… which can only be done by staying fresh and relevant.
Delivery is where your big offer, your powerful message, your clear-cut position, goes public. It’s time for some big decisions! How and where will you connect with customers? If your audience doesn’t read the newspaper, why would you deliver your message there? Getting this right is vital to the future of your brand. Successful companies create brand experiences at every turn and favor quality of experience over quantity of tactics.
FIVE GATES OF BRANDING
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