There are loads of things to think about when building a brand. Sometimes it can get complicated. Overwhelming even. In a world of hustle-and-bustle, there are huge benefits to having clarity. To keeping things simple. To having focus. A north star in the noise of everyday life. Something that aligns and defines. Truth.
One tool I love to use with my clients is my “Brand Strategy Triangle”. Once defined for a brand it can be used to sense check all business initiatives. It can be used as one slide in a presentation deck to articulate what the brand is all about. It can be used in induction packs and sales pitches. On websites and in brochures. On the back of a napkin at a business lunch. It’s easy to remember. It’s simple. It’s powerful.
Sound like something you could use? Let me walk you through it. Firstly here it is in all its glory:
The triangle is divided into four segments which articulate the key components of a brand. Within each segment, a clear and simple statement should be produced to define the high-level brand strategy covering these essential areas:
Based on Simon Sinek’s famous advice to: “Start with why”.
This is why the brand exists beyond making money. What it is that the brand will strive to accomplish even if there were no barriers. The brand’s purpose.
Who is it that the brand exists to serve? The brand’s “tribe”. What type of people are they? How will the brand transform them and make them stronger? What do they need or want?
How the brand goes about to fulfil its “why”? The brand’s mission. The brand’s values and guiding principles of practice.
The brand’s promise. What it will do for the customer? What will ti deliver? How will it benefit the customer?
So that’s it. Looks simple, doesn’t it? I find most leadership teams initially look at it and think it would be easy to answer these questions and create their triangle - but when they begin to do it they can suddenly realise that although as individuals they might be able to come up with statements for each component, these are not always aligned with what other leaders believe. If this happens it highlights that there is a lack of alignment and therefore focus. If the leadership team are not all pulling in the same direction or able to articulate the brand consistently how will the teams underneath them build customer and employee experiences which will deliver in a unified way? How will the customer perceive the brand and its activities?
This is why this tool is powerful.
If you don’t have the clarity or the leadership alignment you would like around your brand then there is only one thing to do. Get the right people in a room and work collaboratively to create simple statements for each segment.
Tips: Have someone facilitate (ideally an outsider to keep things fresh). Also, have that outsider ask staff and customers what their thoughts are to give leadership a fuller perspective and highlight areas/gaps which may need to be worked on.
Once in place, you can use the triangle as a strategic tool. Add depth to it. Do market research around it. Evolve your marketing, HR, product development, customer experience, innovation etc from it. But when it's all boiled down these are the basics.
Enjoy and good luck building your brand in 2020.