A brand is so much more than a logo and a list of products and services. It is a story, a mission, and a promise. Creating a trustworthy brand and establishing a real emotional connection with your audience is the best way to build a positive, meaningful, and lasting impact on your community.
So how does one go about creating a memorable, authentic, and honorable brand? The best way to start is with a brand essence statement. This is slightly different than a mission statement. A mission statement declares your intentions. A brand essence statement expresses why and how you will accomplish your mission. The four main components of a brand essence statement are:
- Your brand values
- What sets you apart
- Emotional effect on your audience
- Plan for consistency
Let’s go through them one-by-one.
1. Your brand values
What kind of organisation do you want to be? What are the words you want people to use when describing your brand? This should be a highly focused description of only the most important values that will coalesce to drive your brand forward. It can be either a full paragraph or just a few adjectives that you want associated with your organisation. Take Disney World for example. They’ve done an incredible job of communicating their values so that we all think of magic, family, and happiness at the mention of this place.
2. What sets you apart
Why should people choose to support you and your organisation over all of the other options out there? You need to consider your brand positioning, your promise or pledge, and the community identity you represent in order to create a brand personality and an exceptional experience for your audience. Uber disrupted and gained international market positioning in the travel industry by creating a customer-centric platform that offered a new level of safety and security that taxi services haven’t been able to match. Now, we shouldn’t all be striving to be Uber, but we do need to find our own unique qualities that make us a better choice than our competition. Again this can be a paragraph or set of bullet points.
3. Emotional effect on your audience
Who is your target audience and how do you want them to feel while interacting with your brand? People tend to make decisions on their emotions and the way different options will make them feel. If you want a certain type of person to engage with your organisation, you need to use a specific tone to elicit the right emotional reaction. Write down how you want your audience to feel before, during, and after exposure to your brand.
4. Plan for consistency
All of your work to create this statement will fall apart if you don’t have a strategic plan to create and deliver consistent material. Everyone in your organisation needs to understand your brand essence and know how to implement it throughout all levels. Create a strategy that best suits your brand identity and goals.
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