A Brand is simply a means to an end. A tool to nudge you closer to your business ambition. So when thinking about your brand, don’t start with a blank sheet of paper, think about your business challenge, then how the brand can help serve that business challenge.
Here’s a simple framework for thinking about the business issue your brand can serve.
1. The Relevance Brand
When your business is in a category most consumers are unaware of or believe is not for them, then RELEVANCE is what your brand needs to achieve.
The brand’s role must be to build a bridge into consumers life. Here the marketer needs to avoid the trap of selling a product, the consumer does not believe they need your product. Sell something much bigger that your product can be a part of. So for example in the self-storage market where many believe they dont need the product, dont self space, sell a brand idea that helps people expand and contract their lifestyle through storage.
2. The Educational Brand
There are few categories where consumers have little knowledge or familiarity but high interest. The best example I can think of is the investing or finance category. Who does not want to make their money work harder? But most of us are overwhelmed by what is involved. Here build a brand that takes the consumer on a financial learning journey.
3. The Connection Brand
Many consumables fall into this category. Things we all need and probably buy often but have little or no interest in.
Marketers often fall foul here where they overclaim the significance of their product in the life of the consumer. How many times have you seen a laundry brand claim to make a homemaker a better mom because of superior cleaning power!
One of the best examples of Brand Connection in the laundry category is OMO with their Dirt is Good brand idea. They have created a world where play and getting dirty is an essential part of child development. So instead of obsessing about getting rid of dirt, Omo obsesses about all the fun and messy activities that help kids develop.
4. The Personality Brand
Sometimes in a highly competitive category, it is simply enough for a brand to stand above the rest by taking on an attitude or persona that it a little unexpected.
The Juice category is one of wall-to-wall wholesomeness, so when Innocent Drinks introduced a fun and cheeky attitude to fresh juice drinks people responded.
Haagen-daz revolutionised the ice-cream category through Personality. They took an adult approach to what was traditionally a family and kid domain. And can you imagine a fashion brand without a personality? The kiss of death! The trick is creafting a personality that is distinctive and desirable.
So before you conduct a competitive analysis or a piece of consumer research, ask this simple question:
What business challenge must the brand help us overcome?
Then design a brand idea that tightly focuses the brand around that challenge.