As a consumer-centric Marketer, I believe that everything has to start and end with the consumer in mind. Another way to phrase that is there is only one source of revenue: the consumer. At the core of any brand is consistency. If we go back over a hundred years ago, in a much simpler shopping experience, brands came about as a stamp that helped to separate itself from the basic commodity. Before there was Kellogg’s, you could still get cereal but from week to week or from store to store, there was no consistency. With Kellogg’s entry, it really was a statement that leaves consumers knowing that “you can expect these to always be the same”. Those early brands such as Ivory, Kellogg’s or Nestle signaled an expected consistency for the consumer.
Consumers first connect with a brand’s Big Idea, which should be an outer reflection of the Brand Soul. The role of the Big Idea is to help simplify brand messages that makes it easily understood and remembered. The Big Idea must be unique, own-able and motivating. It must gain a quick entry, be layered easily and have longevity over the life of the brand. The brand’s Big Idea helps to tell project consistency over the first 7 seconds as they notice, the 60 seconds they need to test the idea, the 30 minutes of time they may use to make a decision on buying and over the lifetime of the brand as they experience the brand. To read more on creating a Big Idea for your brand, click on this hyperlink:
As we map out how consumers buy and experience brands, we have created 5 main consumer touch-points that will impact their decisions on whether to engage, buy, experience and become a fan. Our five consumer touch-points we use are:
- Brand Promise: Brands need to create a simple brand promise that separates your brand from competitors, based on being better, different or cheaper.
- Brand Story: Use your brand story to motivate consumers to think, feel or act, while beginning to own a reputation in the mind and hearts of consumers.
- Innovation: Fundamentally sound product, staying at the forefront of trends and using technology to deliver on your brand promise.
- Purchase Moment: The moment of truth as consumers move through the purchase cycle and use channels, messaging, processes to make the final decision.
- Brand Experience: Turn the usage of your product into an experience that becomes a ritual and favorite part of their day.
To ensure a consistency in how consumers view your brand, whether that is the first touch-point or the most recent, all 5 touch-points should be aligned under the brand’s Big Idea.
As we start mapping the idea to the five consumer touch-points, we can build the organization around the Big Idea, impacting your brand’s positioning, communication, product development, selling, the operations and the culture that back the organization. With our fictional brand “Gray’s Cookies”, we can see below our Brand Idea Map that takes Gray’s Big Idea of “the best tasting yet guilt-free pleasure” and shows how that works across all 5 of the consumer touch-points.
Taking this one step further, the Big Idea should drive every part of your organization. It is my view that R&D, Finance, Planning, Marketing Communication, Sales should all be looking to the Big Idea for guidance. While the Brand Vision is what you want to achieve, the Big Idea is what you want to project.
I was working with a client on the brand positioning and the development of a Big Idea, and the Ad Agency at the table said “let’s take this to our Creative Director and see how well it would execute in the market”. And I said “Sure, but we should also take it to the head of HR, R&D and Sales to see what they think of it”. More and more of the world’s best brands are starting to understand that brand is equally an external and internal story. The best brands are moving from just selling product under their brands to creating experiences that go far beyond the product. Are people only going to Starbucks because of the coffee? Starbucks now goes far beyond coffee. In fact, we see Starbucks as providing a personal moment of escape from a hectic life, between work and home. It’s just as much about the conversation with the barista, the nice leather chairs and the people I might meet as it as about the coffee.
When it comes time to the Marketing Execution, the Big Idea should guide everything you do, whether that is paid media with advertising, earned media through public relations, social media through Facebook, Twitter or conversations, search media, your home page where you might share information, influence or close the sale, experiential Marketing that brings the brand experience to life and the purchase media that helps manage the consumer towards the purchase moment.
A brand finds equilibrium when the BRAND SOUL, BIG IDEA and REPUTATION are all the same.
At Beloved Brands, we lead workshops to help teams find their Brand Positioning, helping the team define their target, benefits and reason to believe so they can find a space that is unique, own-able and motivating. Click on the Powerpoint file below to view:
You will find this type of thinking in my book, Beloved Brands.
I wrote my book, Beloved Brands, as the playbook for how to build a brand your consumers will love.
Beloved Brands has everything you need to run your brand. You will learn how to think strategically, define your brand with a positioning statement and a brand idea, write a marketing plan everyone can follow, inspire smart and creative marketing execution and analyze the performance of your brand through a deep-dive business review.
- How to think strategically
- Write a brand positioning statement
- Come up with a brand idea
- Write a brand plan everyone can follow
- Write an inspiring creative brief
- Make decisions on marketing execution
- Conduct a deep-dive business review
- Learn finance 101 for marketers
Available on Amazon, Apple Books or Kobo
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At Beloved Brands, we help build brands that consumers love and we make brand leaders smarter.
Help create a brand positioning statement that motivates consumers to buy and gives your brand an ownable competitive advantage.
Build a marketing plan that forces smart focused decisions to help organize, steer, and inspire your team towards higher growth
Align your marketing execution behind a brand idea that tightens our bond with consumers and moves them through their buying journey
Use a deep-dive 360-degree assessment of your brand’s performance to trigger richer thinking before you write your brand plan
Our brand training program will help realize the full potential of your brand leaders, so they are ready to grow your brand.
To learn more about our coaching, click on this link: Beloved Brands Strategic Coaching
To learn more about our training programs, click on this link: Beloved Brands Training
You have my personal promise to help you solve your brand building challenges. Above all, I will give you new thinking, so you can unlock future growth for your brand.
If you need our help, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 416 885 3911