Marta Hortensia Guerrero Bornay

Marta Hortensia Guerrero Bornay

Brand Strategist

Essential components of branding

Thursday September 20th, 2018

The brand is the most valued asset of companies, and in many cases, the most abused. In a context in which brands evolve, define and re-define, acquire specific roles and transform themselves to arrive in an increasingly innovative and optimized way to their audiences, branding becomes the key factor that gives meaning and favors the survival of a brand through difficult times.

Some examples of brands that have known how to value their branding strategy are Redbull, which opted to go beyond their product and generate a unique identity around a successful brand universe, adventure (associated with sport and adrenaline), and that it invests more than 25% of it’s income in marketing actions. Others like Oreo that have generated a consistent and ad hoc brand to relate to their audience, and that takes advantage of real time content and co-branding strategies to generate a link with the world around them. Johnny Walker and their “Keep on walking” works their brand idea under a single message and transfers it impeccably to each of  their advertising drops.

We start from the fact that people like certain brands for the same reasons that we like certain people, for how they speak, for what they say, for how they dress, for their behavior, principles and concerns, in short, for their personality. Someone who tries to like everyone or who is not consistent with his speech provokes the same rejection as a brand that tries to do the same.

Therefore, from the brand strategy we value the importance and repercussion of a consistent identity between what the brand wants to be, what it offers and who it is going to address.

In branding we define both the verbal identity (single sales proposal, brand idea, tone, etc.), and the visual identity (colors, typography, brandscape, etc.), knowing that one does not exist without the other.

To create a solid and focused brand, there are countless processes and methodologies that allow us to reach appropriate identities, and one of those tools is the Brand Platform, a type of manual that collects the DNA of the brand and projects its value proposition. .

The main components of a Brand Platform are:

  • Mission and vision: the intersection between what it is, what it says it is and what it does.
  • Brand assets: equipment, infrastructure, history, etc.

So far we talk about the reality of the company, the most tangible aspects in which to support its brand territory.

  • Functional attributes and emotional values: aspects on which we base the DNA of the brand, to identify these attributes and values ​​we can use tools such as Brand Identity Prism of Kapferer.
  • Personality: a maximum of 3 or 4 attitudes that define the character of the brand, obtained through tools of Brand Being (the brand as a person).
  • Brand idea: we refer to the concept we want to create, or position that we want to occupy. It will solve the question of “why did you come to this world” or “what is your purpose”. The spirit of the company and the future actions of the brand will revolve around this idea. Tools like Bull Eye of Brand Essence help us get to this idea.
  • Value proposition: summarizes the essence of the brand and is sometimes verbalized in a Brand Claim, in a Tagline or in a Baseline, but Campaign Claim is never used.

Thanks to the creation of the Brand Platform as an essential component of branding, we are able to generate the correct messages that give meaning to the brand throughout its life, being consistent with its strategic focus (Why), and reinforcing that identity with successive campaign ideas (How), and executional ideas (What).

Only then, brands will be able to position themselves, compete effectively and meet the business objectives proposed by the company.