The Pillars of Branding
Mike Paffman, CEO, VIRGO PR
Brand pillars are important for brand recognition purposes. They form a framework for developing a brand strategy. An organization uses brand pillars to define their unique position in the market. Brand pillars can be anything from values, visuals, to the workflow. Understanding brand pillars well increases the chances of success of a business. They are an extremely important part of the business strategy and the important brand pillars are given below.
Purpose – A brand exists because it has a purpose. The reason for the existence of a brand goes beyond making money. Consumers care about the kind of impact a brand is making in the world. The purpose of a brand helps a brand to connect with consumers on a more emotional level. It should exist right from the beginning, a sloppy brand angle will make consumers suspicious of the brand. A brand should also be committed to its purpose and not just use it as a marketing tactic. For instance, Octopus Energy, a green energy supplier in the UK, keeps their costs lower than their competitors. They also offer a range of tariffs to their customers which are below the energy price cap.
Personality – Brand personality refers to the characteristics that are attached to a brand. When a customer relates to the emotional characteristics of a brand, it creates an emotional connection. Once the personality of a brand has been established, the brand can start working on its voice. The personality of a brand creates the first impression and makes it familiar. For instance, Tesla has a sophisticated and exciting personality. The personality of a brand is also very important for its positioning and its differentiation. It helps customers to decide whether a brand is suitable for them. While building a brand, it is wise to focus on the message and voice of the brand.
Position – With consumers being bombarded by information from everywhere, a brand needs to position itself properly so that it can gain a distinctive competitive advantage. A brand should know who its audience is and what their likes and dislikes are. It should know what sets it apart. It is also necessary to know about the problems that the customers are facing and how the brand can solve them. The brand should also identify the category in which it is competing. For instance, Dove focuses on the natural beauty of women and has positioned itself well on the basis of it. Their message helps to reinforce their position.
Perception – Brand perception is how a brand is perceived by its customers. A brand is interpreted on the basis of its messaging, design, public relations and online reviews. Whether it is customer support or marketing, everything has a significant effect on how a brand is perceived. Jingles and taglines can tell customers what is special about a brand. For instance, if customers are asked what they like most about shopping at Costco, most would mention the free samples. Websites, trade show booths, ads, and recommendations can also affect the way a brand is perceived.
About the Author: Mike Paffman is CEO of Virgo PR, a leading PR firm.