While a logo is a visual representation of your company, all the experiences someone has with your company is really the true brand. Building a brand should be seen as an investment, not as an expense. But before you spend any marketing dollars on print, web, advertisements, publicity, etc., make sure you have a brand platform in place. A brand platform is a formal, written guide that defines your brand. It explains how a brand and an organization should appear and behave, and gives a clear reference for unified and consistent communications.
To help you get started, here is an introductory to four segments of an effective brand platform:
- Brand message: Your brand message is the language that everyone in your organization uses to speak specifically to your audience. It addresses and appeals to your consumers’ wants and needs. Your brand message should clearly define the innovation, technology and creativity that set your organization apart from your competition. State your message and repeat it.
- Brand attributes: These are the brand characteristics that have made you successful. Attributes are developed through images, actions or presumptions, and can help in creating brand identity. Defining these attributes will give clarity not only to leadership but to each member of the organization representing the brand, resulting in consistency and comfort in the familiar.
- Brand personality: This is your brand’s human characteristics that make your organization attractive and unique. To determine your brand personality, create questions that clearly define and describe the personality of a real person.
- Brand promise: Your brand promise is the essence of your brand—what you are and what you say you’re going to do. The brand promise is a statement that you should share openly with all stakeholders. A promise is a serious conscious investment into the commitments of your business. Create a brand promise that confidently states your value and keep the promise over and over again in everything you do.
Every strong brand sits upon a platform comprised of these four fundamentals. Before launching any marketing initiatives, take time to build your platform. It is well worth the effort and time.