What is your Brand Vision? Do you need a Brand Roadmap?

Do you need a brand road map?

brandDo you have a plan that aligns your customer and shopper based initiatives?  It will help you make more effective decisions across all business functions.

Here’s how.  The goal of a brand vision is to drive sales and profits by building a strong, differentiated brand – yours.

A brand vision will…

  • Define your company’s purpose clearly for both internal and external audiences
  • Provide metrics to measure business decisions
  • Identify clearly who the target audience is
  • Provide a framework for new product development
  • Focus you messaging and the voice/tone to communicate with
  • Establish an architecture for the brand
  • Identify key channels of trade

A brand vision builds strong, profitable brands

This clarity and focus is what will help you build a strong brand.  What is a strong brand?  Strong brands are products and services in which consumers believe there are no substitutes.  Strong brands:

  • Command premium prices
  • Create barriers to competition
  • Are not commodities
  • Inspire confidence and trust
  • Are products and services consumers connect emotionally with

But most importantly, strong brands help make the sales team’s job easier with sell in and the retailer’s job easier with sell through.  In other words, everybody wins.

Brand visions are a road map to success

Your brand vision is going to set the tone and direction for the brand.  It’s where you ultimately want the brand to stand for.  As a result, the vision is a collection of six key components:

  • Purpose
  • Positioning
  • Character
  • Personality
  • Brand strategy
  • Brand guidelines

Purpose.  Your purpose is a single statement that embodies the company’s mission and desired perceptions.

Positioning.  These are the benefits we deliver to the marketplace.

Character.  How we want our brand to be perceived.

Personality.  These are the attributes that define the brand.

Brand strategy.  This is the masterbrand architecture that defines the relationship of your brand to other sub-brands, product brands and services.

Brand guidelines.  This is a comprehensive document that provides standards for brand management.  Like the brand vision, this reflects your strategic brand goals, contains shopper and category marketing best practices and establishes a communications framework, identifying both required and flexible components.  Elements to include are:

  • Visual Identity System
  • Design standards for the brand
  • Masterbrand components
  • Compliant examples (do’s and don’ts)
  • Library of logos
  • Templates and brand toolkit
  • Web design standards
  • Packaging Strategy

Building a Brand Positioning Framework

Think of the framework as a four level pyramid.  All levels should be supported by research, not guesswork.

  • 1st level (or the pyramid’s base) focuses on your brand’s attributes.  These are tangible and can be seen or touched.
  • 2nd level is your brand’s functional benefits.  Once again, these are tangible and are  demonstrable benefits that ladder up from attributes.

Next two levels of pyramid are the emotional drivers for your brand.

  • 3rd level identifies your brand’s emotional end benefits.  This is the “feeling” that comes from your brand, the voice through which your brand touches the consumer.
  • 4th level (or the pyramid’s capstone) identifies the bigger idea and tells what your brand “signs up for” in the lives of your core consumers.

Sum it all up with a single sentence that reflects this thinking: “Brand X is…” (the line that summarizes your brand essence).

A brand vision will lead you to insights that touch all of your marketing

No brand vision is complete without being able to clearly define your core consumer and key market segments.

Once you know more about your consumer you can begin talking to them in their terms, understanding their emotional connection to your brand and the path to purchase they follow.

Think about how this now informs your brand vision and your corporate strategies by providing:

  • End-user definition
  • Distribution programs
  • New product development insights
  • Communication vehicles
  • Messaging
  • Shopper-based best practices

Now your focus is on the consumer and what they want.  The brand vision will lead you to insights that touches all of your marketing.  Not only will it differentiate your brand from the competition, but it will create a strong brand that consumers will want and be willing to pay for.

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