Creating Your Brand DNA
The entire branding elements should be consistent and guarded as the way you do with your product trade secrets.
Most marketers labelled their branding activities in many forms; some called it the Brand Bible while others call it Brand System. Similar to other brand strategist, I referred mine as Brand DNA. Parallel to Human DNA, it contains the instructions for a branding structure and function. It is the blueprint for how the brand runs, reproduces, builds, evolves, and every other functions necessary for branding life.
Branding is simply the essence of identifying the seller or maker. But it is important that your brand contains highly distinctive external expressions of what it promises to the targeted audience. The entire branding elements should be consistent and guarded as the way you do with your product trade secrets. However, the elements should be easy to understand and readily available so you can cultivate brand understanding & adoption among employees & other users who will be creating the customer’s brand experience.
The Brand DNA is a complete branding framework divided into four (4) groups for comprehensive management.
Brand Strategy – the foundation of branding activities. This is pre-concept stage and it involves the entire management group. This scope is to understand key aspects of your company, target market, customer profile, service & product, and category & positioning. Use the insights gathered from these key aspects to define set the foundation for all branding activities before creative development work begins.
Brand Identity – the branding design and guidelines system. This phase provides your brand a unique identifier of what your business stands for and forms instant recognition in a crowded marketplace. This is where you put together your brand name, its personality/promise and the symbols (logo, tagline etc.). Brand developers classify this as brand identity system –a well-defined identity elements, along with assets such as reusable graphics, photography, brand signatures, are then available for repeated application to give the brand its consistency, distinctiveness and recognizability.
Brand Management – the full spectrum of branded communications and interactions. This is the day to day function of a brand manager. The process of maintaining, improving, and upholding a brand so that the name is associated with positive results. Brand management involves a number of important aspects such brand planning, training and adoption, branding tools, monitoring and assessment and the brand evolution. This is the stage where you can test your brand strategy by exhibiting result in higher sales of the products associated with your brand. For example, if a customer satisfies with Sun Cellular mobile service and trust the brand, he or she is more likely to try other service offered such as Sun broadband or blackberry service. With the identity system in place, it’s easier to assume the full range of branded communications and interactions building the customer’s brand experience.
Brand Experience – the set of activities for you and your audiences to come into contact. Some brand managers outsource this process to the marketing services group. This involves designing a range of experiences that customers and prospects will find meaningful, memorable, and associate explicitly with your brand. Doing this is the surest path to building brand trust, loyalty and advocacy. The full array of experiences includes, but is not limited to traditional market communications. It extends well beyond them to include personal interactions, events, environments even the appearance, function and reliability of products and services and any other opportunities for you and your audiences to come into contact.
Brand development is a very challenging and fulfilling component of marketing functions, as long as your goal is to make every point of contact with the customer and other audiences as remarkable, engaging and compelling as possible and of clearly tying these positive experiences to your brand.
Remember, a strong brand is invaluable as the battle for customers intensifies day by day. It’s important to spend time investing in researching, defining, and building your brand continuously. After all your entire brand is the source of a promise to your consumer.