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Build Your Brand: Part 1 – What To Use to Build a Brand

By April 14, 2017October 31st, 2019Brand Development, Branding, Digital Marketing

If you want your business to rise to the top, you have to build your brand– and we want to help. So we’re rolling out a two-part series on the essentials of brand building: why you need it, what the building blocks are, and how to make it happen. [Check out Building your brand: Part 2]

build your brand part 1

What is your brand?

Your brand is the foundation on which your business activities should be built: so it has to be strong. Think of the businesses you patronize, and the products you buy. You don’t just know their name– you know their brand. For a lot of people, an immediate mental picture comes to mind: the aesthetic, the jingle, the look, feel, taste, or experience of the product or service they love. The longer the brand strength is maintained, the more far-reaching the impact is.

For example: if you’re in the south, you know that instead of “What kind of soda can I get you?” your server is more likely to ask “What kind of Coke do you want?” And what’s one of the main reasons Coke has become synonymous with soda? Rock-solid branding.  

The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand as a “name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s goods or service as distinct from those of other sellers,”

Brand–and brand identity–are far from two-dimensional definitions, or bullet-point lists. We love the new, holistic way of looking at branding pioneered by Jean-Noel Kapferer called the Brand Identity Prism.

5 Brand Essentials

According to Kapferer’s model: if you’re going to build a brand, these essentials have to be in place: Physique comprises all the physical aspect of your brand. It can include the color scheme, packaging, logo, the shape of the product, and more.

  1. Personality is everything that makes up the character of your brand. It’s how your brand communicates with the outside world: copy, endorsements, design elements, and so on. It’s how people perceive your brand. Let’s pretend your brand was a person: how you would describe that person–and why—is key to determining “personality” as you build your brand.
  2. Culture is the system of values and principles guiding your brand—and the organization and culture behind it.
  3. Relationship–like personality–is symbolic and refers to the relationship your brand evokes. For example, The Fisher-Price brand relationship is likely parents and children, or kids and their playmates.
  4. Reflection It’s really important to consider reflection when you build a brand. It’s the characteristics of the brand’s most stereotypical buyer.
  5. Self-image It’s the consumer’s ideal self. As a marketer, you can use who your ideal buyer wants to be to guide your brand-building strategy. Picture a brand strives to evoke confidence, fun, and user-friendliness. Then, people wanting to feel more confident and in control at work are going to be drawn to a brand with that personality.

Now you know the “blocks” you need to build a strong foundation for your brand, you can start to dream big about how to put them together… We’ll cover strategies for just how to do that in our next post!

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