focus on your brand, not a product

When I was looking at articles around brand all over the internet, I couldn’t find many that didn’t confuse branding and advertising. In this article, Susan Gunelius calls out these 4 principles that I truly believe in and explain the difference between brand and products, or between brand strategy and product advertising:

  • companies make products, people make brands.
  • products can be copied, brands are unique.
  • products can become obsolete but brands can be timeless.
  • products are instantly meaningful but brands become meaningful over time.

So when you look at your benefits, do not mix the benefits of your product and the benefits of your brand. They should be aligned and coherent with each other, but as many brands have several products, the brand benefits should always be a super set of benefits that can be applied to all products within a brand portfolio while product benefits should be easy to link to 2 or 3 brand benefits to be true expressions of that brand.

6 layers to a brand strategy

A brand strategy needs to contain 6 different sorts of elements:

  1. a consistent core essence that defines what it stands for at its center, and to which individuals can relate to during every interaction.
  2. a few key differentiators that when put together make that brand truly unique.
  3. three to five items that your audience can concretely benefit from.
  4. behavior attributes that people can identify with when interacting with a brand, as if it was another person.
  5. a story that will engage an audience emotionally by transporting them through a narrative they feel part of.
  6. sensorial elements that activate as many senses as possible to deepen the connection through different levels of connection.