What’s in a brand? Well quite a lot actually. A brand is the sum of all your experiences and interactions with a product or service and can largely influence a customer’s decision to purchase. If your product was a person, you’d be able to describe how the person feels, thinks, acts, what they value, their behaviour etc. All of this is an integral part of how a brand is perceived. Drum roll into why you need a brand key…
Brand Key’s contain 9 elements which help you firmly position your brand. Once complete it should be an anchor to you and your team of what your brand represents right now and where it aims to go (Like any person you’d expect some growth).
The first 4 elements of a Brand Key deal with the EXTERNAL factors surrounding the brand while the last 5 elements deal with the INTERNAL factors that influence the brand. I have split this post into two parts to ensure that it’s not too long of a read for you.
Let’s jump right in. Post two will have a great downloadable Step-by-step How-To Guide that you can follow when completing your Brand Key.
1. Root Strengths
If you were building a house, this would be the foundation. Root strengths are steeped in the history of the brand. There is a large focus in this element on the history of your brand and will form a strong foundation for your reasons to believe section and benefits.
There are 3 main points that you can focus on in this section:
Inception: Why was the brand developed to begin with?
The Brand’s own history: Any key defining moments in the brand’s history.
Geographical Location: Certain locations are synonymous with certain attributes like “made in Italy” vs “made in China”
2. Competitive Environment
Here is where you look at what the competitor brands in your market. Ultimately you need to consider who your potential customers will consider ABOVE your brand. This can be quite difficult as you need to consider your indirect competitors as well. Depending on your industry it may be a good idea to look at indirect competitors that are in adjacent markets
A good question to ask yourself in this section is who can your customer choose besides you?
Positioning is a direct product of how this section is completed during the brand key exercise. Here you need to provide a brief overview of your target audience.. Think of consumers values and attitudes when doing this exercise and not just demographics.
Who and what are the people like that you are trying to target? Some bases to cover here would be: Age, Gender, location, income level, demographics, occupation, marital status, etc. Most brand specialist would recommend an exercise called Ecosystem Mapping. Mapping the ecosystem within which you operate will help you learn who your brand should be working with, aimed at as well as informing how you should communicate with them.
The 4th part of the Brand Key is to delve into insights. What does the customer/consumer need? Or why do they not buy your product? Keep in mind that this will probably guide your final outcomes or direction. You will need to take a look at all data-driven insights you can find, but be open to mining information from your customers themselves.
In Part 2 we will take a look at the internal factors that influence your brand. Don’t forget to read Part 2 as it will provide you with a worksheet to complete your brand key with.
Have you ever completed a brand key before and how did you find the experience?