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  How does a brand strategy project look like?

Here are some more definitions on branding and brand:

"The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers' mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers." Businessdictionary
Branding is the encapsulation of a company’s mission statement, objectives, and corporate soul as expressed through the corporate voice and aesthetic. Margie Clayman
A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer. Seth Godin

There are 4 different frameworks we talk about in this lesson:

1. The four P's

If you've ever had a class of marketing, you're probably familiar with this framework: the 4 (or five) 'P's , this framework was originally coined by E. Jerome McCarthy.

It's quite simple; there are four P's:

  • Product: What is your product our service? What are the features and specifics? What is your service and how do you provide it? 
  • Price: The brand's pricing is extremely important, now only is it a key factor of the brand's positioning, it is an actual part of your brand. 
  • Promotion: Having a great product or service is one thing, promoting it is another. Promotion is a key part of your strategy, how you will aproach the market, what touch points and what channels will be used are key in growing a brand. 
  • Place: This stems from the more classical 'business location' that used to be the case for many brick and mortar businesses. But of course, today, the physical store is often times the online store, but the same principles apply. This also about the marketplace. 

There's also an additional P added later: P for People.

  • People: Companies need to hire and train the right people to provide superior and consistent customer service. Employees need to be trained on customer habits and behaviors that humanize consumers using customer personas. The primary messaging and competitive advantage is also important to communicate in order to ensure that the voice of the company stands united.

The idea is the find the perfect 'marketing' mix between these four aspects and connect them with a certain target audience. You can read more about the evolution of the four P's and how it is used today.

2. Branding in five and a half steps by Michael Johnson

A seminal book in my opinion, Johnson banks has a really great aproach in his book, five and a half steps. He describes a branding project in the following steps:

1. Investigate

2. Strategy and narrative

2.5 Bridging the gap

3. Design

4. Implement

3. The Brand Spectrum by Jason Halstead

In one of my podcast episodes I talk Jason Halstead from Gist Brands, he's the creator of the Brand Spectrum, the brand spectrum is really interesting framework that helps you approach Brand strategy in a comprehensive way.

You can download the Brand Spectrum here. Jason was really helpfull and also included a version of the podcast episode with notes and timestamps, so you can get the sweet bits quickly. Check out the full episode on Jason's blog.

4. My own workflow

Troughout the years I created my own workflow, of course it lends a lot of principles and aspects from the frameworks mentioned above, but I'd like to share my own spin on things.

  1. Talk: Talk with you client about his business, his customer, his ambitions and business goals in a workshop. 
  2. Validate: Really start digging deep, validate the client’s opinion and assumptions in the real world with customers. 
  3. Shape: Bundle all your research and the client’s vision in to a clear image of the brands values, target market and so on. 
  4. Differentiate: taking a clear stand where the brand stand in the minds of the customer. 
  5. Create: creating visual and creative solutions based on the strategy, showing the different brand applications.
  6. Market: bringing the brand to live in the actual world, real life interaction and marketing is essential here. In many cases, this about teaching your client how to apply and interact with clients.
  7. Analyse and re-iterate: Branding is a long term game, re-iterate and analyse the impact of the brand and measure customer engagement. 


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