There are different names for it; brand idea, company DNA, the big idea or brand essence. Essentially, to win in the marketplace, you need to be interesting, simple, unique, inspiring, motivating and ownable. Yes, just those things. We didn’t say it would be easy!
Big, bold brands for the win
This is not a tagline, in fact it’s not necessarily something that people would ever see or even read. It’s more of a guiding principle that people feel from your holistic experience and interaction with what you do. A creative team that goes through the branding process knows just how daunting it is to capture and agree upon the core brand values of the business. You could debate a specific word choice or do an entire overhaul, but no matter where you’re at, there’s often tension between the rational and emotional and with the aesthetic and strategy. Decision fatigue sets in, and you start to consider how to ensure your choices are aligned, consistent, and ultimately leading up to something greater than the sum of its parts.
Make your idea shine
This is where the concept of big ideas really shines. It is an essence or embodiment of what you stand for. Think of it as a stake in the ground that is used to guide your look, feel, and voice. It gives an emotional element to your product or service, shows what it’s like to do business with you, and demonstrates how you show up in the world.
The next step in achieving a watertight idea for your brand? Compile a comprehensive guideline and choose to pour some serious energy into it.
A brand brief or bible is the backbone of how your story is expressed. Writing a guideline creates a foundation for creative assets and design, marketing, internal company culture, customer engagement and so much more.
There is always a lot of information to distill down into one document, but when your ideas are interesting and simple, it helps. Gain traction quickly and consumers will ‘get it’ and accept what you do, resulting in consumer engagement and learning more about what you do. Remember consumers are bombarded by 5,000 marketing messages every day, so you only have 7-seconds to connect, or else consumers will move on. Talk about pressure.
If you make sure your messaging is unique and ownable, it will stand out from the crowd, and the brand can see enough potential to build its entire business around it. As the idea is motivating to consumers, the brand gains the ability to move consumers to see, think, feel, or act in positive ways that benefit the bigger picture.
A strong brief should include:
1. Vision Statement. This includes long and short-term objectives for a brand
2. Mission Statement. The mission statement should provide a summary of how you intend to achieve your vision
3. Your promise
4. Brand values
5. Target audience
7. Brand tone of voice (or personality)
8. Key competitors
9. Competitive advantage
A light bulb moment
Getting started writing a brand plan can seem overwhelming. Why? The brand guideline doc will directly impact how your brand is perceived publicly, as well as internally.
But, taking the time to outline your brand story and voice and providing guidelines for how that story should be expressed throughout your business gives your business total control over your company image. And total control means a fast track to surefire success. A brand guideline document provides the foundation for your creative team to produce work that is consistently and completely aligned with brand values. Refer back to this guide to get started today with your branding process.