The world has shrunk and people are much more informed than ever before, including how well your brand is delivering on its promises. Today, a brand owner has to go far beyond making claims such as high-quality, excellent services, been in business for 10+ years. These are simply everyday statements that ring hollow if the client experience does not match the promises that are made.
A number of years ago, I designed a four-step approach that organizations can use to either design a new brand or fix an existing one. I call this process, “The Four P’s of Branding™.” Each of the P’s indicates the four components of any brand:
The chart illustrates the contextual relationship of each of the components to the other and how they integrate into one brand system. When you are designing a new brand, you begin in the center with the brand’s purpose and then move to the next concentric ring, Promise, and so forth.
When you are fixing a brand, you begin on the outer ring, Platform to determine if everything is working effectively. If it is, you move to the next inner concentric ring, Personality, and so on.
There are brands that should not be created because the competitive landscape is too fierce and crowded with alternative resources. And there are brands that should be killed because they have outgrown their true market relevance. A great brand leader knows how to evaluate their brand and has the courage to make either an up or down decision. Frankly, a weak brand leader will let their brand struggle far past its healthy shelf-life and thereby tarnish or weaken their organization’s reputation.
In order to have a truly effective brand it is required that a brand leader look outside of their organization to their customers to determine their perceptions concerning the brand. Think of the Four P’s of Branding as a tour guide. The single largest contributor to it should be the one that best understands the customer perspective and that of course, are customers!
How many mission and vision statements look good on paper but have little to nothing to do with their customers’ experience? Too many I’m sorry to say. MarketCues’ research reveals that the more an organization’s stated purpose is in alignment with its customers’ needs, the more successful it will become. This alignment is the key to building a high performance business and this is particularly true in today’s challenging business environment.