10 Steps to an irresistible brand
First, consider a simplified model of the process by which brands deliver service to marketers who create them. Look at the left-hand side of next diagram and follow the arrows of causality. What are we saying? We employ various branding means (this is ‘The Branding Level’) that achieve a combined effect upon the consumer according to our strategy (this is ‘The Psychological Level’). The result is that the consumer wants to behave in a certain manner (this is “the Behaviour al Level’) that, not accidentally, achieves our marketing goals (and this, of course, is ‘The Marketing Level’).
Working Backwards – Reaching Goals
We begin with our marketing goals, on the ‘Marketing Level’. Marketing goals are defined solely in terms of sales measures (revenue dollars, units sold and customer counts – all according to relevance). Sometimes goals are specified in relative terms such as market share, penetration rate and customer share. That’s absolutely it. Any other goal does not fall under the category of marketing goals. Positioning, for example, is not a marketing goal but a means. Entering this or that distribution channel – not a marketing goal – a means. Do not get confused. We ask what should happen for the marketing goals to be realised.
Marketing goals are attained by consumers’ actions. Therefore, according to our marketing strategy, we ask ourselves who exactly are the consumers we have reason to believe will be buying what we intend to sell, why we spot a potential in this group in particular (why would they) and what exactly is it that we expect them to be doing differently from what they are doing now (or from whatever other behaviour option they may choose). That is what we call the ‘Behavioural Level’.
Now, having understood and determined who should do what, it’s the time to wonder and ponder – why are they not already, at this time, behaving like we want them to? Or, alternately, what might prevent them in the future to behave that way? What should they know, grasp, envision? What should they feel? What kind of psychological process must they undergo? That is the ‘Psychological Level’. Both the ‘Brand Strategy’ and the ‘Branding Strategy’ are derived from the insights gained in this stage of the analysis.
Finally, we examine what means of branding in our arsenal should we apply, and how will we have to use them, in order to trigger the psychological processes we seek. That is the ‘Branding Level’.
Two major products are the outcomes of this process: the ‘Brand Strategy’ and the ‘Branding Strategy’.
The ‘Brand Strategy’ is the brand’s promise to its consumers that we had discussed earlier. The brand’s promise, as you have already seen, does not only consist of the benefit we promise in order to arouse anticipations leading to desire. The promise, in the Means-End way of formulating it (fact > meaning > benefit), portrays the product as the source of that specific benefit. We want our target consumers to embrace our promise and form a belief. Thusly, our product will become, in their eyes, a means by which they can attain the promised benefit. The moment such an attribution is conceived and the anticipation is evoked, is the precise moment at which our brand is in fact created. Not one second earlier. Only then the motivation to buy the brand will be in action, followed by a behaviour al tendency. The brand strategy is the foundation of this motivation.
The ‘Branding Strategy’, otherwise known as ‘The presentation Style’, determines the manner by which the promise will be presented to the consumers in order to maximise the chance that they will adopt the suggested belief. An in-depth understanding of the consumers’ expected state of mind, when exposed to the brand’s promise, lays at the basis of this decision. The presentation style is not a creative approach but rather a strategic directive, complemental to the promise.
These two strategic directives, the culmination of the brand’s strategist’s work, guide both the choice of branding means that comprise the ‘branding mix’, and the ways by which they are applied. They provide guidance to the managers in charge of planning and executing the brand’s actualisation plan, as well as to the brand’s dramatist and to the entire team of professionals involved in creating and realising the plan.
This text is excerpted from Dr. Dan Herman’s book: Precision Tools for Emotional Branding – Masterly Strategising for Powerful Feel-Appeal,
Previously printed in the MAANZ eNewsletter MEtr@ – free subscription http://www.marketing.or.au