What is a brand?

A brand is a promise

It is not only a logo or brand name.

Rather they are the visual cues to trigger that locus of emotions that the brand promises you.

The brand promise are the emotional feelings and cravings that are triggered when you think of the brand.

You must keep your brand promise at every touchpoint you have with your customers.

If you want to create a brand, start by thinking of your brand promise. What experience do you want your customers to have when they encounter the brand.

Four Keys to Successful Brands:

1. Authentic.

It must be truly tied to what you are as a company, meaning your values and core purpose.

2. Relevant.

Your promise must be relevant to consumers and you must be perceived as to deliver better than the competition.

3. Consistency

You must keep your brand promise consistent across every touchpoint you have with consumers.

4. Commitment

You must have total commitment to keep the brand promise.

Everybody in the company needs to live the brand, support it and continue to invest in it.

What experience do you want your customers when they encounter your brand?

Brand benefits

Builds customer loyalty

Increases value

Allows higher prices

Builds market share

Easier launch of new products

Lower employee turnover

Helps in talent recruitment

Creates esteem

Difficult Branding Situations

New market categories with few customers

Highly fragmented industries

Understanding the branding process

1. Define the brand

Define the promise and the key values behind it.

Think of the values as the DNA of the brand.

Define the brand drivers, brand drivers define how the core values will be manifested into the marketing mix or key business processes the support the brand. Drivers translate the values into action.

2. Position the brand.

At this step we are making the link between the products value preposition and the brand promise

Shape how the customers think about the brand.

3. Express the brand.

Create an identity.

We create name and logo to get easy recognition.

4. Build awareness of the brand.

Communicate the brand internally and externally.

Employees have a critical role in delivering the brand promise.

Communicate continuously and consistently or the brand loses its value.

The value of the brand is called brand equity.

Keep an eye on the brand performance. Is it living up to the promise.

5.Measure the Brand

You want to measure the value of the brand or what is called the brand equity. It’s what you accrue when you develop, promote and deliver an authentic brand promise.


Identify the values of the brand

A brand is a promise, underneath the promise is a supporting set of values.

Brand values are the key behaviors or virtues or the brand.

That need to be expressed consistently day in and out.

These values are the essence or the team of the brand.

Determining the brand values starts by understanding the overall marketing strategy of you business.

What kinds of products and services do you offer? And, who are your competitors.

What are the trends and opportunities in your market?

Who are your customers?

What is your overall value proposition in the market place.

Have a solid marketing strategy before you build a solid branding strategy.

What is the belief system underneath your brands. Is it linked to your marketing strategy?

Is it clear what your brand stands for now, and what it wants to be in the future.

Brand Drivers

Detailed and descriptive aspects of the brand.

Functional or emotional benefits of the brand. Self expressive benefits, what is the customer saying about themselves when they consume the brand.

How to create brand Drivers:

Make an exhaustive list of phrases or sentences about the brand that stretches the brand purpose.

Put them in categories:

Functional benefits

The basic job that the product does.

Emotional benefits

How does the product make the customer feel.

Economic Benefits

How a product saves time and money.

Self-expressive benefits

How a product makes us appear to others.

Or benefits to society or the environment.

Brand drivers put more meaning into the brand, they communicate what your brand is all about.


You create a brand with its core promise and list of associations. Then you attach something to that promise like a product or a company name.

By attaching the product to the brand your customers associate it with the brand.

Again, branding is not slapping a name on the product.

What kind of things can I attach to the brand?

A brand is a locus of emotions.

It’s all the emotions inside that are triggered by a brand that define it.

Designing your brand architecture

1. Create a house of brands

Customers don’t know the company only brand.


2. Create a branded house.

A master brand has under the umbrella many products.

3. Blended House Example

Strong Master Brand with sub brands.

Identifying the brand personality

Brand Persona

A set of human like characteristics describing someone who keeps a brand’s promise.

Personality helps brands maintain loyal customers.

“Dimensions of Brand Personality. by Dr. Jennifer Aaker

5 Main Dimensions of Brand Personality:


Down to earth, honest, genuine and friendly.-

 (Warm, happy, cheerful and caring.)





Authentic brands are those that reflect the characteristics of the people who deliver value to the market place.


Identifying your customers


Dividing a market of potential customers into groupings.

Demographic Segmentation

Grouping customers by physical characteristics (gender, age, height, weight, and/ or hair color.

Geographic Segmentation

Grouping people by where they are or where they live.

Behavioral Segmentation

Grouping customers by things they do, or how they behave, such as purchase behavior, lifestyles and the ways they use product.

Attitudinal  Segmentation

Grouping customers by how they think.

Understanding your customers beliefs

What do you promise?

When do you promise it?

When people buy product’s and services they are buying a collection of benefits.

Functional Benefits

Economic Benefits

Emotional Benefits

Self Esteem / Status

Purchasing Steps

1. Need Recognition

2. Information Search

3. Evaluation of Alternatives

4. Purchase

5. Post Purchase Behavior

This is when customers form opinions about your brands and share their experiences with other customers.

Developing your brand promise:

The value proposition

A single-minded claim made to change a customer’s mind and cause them to do something

The brand promise is your overall value proposition.

It’s a broad, definitive statement of the bundle of benefits to customers by the brand.

Brand Positioning = Long Term, Strategic

Value Proposition = Short Term, Tactical

The connection between brand strategy and marketing strategy.

Value propositions are designed around the brand drivers as RTBs.

Reasons to believe the overall brand strategy.

What features and benefits of your products and services are you emphasizing in your market strategy?

Then look at  your brand drivers to find the ones that connect best to those benefits.

Four Expressing the Brand Identity

Creating a name, a visual look, and feel for the brand,

and a total customer experience for the target audience for when they encounter the brand.

The name you select for your brand should

1. Reflect value and purpose

2. Create association with the brand persona

3. Be easy to say

4. Be unique and memorable

Select a name then communicate the name and its associated values and purpose, so that people start to make a connection.

Creating the brand’s look and feel

Creating the logo

The designer needs to know:

The brand values

The core promise

The brand drivers

The persona and the brand name

Logo Lockups

Different logo variations used for various placements and usage

Choosing a Color Palette

Assign colors to the logo

Identify complementary colors

Choosing a Typographic Treatment

Identify how to handle special cases

Image Guidelines

Photography of Illustration.

BW vs Color

Defining a Consistent Tone

Outline specific language and words

Decide if tone should be more formal or more conversational.

Create the Brand Promise Touch Tones

1. Need recognition

2. Information search

3. Evaluation of Alternatives

4. Purchase

5. Post-purchase behavior phase

The Customer Experience

Define customer touch points

Select drivers to emphasize

Five Communicating the Brand internally

1. Train your team

2. Reinforce constantly

Match the training to the employee

Employees Need to Know

1. Brand promise

2. Connection to values

3. Drivers

4. Brand Identity

5. Ways to think, feel and act

Brand Champions +

Brand Ambassadors

Influential Company Employees who represent what the company stands for.

Brand Book Components

Overview of brand values, core promise, drivers and persona.

Logo specifications and examples

Logo Lockups

Color Palette

Font Styles


Image and photography guidelines

Writing Style

Tone of Voice

Brand Book Guidelines

Brochure guidelines

Specifications for signage and outdoor advertising

Design layouts for print and Web Based projects

Store Design

Social media guidelines

Letterhead and business card design

Brand Book Training Resource

Historical Stories

Customer Stories

Brand Goals

Watch out for the Gap between Product Performance and the Brand

Product not delivering promised Benefits

Your product is maybe

Underfeatured or


1. Make a list of all features in your product and service

2. Write down the main benefits the feature delivers


Choosing Communication Channels

Why do you wanna communicate?

Are you telling the market your overall strategic brand positioning, the core brand promise? Or are you building tactical awareness around some new feature of benefit of the product?

Who is your target audience?

What are you communicating?

Expressing the brand in digital and social channels

Using Digital Channels

Ensure consistent look and feel

Use the same voice

Define who can post and who can’t

Specify the role of each site

Expressing the brand through packaging

Packaging is the first physical encounter with the brand and the last and maybe the most critical, seconds before the customer is going to pay.

Identify the Functional Role

Choose messaging

Provide guidance on the design

Creating Branded Spaces and Environments

Choose a location

Decide on the role of the space

Choose components which communicate the brand drivers


Measuring the Brand

What is the basic awareness of the brand?

How well does the audience understand your brand?

How much loyalty is the brand building

Customer Loyalty Changes

Losing relevance

Lacking differentiation

Lacking Consistency

Internal Factors to Measure

Do employees:

Fully understand your brand

Understand target audience, customer insights and drivers.

Have a commitment to the brand?

Protect the brand?

Managing Brand Equity

Internal Change Examples


Acquisition/ Merger


Financial Downturn

External Change Examples

New Competitors

New Regulations

Legal Actions

Bad Publicity

Consumer Trends Change

Coping with Change

Identify a Brand Stewart who

manages Brand Compliance

Assign a Brand Champion

CEO or senior officer

Assign a brand champion to represent the company throughout the organization

Choose one from each cross-functional department

Review brand performance

Recommend ways to improve

Create a brand team

Reinforce branding

Energize the company



Brand Management



Create a Development Plan

Study the classic and new academic research on branding

Be a lifelong learner

What are other companies doing

New Technology

New trends

Join the Branding Community

Practice your Craft

Have a strong Ethical Base