Bottom line: The purpose of branding is to make it easier for you to earn money.
To convey exactly how this works, we at STANCE have been using a dynamite pyramid diagram to bring it all together.
We start at the top and work down.
Branding positioning layers 1 and 2: Business and marketing
Starting with the business layer, the role of a brand is to make it easier for you to earn money.
But, how? We move to layer two: The marketing layer.
A strong brand makes it easier to earn money by helping to attract your best customers. But, who are your best customers!?
Simply, your best customers are:
- Easy to find, or they find you
- They will pay more for you
- They will buy you again
- They’ll tell their friends about you
Each of these four traits comes with a metric.
- Easy to find, or they find you → Lowers CPA
- They will pay more for you → Increases AOV
- They will buy you again → Increases LTV
- They’ll tell their friends about you → Lowers CPA*
Rule of thumb, a lower CPA with a higher AOV and LTV increases your business profitability.
*Definitions of these terms can be found here.
Branding positioning layer 3: Personality
Right! Best customers make it easier for us to earn money. How do we attract these customers?
We use advertising to reach them, but how do we actually attract them?
Much like a real person, they have to be drawn to you. They care about:
- Your appearance
- Your message
- Your experience
- Your actions
In brand speak, your appearance is your visual identity, which includes your logo, colours, graphic style, imagery choices and how it all comes together in an ensemble.
Your messaging stems from your tone of voice, but is realised in your copy and headlines. I’d include your company name here: Your name, after all, says a lot about you. Head here to download our guide on naming.
Your experience is about the sensation of using your product or service and dealing with your team. Dyson for, example, created a vacuum cleaner with no bag—that was a better experience for the person cleaning.
Your actions include the places in which you’re found, the activities you get behind, how you treat your employees and so on.
We hear stories of brands getting unstuck on their actions all the time. VW with the diesel emissions scandal. Uber and their sexual misconduct. Actions like these will turn away your best customers.
We also see brands getting it right: Red Bull does a great job of getting their brand active in the right places.
The final question: how do you create a compelling personality layer?
Branding positioning layer 4: Belief
As a brand, you have to stand for something. This is why you do what you do, or your belief. If you’re crystal clear about what you stand for, you can build a personality on top of this.
Understand that different beliefs lead to different personalities which in turn attract different ‘best customers’.
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic both fly customers over the ocean in 787’s but when you step onboard these planes, the experience is different.
BA has a more traditional feel to it, while Virgin is more casual. They stand for different things.
What you stand for, while best summed up by your belief, also includes other strategy brand deliverables, such as a mission and vision statement and a brand positioning axes, which actually articulates the market your business operates in and the space in that market you want to own.
At STANCE, we wrap all these terms into one logical framework.
Situation, finding an audience with an unmet need and caring about the solution (belief)
Transformation, the change you want to deliver (mission, vision)
Attitude, how you want to behave when delivering your transformation
Niche, your space in the market
Confidence, why you can own that space
Expression, one-liner to sum it up
Find your STANCE, stand your ground, develop a desirable personality, attract your best customers and make money more easily. Simples.
Creating your STANCE
Robust Brand Storytelling for Start-Ups covers the creation of the entire STANCE, from research through to copywriting.
Essential Brand Positioning for Start-Ups deals purely with the Niche and Confidence of STANCE.
If you’d like some fun with the Attitude, we have a free Archetypes taster that you can explore also.
Download the STANCE brand positioning framework today
Brand positioning doesn't have to be scary! In the STANCE framework, we have helpful examples and questions to help you write out a killer brand story. Get it while it's hot!