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Going up the Stairs to Brandfordshire

17th February 2021

Is it Time for a Brand Spring Clean?

Services brands can be tricky. With food and drink, bar some catastrophe at the factory, you know what you are getting. That consistency of the experience of consumption is a cornerstone of the marketing mix.

With services brands that consistency is in the hands of each and every interaction each and every internal stakeholder has with each and every external stakeholder. So, we have some good news and bad news for you.

The bad news is that at some point in your business journey your brand will lose its way.

The good news is that you are now way ahead of schedule.

Knowing that that your services brand will lose its way is the most important step in managing it over the lifetime of the business. Because it will inspire you to have brand as a constant on your business agenda – to understand it, to track it internally and externally and to make sure the brand you desire to have is the brand you have in reality.

The process of understanding a services brand is about understanding a process – the brand staircase. This consists of 8 crucial brand-building foundational elements.

Having consulted for, and created, a great many great services brands over the years we take clients through each of the following steps to create their outstanding brand.

So, let’s climb those stairs to Brandfordshire.

Step 1 – Brand Essence

The brand’s promise expressed in the simplest, most single-minded term. For example, Volvo is ‘safety’, Harley Davidson is ‘liberating’, Disney is ‘magical’. The most powerful brand essences are rooted in a fundamental customer need.

Step 2 – Brand Pillars

Supporting brand characteristics that serve as the foundation to sustain and fortify the brand.

Step 3 – Unique Value Propositions

Specific, clearly defined and deliverable actions that create customer value aligned to and supporting the Brand Essence.

Step 4 – Brand Vocabulary

The carefully chosen words we use to convey brand messages with maximum empathy and impact.

Step 5 – Tone of Voice

The manner and approach by which the brand speaks to its audiences.

Step 6 – Elevator Pitch

An elevator pitch is a brief, prepared statement that defines a product, service or the value of an organisation in as little as a minute. Each individual within the organisation should be able to relate the value proposition to their own role and departmental area of focus.

Step 7 – Validation

The questioning phase where the proposition is challenged and assessed against the 4Rs of a balanced brand; Relevant, Remarkable, Reputational and Real.

Step 8 – M.A.P.

Having done all this hard work climbing the brand staircase you’ll need to get yourself a Marketing Action Plan (M.A.P). And remember, changing all the ads and the collateral is the easy part of the rebrand. To really change a services brand you need to change behaviours, win hearts and minds and inspire every member of the team to live the brand in their role, every day.

We have seen a quite pronounced uptick this year in services businesses taking a long hard look at their brand as we start to see a glimmer at the other end of the Covid tunnel.

There is an important marketing agenda playing out in 2021 in getting match fit for the next phase.

If we can help, get in touch for a chat.

We would be delighted to climb the stairs with you.