“You talkin’ to me … huh?” Travis from the movie Taxi Driver may have overreacted a bit – but when it comes to brands, the question is often justified. Who is your brand talking to, really? What is it that you are you offering that no one else can do just as good? And what’s in it for me as a customer? In short – what is your brand promise?
(Here it may be appropriate to stop and mention that the brand platform is often a hybrid of different formulations. It is about finding definitions that are useful for your brand, so that the platform is not a theoretical exercise stowed away among paid insurances, energy declarations and other things you know should be done, but preferably want to put behind you. If the brand promise feels difficult to formulate, maybe you need three commitments instead – three clear promises that everyone in the organization must deliver on? In that case, that’s how you should build your platform. With that said, back to the brand promise.)
If you up until now have looked inwards to find the driving forces, personality and core of your business and brand platform, it’s now time to take a real ‘outside-in’ perspective.
What are the customer insights that your offer is based on? What behaviours and needs does your delivery meet? What is your contribution to the market, really? Time to prove yourself – the proof that you can deliver what you say is everything when it comes to the brand promise, and it can be formulated with these said proof-points as the spearhead.
Begin with a “through” and you are on the right track: “Through x, we deliver y, for the target group z” may be a good formula. If you dig a bit further you may conclude that – through Småländska farmers (x), we deliver strawberries (y) to everyone who loves berries (z). But strawberries are so weather sensitive and berry pickers are becoming increasingly difficult to find, so this promise may not lift the business after all. And what if strawberries aren’t the reason customers come to you? If you ask them, maybe it’s more about the nostalgic feeling of experiencing the summer as it once was, the berries are just a sweeping reason… With this in mind, you realise that your brand promise could be about “a locally produced summer feeling for dreamers” instead. And look – now the doors to both vanilla ice cream, pony riding and allotments open… Did I hear the business machinery start spinning, or is it even the jingle at the checkout? Now I firmly believe that you need a communication strategy.
Helena Helsing Mork, Concept Developer & Copywriter, Employee Performance Director