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October's Marketing SCENE

Oct 4, 2011

Five Steps to Clearly Defining Your Brand in a Digital World

As information disperses across a thousand channels, clearly defining your brand becomes more important than ever. Yet many B2B companies “still don’t have a clear understanding of what their brand really means,” says Aaron Pearson at the B2B Voices blog.

How can you delineate your brand so it will withstand the deconstructive powers of the digital world? Pearson explains—those that transcend your products and have “proven timeless” for clients.

Based on Pearson’s insights, here are five steps to developing a strategic brand framework that clarifies your brand’s higher-level benefits:

Define your brand vision. Articulate the aspirations for your brand. Why are you undertaking a branding initiative right now?

Collect insights from your customers and prospects. What do they see as the functional benefits of your products? And more importantly, what do they feel are the emotional benefits? “Emotional benefits are harder to deliver and, therefore, more differentiating and more motivating as message drivers,” Pearson notes.

Plot a benefits ladder. List your products’ functional attributes on one side, and your customers’ reported emotional benefits on the other, he advises. See how they “ladder up.”

Craft a brand positioning statement. Studying the benefits ladder should help you focus on the higher-level benefits that differentiate you in the marketplace. This can lead to the development of a “central brand idea that is the basis for slogans, logos, campaigns and other creative expressions of the brand,” he notes.

Test your new brand idea. “Especially for well-established brands, we recommend quantitative research testing to ensure the brand positioning is optimized,” Pearson concludes.

The Po!nt: Clarity helps ensure longevity. Boost your branding to a higher level by examining your products’ functional and emotional benefits to clients, and optimize that new brand idea.

Read the full article here.