Valerie's Blog

Does your Core Brand Identity reflect your heart and soul?

April 29th, 2014

Marketing practices and strategies are continually changing – and at a seemingly faster pace than ever before. Perhaps change in your marketing plan is driven by entry into a new market, expanded scope from a competitor or, even as simple as trying out new lead generation tactics or increasing your digital presence. Marketing and change go hand-in-hand.

But just because you’re surrounded by change, it doesn’t mean your core brand identity goes with the flow. Every brand messaging platform should include a Core Brand Identity – think of it as your “heart & soul.” Your core brand identity is the central, timeless essence of the brand that is unlikely to change as you explore new series and respond to business changes.

Core Brand Identity should be clear and consistent through all that your company does. In the Brand Message Platform, the core is typically comprised of core values, brand purpose (or mission) and one or two core brand attributes. Together, these three simple elements define your company’s heart & soul.

Core Values are a handful of guiding principles by which a company navigates. They are critical to establishing a corporate culture that encourages exceptional behavior in the worst and best of times, and helps the culture stay intact as the company travels through various stages of growth. Ideally core values become entrenched in your company – to the point where employees know them, live by them and are evaluated on them; where customers recognize your core in your employees.

Brand Purpose is your company’s most fundamental reason for being. The brand purpose should not be confused with your current business goal, key product functionality, or customer group. And it is, in fact, something that is always the focus and never quite completed.

Core Brand Elements are one to three of the most compelling, differentiating, yet authentic attributes that you want attached to your brand. Core attributes are often around customer service, knowledge, performance or innovation – just to name a few. When combined, your core brand reflects a differentiated and meaningful offering.

When developing the core of brand, you need to get just the right balance between elements that are authentic, yet aspirational. When a strong brand drives brilliant strategy, it will reflect your company, differentiate you from the competition, and inspire employees and partners.

Creating alignment on a Core Brand Identity that will carry your company through business changes may be one of the most things that you do as a business leader. But how do you develop a brand platform that is both consistent and responsive to change? More on that next time….

The best part of all of this – as is the case with all brand message development – is that your company’s core values, core brand purpose and core brand attributes already exist. You just need to discover and articulate them. You can indeed have a Core Brand Identity – even a strong one – without a formal brand platform. However, having well-developed Brand Platform is a valuable tool that will aid in aligning the team.

If you’d like help discovering and articulating a Brand Platform, give us a call. We’d love to help.

What is effective marketing?

February 26th, 2014

Effective marketing strategy is about reaching the right audience with a distinct and valuable offering that resonates with the decision-maker. It involves communicating that offering brilliantly and consistently across multiple channels using a variety of media – resulting in a strong and positive brand identity that supports business objectives.

Welcome to the branding blog by Carstens & Company. We will regularly post content about B2B branding and marketing. If you have any specific questions you would like us address, please let us know. We welcome your branding questions and insights.

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May 24th, 2010
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