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  • Writer's picture Scott Fitzgibbon

Brand Basics - Understanding terminologies

Following a number of questions and discussions over the last few weeks - I thought it would be good to take a quick look at some of the terminologies thrown around in Marketing that might be confusing to those starting out or less versed in marketing speak. For experts many of these areas are very in-depth and many books, degrees and talks are held to explore them. But for those simply looking to make their small business more effective here’s a quick guide. If you have any others let me know below.

Brand Purpose:

Let’s start at the right beginning, and look at where your business started from and the reason why your business came about. Let’s rule out “make money” and look at the reasons of why you have chosen the work or industry you are in. This could be a passion, a skill or years of relevant experience. At some point in time you will have realised that you are the expert or co-ordinate a team of experts or professionals in your field. At the heart of everything is the service you provide.…right?

Those that following marketing (or have a linkedIN account) will be aware of Simon Sinek and the “start with why” video. In which he explains that companies that are destined from success will start with the companies ethos or reason for existing - often described as a “Brands Purpose”.

Putting this simply… it’s the reason for your companies existence and what problem you solve. Not what you actually do or how you do it. So it’s important to create your “why” statement and keep this centre of your thoughts when making any decision on marketing, management decisions, operational decisions and much more. It’s an easy one sentence check point to check the suitability of any decision or action.

Brand Promise

Very simply this is a statement that you make to your customers that says what you will do for them. Again this might not be a strapline or written into every communication, but it’s an important element in the delivery of your products or services. So if your restaurant business is focused on providing “a unique dinning experience” but is realistically the same as most other well run restaurants. Customers may not agree with the promise that you make, this in turn can negatively impact their thoughts, perceptions and recommendations of your restaurant.

Your brand promise is really the feeling that you want your customers to have when they walk away (or the words they use to describe your business). So keep it relevant and keep it true.

Brand Strategy

This is your how, what, where, when and to whom you plan on communicating out to the world. Everything from channels (newspapers, phone calls, social media, packaging, service etc…) is part of brand strategy. All your plans, decisions and actions fall nicely under the title of “Brand Strategy”

Brand Equity Often you will notice people charging more for the same thing. Why is a cup of coffee more expensive in one place compared to another. Some of that will be driven by costs (nicer venue, more expensive staff etc…), but in addition if your brand adds value due to a positive reputation or ratings. This equity or trust allows companies to build on this positivity to create advocators (people who will recommend your business), ambassadors (people who will shout about your business from the rooftops) and followers (not just on social media but people who use your service/products and keep coming back).

Brand Elements

Simply put your logo, your name, your tone of voice (writing style or type of language used), your colours, your fonts and how you use imagery (photos, illustrations).

Brand Personality

Linked to your tone of voice and the way you display you messaging, there are 12 documented personalities. Yours should be driven by ‘Purpose’ and reflect your business. Think about how your customers want you to be and consider your brand promise, before deciding on a personality to take. Choosing a fun or outgoing personality for a previously very serious company could lead to loss of existing customers, more than attracting new ones.

Useful links

Simon Sinek - Start with Why.- video 5 mins

Brand Personalities - read the personality types (no real need to do the test)

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