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Follow These 4 Key Branding Principles

Key branding principles

Follow these 4 key branding principles when building your brand

Branding Principle No. 1.

brain with right arrow

Brand Share of Mind (Rational). These are logical, physical features or attributes that are rational and appeal to the mind:

  • Tangible
  • Functional
  • Features
  • Measurable
  • Analytic

Branding Principle No. 2.

2. Differentiation. Your brand essence must be unique, not replaceable. You must own a single idea. See the previous week’s blog post for how to figure out your brand’s core essence or attribute.

For example, you will never hear:

  • “I picked it because it was exactly like every other car I test-drove.
  • “We bought it because it was exactly like every other house on the street.
  • “I married him because he was exactly like every other guy I dated.

Most importantly, create a new value curve to make your brand stand out from everyone else. The Blue Ocean Strategy Canvas advises that you compete on attributes that your competitors have failed to serve. For years high growth companies have entered markets by first catering to an underserved niche market.

For instance, Netflix started by mailing cult classic films that you couldn’t get at Blockbuster, Vimeo focused on professional videographers unlike YouTube, and Tesla started making luxury vehicles instead of competing with electric low-end hybrids. This strategy of differentiation is key for disruptive start-ups and established companies.

Branding Principle No. 3.

Share of Heart (Feelings) These are the attributes that appeal to people’s feelings or emotions.

  • Intangible
  • Benefits
  • Experiences
  • Judgmental
  • Intuitive
Share of heart

Branding Principle No. 4.

Relevance. There is no point in identifying an essence that is irrelevant to your audience. Essences that don’t connect are the reason behind many failed brands. Research to make sure you nail this down.

In conclusion

Test your brand against these 4 branding principles to make sure that your brand has a solid, well-grounded foundation that will appeal to people and fend off the competition. If you have any gaps, identify what is missing in your brand essence. Use it by consistently incorporating it into your messaging.

In addition, you may want to ask your customers what they think and feel about your brand. Global companies with large market research budgets do this all the time to make sure that their branding resonates with their target audiences. Likewise, follow their example, even if it means something and inexpensive as simple as picking up the phone and talking to your customer!