In late 2013, Frames contacted us for a brand awareness assignment. Their challenge to communicate a unified company image required taking a 10,000-foot view. We were able to pinpoint their situation by comparing it to The Sopranos. Frames functions like Tony Soprano. He runs the family business by giving each individual family member his or her own responsibilities, yet each individual works to support the big boss.
Based on this idea, we set up workshops with their chief officers and business unit managers to write their proposal and strategy.
What is a brand essence?
Brand essence is the single most compelling thing we can say about a brand that differentiates it from competitors, as perceived by the consumer. The most powerful brand essences are rooted in a fundamental consumer needs.
How to define a brand essence
Defining a brand essence is not an easy thing. In business-to-business marketing, a solid, authentic brand essence is your bedrock. It is the very core of your existence.
Your brand essence should be inspirational and memorable. Otherwise it won’t stick. ~ Marco de Boer, Creative Director
Steps to help filter out the essence:
- Research the tone of voice in the company’s existing communication. This reveals the vocabulary that the brand uses.
- Complete the brand quadrant with functions, image, proof and differentiators. This is best done in a workshop with management.
- Pick a word or two words to describe the quadrant. These words form the brand essence. They feel natural and can be connected to all four sides of the quadrant.
The reciprocity of a brand essence
The brand essence is the center of your brand quadrant. It should reflect the four elements of the quadrant and it is the key to future improvements on the element.