Brand You: how to build a strong core with a committed following

Updated: Jan 18


In this post, we will be exploring the subject of internal branding. Internal branding is what gives consumers an idea about what the vision and values of a business are. It’s through its branding that consumers will see what problems the business is promising to solve. It’s through the branding that customers decide if they want to identify, commit, and/or be loyal to the business. If they experience cognitive dissonance when dealing with the business, they may decide to simply go to the competitor instead. So, how do you avoid customers doing that with your business? Keep reading and find out more. No decoder ring required I promise

. Brand Statements

Essence

This is what is at the heart of a brand and is “encapsulated by a short phrase that is often expressed as a metaphor” (Urde, 2016, p. 27). This often responds to the emotional side of your consumer. Example, how does your brand or product make them feel?

Image: Brand essence (MBASkool, 2019)

Image: Our brand logo

Vision

This is what you hope your business’s future will be. It’s often expressed as “a projection of the brand into the future by a description of what the brand (and organisation behind it) wants to accomplish. The brand vision is often intended as a source of inspiration and challenge for the organisation” (Urde, 2016, p. 28). Some examples of vision statements are:

“Our vision is to create a better everyday life for many people.” – IKEA “To help our clients meet their goals through our people, services and solutions.”- INFOSYS “A just world without poverty.” – OXFAM

Some tips for writing yours are: 1) It’s how you see your business 5-10 years down the track 2) It has a focus and will help with your business strategy and planning 3) It uses clear, specific language 4) It speaks about the values that are important to your business 5) It presents a challenge for your business

Promise

This answers your customers' question, “What’s in it for me?”. This is expressed as a “declaration specifying what a brand will/will not do or stand for” (Urde, 2016, p. 28). Some examples of this are,

“Wherever you go, we follow” – VODAPHONE “Quiet luxury, Crafted experiences. Intuitive service.” – MARRIOTT HOTELS “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” – NIKE

Some tips for writing yours are: 1) It has to be simple 2) It has to be credible (no braggadocio here!) 3) It has to be special 4) It has to be memorable 5) It has to be inspiring

Brand Values

These are the things that matter to you and your business. They express your business culture, mindset and also what matters to your customers.

Related to the Brand

The values that are related to your business’s “values, supporting ideas, positions, habits, and norms, which converge to give a corporate culture its character” (Urde, 2016, p. 29)

Ours is being global, unbounded, and inclusive. That’s because through life experience have been influenced by being born, raised and living and working in countries as diverse as Australia, New Zealand, France, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Cameroon, Madagascar, Comores Island, Reunion Island, Mauritius, Kenya, Gabon, Cote d’Ivoire, Cambodia, India, Malaysia, Japan, Russia, and Mongolia. That’s because we are open, genuine and don’t wish to be restrained by labels, limits, or borders. That’s because we are welcoming, wholehearted and want to build a community.

Summarising the Brand

These values are intended to “sum up the meaning of a brand. Core values are mindsets rooted within an organisation and essential perceptions held by customers and non-customer stakeholders, and define the identity of a brand” (Urde, 2016, p. 29).

Ours is that we are multifaceted and bilingual. We can provide digital marketing, copywriting, project management, social media management, brand management services. We do this in a way that will respect your needs, take into consideration your history, and assist you in growing your brand in a tactful manner.

Perceived by Customers

These are the values that express your unique selling proposition. They are “expressions of core values, used to appeal more directly to a target group” (Urde, 2016, p. 29).

The Brand Core

To develop great internal branding, it’s advisable that a core brand framework is used. One in which, at its heart are the values of the business supported by the promise it makes to its customers. These values are meant to be “understood, interpreted and communicated from different perspectives over time” (Urde, 2016, p.31). These are affected by three modes of appeal, pathos, ethos, and logos. These, in turn, will result in three outcomes, brand identification, brand commitment, and brand loyalty. Let’s explore these three outcomes below.

Figure 1: The brand core framework (Urde, 2016, p. 31)

Figure 2: Expected outcomes of internal branding (Punjaisri and Wilson, 2011, p. 1525)

Brand Identification

This is the perception or feeling of belongingness to your business. It’s the value that a customer feels your business brings to them and their own personal identity. It responds to the logos perspective of reason and understanding.

Brand Commitment

This might be best expressed as the emotional investment that a customer has towards your business. This means that your customer continues giving you business because they have a strong desire to stick with you. Your committed customers will advocate for your brand without being asked. Brand commitment responds to the pathos perspective of emotions and will.

Brand Loyalty

This is associated with positive experiences that the customer has had with your business. They want to replicate these positive experiences, so they choose to make repeat purchases with your business. This might be by buying the same product because it’s become a holy grail for them or because they know that the overall quality of your service offering is of a high standard at all times. Brand loyalty responds to the ethos perspective of reason and understanding.

Need some help with your digital marketing or social media management? Talk to us.

So, we explored internal branding that gives your business its essence, vision, and values. We’ve discussed the promises it makes through its branding. These promises expressed through identification, commitment, and loyalty to the brand aim to ensure the highest level of performance of your business. Through the congruency of how you want your business to be perceived as and the way your customers truly perceive it, you will be able to keep a strong brand. Your customers won’t be confusion, they won’t feel duped and they won’t need a decoder ring to figure out whether or not it’s a good idea to choose your business. I hope this post has given you a clear picture of how you too can ensure

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References:

Clarke,I.,II 2005, "Global Brand Strategy: Unlocking Brand Potential across Countries, Cultures and Markets", The Journal of Product and Brand Management, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 137, viewed 09 April 2019, https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.lib.swin.edu.au/docview/220595225?accountid=14205

Kaputa, C. 2006, "Creating a Brand Strategy", T + D, vol. 60, no. 4, pp. 90-92, viewed 09 April 2019, https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.lib.swin.edu.au/docview/227019167?accountid=14205

Mahnert, K.F. & Torres, A.M. 2007, "The brand inside: The factors of failure and success in internal branding", Irish Marketing Review, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 54-63, viewed 09 April 2019, https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.lib.swin.edu.au/docview/204520619?accountid=14205

MBASkool, 2019, ‘Brand Essence’, MBASkool, viewed 09 April 2019, https://www.mbaskool.com/business-concepts/marketing-and-strategy-terms/13047-brand-essence.html

Punjaisri, K. & Wilson, A. 2011, "Internal branding process: key mechanisms, outcomes and moderating factors", European Journal of Marketing, vol. 45, no. 9, pp. 1521-1537, viewed 09 April 2019, doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.lib.swin.edu.au/10.1108/03090561111151871

Sicco, v.G. 2004, "Global brand strategy", Journal of Brand Management, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 39-48, viewed 09 April 2019, https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.lib.swin.edu.au/docview/232485973?accountid=14205

Steinmetz, A. 2004, "Internal branding blueprint", B to B, vol. 89, no. 10, pp. 9, viewed 09 April 2019, https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.lib.swin.edu.au/docview/209414841?accountid=14205

Urde, M. 2016, "The brand core and its management over time", The Journal of Product and Brand Management, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 26-42, viewed 09 April 2019, https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.lib.swin.edu.au/docview/1774134215?accountid=14205

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