Defining and Creating a Brand

Why go to so much effort to create or update a brand?

Envisioning and branding require a great deal of discussion and consideration to create a concise identity - built around a halo of stories and images - that connects projects with the hearts and minds of the target market.

Brands are not free-floating "idea balloons" bobbing in the marketplace. And they are certainly not designed to hang as an emblem on the boardroom wall. Instead, your brand identities radiate from the project out into the marketplace. There, they connect with the target market through strategically designed marketing material that snaps people out of a trance brought on by media bombardment. In other words, appropriate brand messaging helps you stand out from the clutter.

Once a brand wakes up consumers, it then has the power to trigger interest by connecting the opportunity with their deepest desires. How does it do that? Brands answer their desires and dreams. They take shape within the financial, emotional, geographical, and competitive conditions of the marketplace. Therefore, they exist in a context. Within this relationship, a brand must deliver on its promise to the right people at the right time.

So we have to decide what are the key characteristics of that brand promise and to whom are we going to make the offer? The best brands delivered to the wrong consumer at the wrong time have no hope of providing the right answers to the right consumer.

Matching the brand with the right target market means:

Brand Vocabulary

We create phrases and imagery that define the brand. As key messaging points, the sales team will apply these phrases during the sales process to ignite prospect interest and to defend against concerns and objections. These points will also be woven into the narrative within the marketing material.

Defining the Brand Differentiators

Brands work because the elements are easy to grasp and easy to recognize - and with recognition and interest comes the opportunity to tell more of the story. Creating a well-defined brand with a compelling value proposition is only the beginning.

In order to contribute to sales in this market, brands have to go to work. This is the job of implementing the brand with strategic marketing whose synergy and ROI is accomplished through engaging design and clear messaging that identifies that answer to what's missing in people's lives.

The distillation process will lead us to the key differentiators that resonate in the minds of prospects, compelling them to learn more about your project.

To qualify as a brand differentiator, an attribute must elevate your project above the competition in a way that is both real and compelling to buyers. These differentiators must communicate a level of experience and expertise in an honest voice.

The brand differentiators are not completely independent from one another; instead, they overlap and reinforce each other. At the point of convergence, the brand, and its value proposition grow in strength as both temptress, creating allure, and as warrior, defending the brand promise

Other Defining Elements

To further underpin the brand communication in your marketing and advertising we develop the following:

• Brand Positioning Statement

-- The Brand Personality Sound Bite
-- Brand Stories

• An overview of what the project will become on completion

• Assets and Liabilities: Reasons to Buy, Reasons Not to Buy

• Target Market Definition

-- Buyer's Mindset
-- The Target Market Personality

• Understanding which key elements will attract buyers

-- Which buyers will be most attracted to the project given its brand promise - amenities, service, lifestyle, and location

-- Knowing how the project will enhance the lives of buyers and their families

Our work with brands entails the same thing: creating in the minds of prospective buyers a "brand identity" that's distinctive and memorable. When about your project, we want them to resonate with the community long before they see it. In fact, we want them to start longing for it the way people yearn for a Coke when they stroll down the soda aisle of a grocery store or toward the cooler of a convenience store, especially on a hot summer day.

All great brands communicate - sometimes powerfully; sometimes subtly - an emotionally compelling group of associations straight into the hearts and minds of consumers. Why is all this so important? To leverage sales momentum by creating a unique identity in a highly competitive market.

And that's the goal of branding: to create a vision that unfolds like a vivid dream living in the hearts and minds of consumers. These images and associations generate energy that trigger buyer interest. The right message has the power to "shake up" consumers and get them interested in the picture we present.

The Angel's Share

Here's a story we frequently tell clients in order to help them understand the nature of brands in relation to all possible elements that could be said about them.

We believe that envisioning and branding are a distillation process. These two key processes extract the essence of a community so targeted buyers develop a yearning to learn more.

The old whiskey makers of Scotland have a name for this essence. They call it "The Angel's Share," which is the vapor that escapes during distillation. While the Angel's Share is no substitute for a long drink, it's just enough to precipitate a powerful thirst for more.

The essence of any element reflects its ultimate nature in concentrated form, because it contains all the essential elements that make it unique.

In marketing terms, this essence is your brand - your Angel's Share.


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