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Do You Understand the Anatomy of Your Brand?

A brand is the perception others have about your company.

The science of branding is about taking control of what your audiences think – and say – about your brand. But before you can successfully influence your audiences’ perceptions, you have to get absolutely clear on what you want them to think and experience.


Brand is not what you say it is. It’s what they say it is.

– Marty Neumeier, The Brand Gap


Begin with the Big Picture

Brands that survive and thrive in today’s fast, saturated and commoditized business environment are strong, clear, differentiating and quick to adapt to the ever-changing marketing landscape.

To fully understand the world in which your brand must thrive, you first need to develop a brand strategy – the context for your branding efforts. This is not the time to debate details or get tactical – this is the time to focus on research, analysis and planning and to answer some big-picture questions.

Where are we today? This will help to assess and clarify your company’s vision, offerings and current positioning as well as audience perceptions of your company.

What is our vision for tomorrow? This will help to uncover your big hairy audacious goal, growth strategy, business goals and priorities.

What does our environment look like? This will help identify target audience profiles, competitive landscape, emerging trends, global and economic conditions, and any other internal and external factors that affect your business.

Your answers will inform your brand.

Free Download

Your Brand Toolbox

Building a strong brand is anything but easy. To assist you with the entire process – from conducting your brand audit through rebranding, we’ve developed this Brand Toolbox.

Develop a Brand Platform

Your brand platform is the anatomy of your brand. And just like human anatomy needs various parts to ensure its full and proper functionality, so does your brand.

  • Purpose: Your company’s “why”; the greater impact it wants to have, or difference it wants to make, beyond “selling stuff.”
  • Positioning: Your company’s distinct and identifiable place within its competitive set.
  • Value Proposition: The tangible benefits of your company’s offerings; how you solve customers’ problems.
  • Brand Promise: The one thing you want people to know and remember; the correlation you want your audiences to make with your brand.
  • Brand Essence: A short mantra that captures the soul or essential nature of your company; its internal rallying cry.
  • Brand Personality: What makes your brand unique and distinct from its peers and competitors (just like human personality).
  • Brand Values: The values your company must honor in order to carry out its purpose, be true to its essence and express its personality.
  • Brand Story: The story that best helps audiences understand, and relate to, your company, and is told through your marketing and the subtle signals your company sends in how it does business.

Click here to download the Brand Anatomy infographic (PDF)


As you develop your brand platform, think about:

  • Relevance: Will your brand platform connect to its audiences in ways that are engaging, authentic and meaningful?
  • Resonance: Does it have the ingredient to elicit an emotional response from target audiences and connect with them on a personal level?
  • Clutter: Is your brand platform setting the stage for a brand and for marketing that is memorable and able to break through the clutter?
  • Polarity: Is your brand platform taking a stance that’s strong enough to ensure the market understands who it’s for and who it’s not for?
  • Aspiration: Will your brand platform give your company something to strive for, uniting your team around a common a goal?

If you’ve hit all or most of the above, you now you have … ta-da! … a piece of paper (albeit a powerful piece of paper). So …

Don’t Blow It Now

Your brand platform means nothing if it’s not effectively and flawlessly translated into every aspect of your business and marketing:

Remember: You must communicate and reinforce your brand platform in everything you create for and about your company.

Imagine how difficult it would be to create a memorable brand identity, compelling and engaging marketing materials, dynamic corporate culture and more with nothing but the general business facts to inform them.

A brand platform is, in a big way, the very blood that courses through every cell of your company, bringing it to life and giving it its unique DNA.


Additional Resources

Download our free Brand Toolbox, a guide we’ve developed to assist you with the branding process – from conducting your brand audit to smoothly navigating the process.

The Rebranding Challenge: What’s an In-House Marketer to Do?

Is Your Brand Strategy MIA?

10 Must-Ask Questions for Brand Evolution


Substance151 Can Help

Substance151 helps companies develop comprehensive brand platforms and translate them into powerful brand engagement and marketing programs. Contact us at 410-732-8379 or brand@substance151.com and let’s discuss how we can define your brand’s anatomy and put it to work for increased marketing muscle and, ultimately, business results.

Click here to download the entire Brand Anatomy infographic (PDF).
Brand Anatomy = Brand Platform

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