Brand Platform

More than just a messaging strategy

After 30 years, we’ve developed a real knack of developing authentic, powerful brand platforms …

Developing a strong brand platform comes from the objectivity that is guided by a solid base of facts and the wisdom to see the nuance that uncovers the edge that is often overlooked. Developing a strong brand platform is part science and part art. The proportion of each is dictated by each client situation. In any case, experience makes you better at the science and more artful in discovering the truest, most distinctive brand platform.

 

The science of developing a strong brand platform starts with executing a fact-based, objective, strategy-development process implemented by experienced consultants. We use a four-phase process that has been continually refined for over 25 years. Our process starts with conducting a thorough competitive brand analysis ensuring the brand platform will be distinctive. At the core of our process is conducting robust brand assessment research, validating the brand platform will be relevant to the target market. We use quantitative research methods to fully understand the brand capabilities and commitments inside the organization, providing the confidence the proposed brand platform can be consistently delivered.

Authenticity and credibility are the two most important criteria of a corporate brand platform. Without authenticity and credibility, a corporate brand platform is just another slogan that will quickly become irrelevant. Building credibility starts with identifying an organization’s brand ethos — the single enduring value at the core of an organization’s character that has proven itself as the differentiating factor for the organization. Discerning a credible brand ethos is the first and fundamental step in developing a corporate brand platform.

 

Identifying an organization’s ethos is where the art comes into play. A brand ethos is another way of defining the core of its “organizational character.” An organization’s true character is the context for defining its distinctive way of consistently delivering distinctive value for its customers.

 

If defining an organization’s brand ethos is the art, then translating it into a brand platform is the science. Our team of consultants starts with the organization’s brand, its ethos, as the “soul” of the brand platform and very carefully craft every word of each element of a brand platform. As we craft each statement we hold ourselves accountable to ensuring that the resulting brand platform meets the most important guiding principles of brand strength – distinctive, relevant and consistent.

A well-defined brand platform, anchored in an organization’s authentic qualities, is the absolute lynchpin in building a strong corporate brand. Don’t confuse a brand positioning statement with a brand platform, one guides marketing communications messaging, the other is a set of customer-focused guiding principles that engages all employees to deliver on the potential of a corporate brand. Think of a brand positioning statement as the dessert portion of a chef’s tasting menu.

 

Brand Vision: A forward-looking statement that describes a brand in terms of its relationship with its long-term contribution to its targeted customers.

Core Values: An expression of an organization’s principles and culture that provides the foundation for internal brand building.

Brand Position: A brand’s desired position among competitors in its category, pragmatically defined, with a time horizon of no more than 24 months.

Brand Dimensions: The impressions of what an organization does, the distinctive qualities it delivers in every relationship, and the consistent qualities its customers can expect in every interaction. Brand dimensions become the measurement standards for how well an organization delivers on its brand.

Brand Promise: A brief, pithy, and energizing statement that is used by employees to guide their everyday activities.

In its most powerful form a corporate brand platform is a coordinated system of practical, precise definitions that reflects an organization’s authentic, distinctive qualities that differentiates an organization.

A brand’s external strength comes from the brand’s internal strength. Building and nourishing a strong internal brand starts with an articulate, credible brand platform. Getting credit in the marketplace for a brand’s internal strength is the role of marketing communications. A well-constructed brand platform provides the framework so that the inside and outside are working together to build a strong brand.

What makes us different starts with our belief that there is truly
something different about your organization – and we can name it

There are two things that provide us the confidence that we develop powerful, authentic brand platforms for our clients. First our anthropology-like curiosity, depth and breadth of knowledge of business models and our passion for finding just the right words that capture the true essence of an organization’s authentic brand qualities. Secondly, our senior consultants have the creditability and experience to get senior leaders onboard and engaged to support the brand platform. As far as we are concerned, these two qualities are the one-two punch for brand platform success.

 

Oh yeah, there’s one more thing. We have a passion for digging in and developing brand platforms, it’s not a means to an end for us; it’s not something we have to do to get to do another type of work. We firmly believe that when we deliver a brand platform our clients are in a much better position to build a stronger brand, no matter who does the rest of the work.

14451 Highway 7, Suite 212, Minnetonka, MN 55345 | info@brandtoolbox.com | 612.338.5009