Take Coca-Cola for example. When you think of them where do you start? Did you think of the product at all? Most people don’t. In fact, when most people think of Coca-Cola they think of summer, of young people having fun. You can see this so clearly in their ‘Summer Love’ commercial here. This is a great example of a brand that has successfully designed, developed and communicated a core idea. When branding corporate companies, the core idea is what your customers will remember.
So how do we get there? Branding corporate companies use a three step process to figure out what their core idea is. Before we get to the core idea we need to consider the brands key attributes, personality and values. Once these are developed we can determine a way to integrate them and create a brand idea that is both desirable and believable.
A core brand should be actionable, unique and memorable in the customer’s mind. But if you are branding for longevity, then your core brand should be timeless and meaningful. This enables you to stand out from the crowd with an idea that withstands the rapidly changing marketplace. A really good question to ask yourself would be “what would we like our customers to say about us to other firms, or when we’re not present?”. This really pins down the impact you want your brand to have in the world.
The three-step process of developing a core idea:
1. Brainstorm brand attributes, personality and values
Key attributes – Branding corporate companies starts with understanding it’s raw make-up. Who are your employees? Who are your customers and what do you provide them? Understanding the key attributes is the building block for developing the other aspects of the core idea.
Personality – What does your brand think and feel. It is important to have identified your key attributes, because this will help you inform a personality that matches who you are with what your customers want. Each brand will have a different personality that is true to them. For example a large well-established financial institution is likely to have a brand personality that is focused around authority, trust and reliability. On the other hand a new financial planning start-up is likely to have a personality that is based around innovation.
Values – With personality established it is time to work out what is important to your brand. Your brand values are the cornerstone principals that your brand strives for. In the example above the values of the established financial planning institution may have values like “Reliability always comes first” or “Our customers will always see positive returns”, The more youthful start-up may have values like “Innovation is key to everything” or “We explore every option for the maximum return.”
2. Ask for feedback
Ask a higher authority what their thoughts are regarding your core ideas. It’s likely they are more experienced, and have worked with numerous brands and seen which core ideas have worked, and which haven’t. They are an invaluable resource when it comes to informing you of what works and what doesn’t. But it’s important to brainstorm without boundaries at first, so as not to limit yourself of possible great ideas.
3. Condense your list
Now that you’ve received feedback, it’s time to pick out the ones that really resonate with your brand goals. The one’s that your colleagues have agreed upon, and those you think customers will appreciate the most. Pretty soon you’ll have a clear list of values that will become your core idea. Remember, your core idea doesn’t have to be based on just one value. It can be a combination of key ideas that work together to advertise your brand successfully.
Having trouble identifying your brand’s core idea? Here at Charles Elena, we have a team dedicated to helping you design your brand from the ground up. Get in touch.