Senior Management, Marketing and HR must work together to define their brand’s Key Brand Criteria and implement a comprehensive strategy that engages all stakeholders, explains Paul Hitchens, brand management specialist and CIM course director. 

  • Purpose: Find your true purpose and attract willing advocates happy to help build the brand with you. A strong sense of purpose attracts employees, suppliers and customers and helps brands outperform those who don’t.
  • Vision: Champion an engaging idea of the brand’s future that can be understood and shared by every stakeholder. Can your employees and customers visualise their part in this future? Do they feel motivated to realise this dream?
  • Values: Be clear what the core values of the brand are. Values provide an ethical navigation system that equips employees with a set of behaviours that earn trust from all stakeholders.
  • Mission: It’s essential to have a manifesto that is shared by the management team. Your brand can be based on a firm charter to remind its stakeholders that they are united by an ideology that will be measured by their behaviour.
  • Proposition: Be very clear what your brand offers that can’t be gained from your competitors. You may be operating in a crowded sector or category but you can differentiate a brand by attitude and ethos.
  • Positioning: A strong brand should ideally be the first product, service or organisation people think of when making a choice. You may be the first choice for a variety of reasons: price, quality, happiness or security.
  • Personality: A brand’s personality is derived from its sense of purpose, vision and values. These qualities drive the brand’s behaviour and are expressed through its culture and performance.
  • Audience: Connect with your audience through a shared ethos and build a community built on mutual trust and respect. Deeper bonds of loyalty are earned when a brand understands and interacts honestly with its audience.

Paul is the author of two bestselling ‘Teach Yourself’ guide books on branding: ‘Brand Management – In a Week’ and ‘Create the Perfect Brand’ (published by Hodder & Stoughton). He is a Chartered Marketer and Course Director for the CIM and frequently provides industry comment for television, radio, national and trade press. At Institutul de Marketing in Romania, Paul delivered customized brand trainings in Romania for some big FMCG companies in the region.

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