Branding statements communicate the essence of your brand. They reflect what your brand stands for and influence its reputation. They reflect what you want to be known for. They should communicate positive distinctions, characteristics, and, if applicable, achievements. It should also be a measure of differentiation.
Inclusions to consider regarding Brand Statement:
Your specialty — who are you?
Your service — what you do?
Your audience — who you do it for?
Your best characteristic — what are you known for?
What are you trying to communicate with your brand?
What are you trying to overcome with your brand?
Guidelines for Establishing an Effective Brand Statement
Guideline #1. Keep statements to bare essentials
Extremely short, simple descriptions often are the most powerful. Brand experts suggest keeping statements to one or two words, but this is often challenging to do. Volvo, for example, might be able to sum up its brand as “safety.” Southwest Airlines brands itself as “The Low Cost Airline”.
While there is value in developing more in-depth brand descriptions, short statements force you to identify your brand’s core essence, and they are easy to communicate and remember. Consumers do not have the capacity to remember lengthy brand statements, but they can remember quick, impacting statements about what your brand stands for, which is critical to any brand’s success.
Guideline #2. Address brand value
Consider whether the brand statement describes the customer or audience needs, and how it meets the need(s).
In summary, does the brand statement address:
Brand’s core attributes
How brand meets audience’s needs
Customers’ rational benefits
Customers’ emotional benefits
Guideline #3. Reality is a requirement
A tremendous amount of research and thought should go into branding. A brand statement should be supported by solid research and not simply “dreamed up”. Brand statements should reflect what is happening in the marketplace and customer needs, or else your brand is not supported by a solid foundation.
Do not use flowery language, buzzwords or empty superlatives (world-leading, cutting-edge). These types of statements, which are overused by marketers worldwide, are immediately dismissed by an audience. There is a lack of meaning and emotional connection.
Be sure your brand statement solves a real need or rely on quantifiable data (as opposed to “the only”, etc.).
Guideline #4. It must be shared (and resonate) throughout your company.
Everyone must be on the same page, and able to articulate and expand upon the brand statement. This is another supporting factor for keeping the brand statement short and memorable.
How much a company can integrate its brand depends on its priorities, resources and budgets, but a persuasive brand statement makes integration and awareness much easier to accomplish.
All touch points should reflect the brand statement, including collateral, interior design, and customer service.
Written by: Mandy Wettstein, Director of Strategic Alliances