Elements of Brand Building
Brand building. Important elements.
Brand building. Art or Science?
We assume you Googled brand building if you found your way to this page. As you know, Stealing Share is a branding company. It is what we do.
So, a look under the hood at brand building Stealing Share style. Or you can call us, and we will save you the time of reading this.
Other branding companies think brand creation is an art form. They spend most of their resources (your money) on having their designers draw and create logos and other marks that they believe represent your brand. We learned that your brand is more complicated than that.
Brand building remained stagnant
After a long history as a traditional brand building company, we began to find fundamental misunderstandings on what a brand really is. And what we create it to accomplish.
In the past decade, marketing has dramatically changed. Print advertising has disappeared. Television has become more targeted and more expensive. The real change is the move to digital. Everything needed reimagining.
So, marketing departments started using social media. Micro-targeting customers with personalized messages. And using interactivity to engage prospects. Everything changed except branding.
That old-school brand building still saw the brand as identity. You know, a symbol of something that is meant to be memorable.
But there is so much more noise in the market today. The prospect you covet is bombarded by messages. Messages from everywhere and all the time.
As we researched the marketing efforts, it became clear that regardless of the identity, prospects see, even the targeted messages as SPAM.
Brand building is a science for us.
We began to wonder why no one thought that brand could be persuasive and an identifying mark. Could we ask more of our brands than traditional branding believed? SHOULD we ask more?
As a result, Stealing Share began an exploration into persuasive branding. What makes something persuasive? What gets through the target audience’s SPAM filters?
It seemed to us that brand building needed a rebrand. Changed in the way it is practiced and developed.
We transformed the brand creation process into a science and the design creation as a melding of art and science.
The science of persuasion
We started looking at brand building through an anthropologist’s eyes and watching, recording, and projecting human behavior. What got people’s attention? What caused them to ignore ideas and stimuli?
We discovered that much that we hold important is rooted in self-interest. We notice things that seem in some way about ourselves. We remember things that we see as benefiting ourselves.
Our creative director had an epiphany
Looking at the digital world that surrounded us, our creative director said, “if you could create a billboard on a highway that had the customer’s picture on it— as you road by. Well, that would be something.”
He was kidding a bit. But that was the ultimate promise.
And we talk about the brand as a billboard. “Our strategists challenge each other by asking, “what is the brand’s billboard?”
It is a valuable tool to distill a brand message into as few words as possible.
What would the brand billboard look like if the brand was that profoundly personal? What is another means of showing a photo of the target audience?
Our brand anthropologists modeled behaviors. We asked fundamental questions. Why do people do things? What creates that behavioral process? Do the marketing ideas of satisfying needs and wants arise spontaneously? If not, what causes them?
You can read an in-depth look at our behavior modeling. We will put a link below this article. It’s a fascinating and predictive process.
The results of this process revolutionized the way we looked at brand building. We discovered that personal identity comes from the ideas and myths we believe to be true.
Belief systems are so personal and powerful that if you challenge a person’s beliefs, they feel as if you’re are challenging their very person. Beliefs are personal. And, they don’t have to be true either.
That was our most important breakthrough. We saw belief systems as dispassionately as we could. No judgment. And not allowing ourselves to even consider the validity of them.
If you believe something, that belief is powerful.
The brand building aha moment
If you create a brand that exemplifies a belief system and uses that belief system as an integrated part of its identity, it becomes persuasive.
This means that identity is not the thing you are selling. It IS the person you are selling to.
All branding rules were suddenly obsolete.
The truth of persuasive brands was at once challenging and straightforward.
The design must visually represent the belief system. What we learned to identify is the highest emotional intensity in the category. We designed that idea into the logo, brand charter, brand theme, and brand narrative. The story is no longer about what you sell but whom you are selling to.
The science of branding became crystalline. The art of the brand had direction. The result of our brand building was that market share increased. Marketing messages became more persuasive, and the costs of advertising became more affordable. Why? Because when a brand is built around a belief system (we internally call them precepts) and the highest emotional intensity is represented, something amazing happens.
The brand gets noticed and considered. Reach becomes more critical than frequency. The more emotionally intensive, the less the prospect needs to see it.
So, Stealing Share went rogue. We left the cadre of traditional branding agencies and created our path. We even invented a new kind of research to test the precepts. And predict their power.
Call us. We will show you how brand development is done