What is Brand Essence-

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					?Brand Essence is a way of articulating the emotional connection and lasting
impression -- usually summed up with one simple statement or phrase -- that defines
the qualities, personality and uniqueness of a brand. Said another way, Brand Essence
characterizes what a brand stands for in the minds of customers and stakeholders. It
embodies the brand's core competencies, advantages, culture and values.

Think of Brand Essence as the heart and soul of a product or service. A brand's
essence establishes a positive, powerful connection with everyone with whom it
touches. It represents the relationship and intrinsic value the brand provides to the
customer. For those who serve the brand, it is a beacon that motivates and inspires
continued commitment.

Brand Essence should be viewed as long-term positioning. It is reflected in the quality
and evolution of a product, how it is communicated and marketed, the type of care
and concern customers receive, and the way stakeholders support the brand.

For example, Hallmark uses the phrase, Enriching Lives to capture its Brand Essence
and company culture. Enriching Lives represents the basis for how Hallmark serves
customers, develops its products, communicates in its marketing, merchandises stores,
and creates a positive work environment for employees. Hallmark's Brand Essence
permeates every aspect of the company and business. And it has continued to serve
the brand over time.

Harley-Davidson's Brand Essence has created a fiercely loyal customer base that
connects to the brand emotionally. Harley-Davidson's image doesn't merely reflect the
quality and design of its motorcycles. Rather, the brand is best known for the value it
places on nonconformity and self-determination. That's why buyers believe that
owning a Harley makes a powerful, empowering statement to others that they live life
on their own terms. And who can resist that?

Determining and capturing Brand Essence involves extensive research with customers
and non-customers to acquire a keen understanding of needs and desires. Other
research is also needed in the market, among competitors, and with internal audiences
to further serve in the development of the positioning message. A research company
with expertise in customer-driven branding and messaging can facilitate this process
and provide the expertise needed for this critical component in your brand's evolution
and success.

This article was written by Jules Sowder, a brand marketing advisor with 20-years of
experience developing strategic marketing and sales solutions for large corporations,
start-up companies, and small businesses. She also has a resource web site to help
marketers and trade show exhibitors maximize marketing and sales effectiveness: