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Is Brand Essence the secret ingredient to Blackmore’s success?

In a recent interview in the Australian Financial Review, Blackmore’s Chairman (and interim CEO following the departure of the current CEO to replace Ahmed Fahour as head of Australia Post), Marcus Blackmore was quoted as saying:

“(Blackmore’s) People have changed over the years, but the one thing that hasn’t changed is the Brand Essence.”

The Brand Essence

Brand Essence is the “heart and soul” of your brand. It’s what (beyond product, service or price), really makes your company ‘tick’.

Your brand essence is an internal driver of culture – usually expressed or encapsulated in two, maybe three words, but never more. And it’s best expressed as “adjective, noun” or “adjective, adjective, noun.”

Here are some Brand Essence example descriptors created for BrandQuest Clients:

For a community credit union, proud of its historic ‘connective-ness’ and affinity with its customer base: Good Neighbour.

For the world’s largest wholesaler of children’s outdoor play equipment: Measured Audacity.

For Australasia’s leading manufacturer of lightweight, reinforced concrete building products: Passionate Innovators.

For an Australian-based global supplier of treasury and banking software: Calculated Visionaries.

And the list goes on.

Importantly, the brand essence IS NOT the brand tagline or slogan – although it can help inform the tagline.

As Blackmore’s Chairman said, the brand essence is a summation of a company or corporate culture that drives behaviour (internal and external), product development and should even help inform hiring decisions.

As a key part of the Brand CanvasTM – the brand essence should also be evident in all marketing activities.

The “Brand Pyramid”

At BrandQuest, we develop our Clients’ Brand Essence through a process called the “Brand Pyramid”. The Brand Pyramid is based on the notion that brand meaning can be deepened by examining progressively more abstract implications of a brand’s features.

The bottom of the pyramid represents the starting point, which usually contains core attributes of the business.

As we move up the pyramid, the outcomes of these core attributes are translated into rational benefits. These rational benefits are then translated into emotional benefits. Finally, the business or company Values and Personality are overlaid at the top of the pyramid.

As the brand pyramid is ascended, the focus becomes less on the core attributes of the brand and more on the emotive level that the brand impacts on its end consumers or buyers.

Pyramid describing each level of the Brand's meaning up to the Brand Essence

Brand Pyramid provides a progressive understanding of the brand’s features and abstract implications. Starting with the core attributes and moving up to the Brand Essence


The Brand Essence, when combined with the brand positioning, creates your unique and distinguishable Brand CanvasTM.

The Brand Canvas then frames your ‘go to market messaging’ – and when consistently communicated provides the primary reason for your audience to select your product or service over a competitor’s.

Every organisation has a brand essence – some remain undiscovered and latent, yet when revealed and inculcated within an organisation, the brand essence can become a potent addition to your cultural and commercial success.

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About BrandQuest

BrandQuest is a strategy and brand management consultancy that intrinsically believes that great brands are born of the founders and staff who work within the company.

They are not the result of an outsourced creative endeavour but the cumulative knowledge and culture that a company possesses.

Since 2007, BrandQuest has developed a process that can extract and refine this inner knowledge into a powerful brand strategy ready to implement within a 4 to 6 week time-frame.

Our clients work with us because they seek:

  1. Increased brand and business value
  2. Strategic Alignment, clarity and direction
  3. Robust, authentic and fearless advice

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