Every brand has a story. Tell it well and you’ll give your customers a reason to believe and, better yet, to buy.
Volumes have been written about how to build a strong brand, but where should you start? While there are many ways to develop strong brands, there is a common DNA that runs throughout all successful alcohol brands — a strong, well-thought-out and clearly defined brand essence.
The brand essence is the most elemental part of your brand. It is the single attribute that differentiates your brand from the competition as perceived by your consumers.
When developing your brand essence avoid pages of flowery adjectives or a thesis
on process or place. Instead, concentrate your efforts on writing a succinct one- or
two-sentence encapsulation of the most important guiding principal or attribute of
your brand. Even better – use one or two words!
Seven criteria for developing a successful brand essence:
- Unique: Be different than your competitors.
- Focused: Communicate your brand’s essence in no more than one or two sentences.
- Consistent: Leverage your brand’s essence throughout all touchpoints.
- Authentic: Your brand’s essence must be credible and real.
- Experiential: Tap into what your consumer is passionate about. Create an emotional connection.
- Sustainable: Your brand’s essence must remain constant and without change.
- Scalable: Make sure your brand’s essence will allow your brand to grow over time.
The Importance of Storytelling.
Once you’ve defined your brand’s essence, you need to find a way to communicate it clearly and consistently to your consumers. The best way to do this is through storytelling. A well-told story takes the consumer on an emotional journey – appealing to their wants, needs and desires – all while telling them about the product.
The story weaves together the brand’s essence, benefits and marketing message to create an emotional and cognitive connection with the consumer. Effective storytelling positions the brand in alignment with the target consumer’s lifestyle, beliefs, interests and aspirations.
Leveraging your brand essence:
The most successful alcohol brands not only define their brand essence, they leverage it throughout all their communications; wearing it like a badge of courage. A clear, simple and authentic brand essence guides your consumer from awareness to trial, and ultimately, to advocacy.