The Brand Equation
In order to be considered successful, a brand must be memorable. Lorenz has created a Brand Equation to define the process and position a brand for market leadership.
First, a strong brand image must be created. The brand image is a combination of several things; most notably the brand name and identity, or logo.
Second, a true message must be developed. This true message will be edited into what is referred to as a key message. The key message is at the core of our communication. Just like in daily conversation, many people can “tell” when someone is lying. It’s the same with messaging for a brand. Customers can tell when a brand is untrue; making unbelievable claims, using unnecessary volume or fanfare to tell their message, etc.
Third, the image and message must be used consistently through all marketing and communications efforts. From the first moment a customer sees the image to the hundredth time they refer it to a friend, the image, the message and the tone must be consistent. Inconsistency breeds a lack of confidence. Customers need to depend on brands in order to develop loyalty.
Finally, a simple marketing strategy must be developed. In some cases, multiple strategies are required. However, the more complex the strategy, the more difficult it becomes to maintain consistency and truth throughout your marketing efforts.
Each element of the equation builds on the previous. If any elements are lacking, the total brand integrity will be compromised. A weakened brand becomes less memorable and ultimately loses market share.
In order to make a brand memorable, we must control the brand experience by being strong, simple, consistent, and true. …Remembering that consumers own the brand.
The brand experience is the sum of the parts encountered by a customer. It encompasses everything related to the brand from the first moment of brand awareness — be it visual or verbal — to this moment in time. It includes the brand identity, an ad, a billboard, a voice mail greeting, the appearance of the building, the cleanliness of the offices, the attitude of the staff, a brochure, social media content, a promotional item, a response to a dissatisfied customer, what their friend says about their experience, an article in the paper, a rumor, how a competitor sells against the brand and so much more; even things that are nearly imperceptible.
The brand perception is based upon the brand experience; much of which is out of our hands as marketing professionals. In order to deliver true brand integrity, the entire corporate team must understand and own the final representation of the brand — and, they all must do so consistently.