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November 7th, 2017

5 Imperatives for Building Brand Value Through Intentional Design

The sum of experiences a person has with your brand should not be a random series of events that hope to make a positive impact to secure a sale or deal. That holds true whether the person is a customer, an end user, an influencer, or a partner.

Instead, every brand experience should be intentionally designed to express the purpose, promise, and pillars of your brand. These should trigger an emotional response that builds the value of your brand in the mind of your audiences at each moment of interaction. Because if you’re not building value, you’re eroding it. Here’s how you keep building toward new heights.

Five imperatives to intentionally design brand experiences that build brand value.

  1. Have a deep and critical understanding of your brand.
  2. Know the current perception of your brand in the mind of your audiences.
  3. Know the parameters of your brand’s value proposition to these audiences.
  4. Know every step of your audiences’ journey with your brand.
  5. Gain the expertise to design and deliver the desired brand experiences.

The first three imperatives are all tied together. Your brand doesn’t exist in a vacuum, so you can’t have a critical understanding of it, without knowing what others think and value about it. Undoubtedly you have multiple audiences, each of which will have a nuanced set of criteria that your brand must fulfill to achieve value. These are prioritized needs your brand must satisfy and cater to. We write in more depth about that in Brand Value Lies in the Eye of the Beholder.

Research is important to informing your imperatives, especially if you haven’t done any lately. The sophistication of this research depends on your market and the complexity of the audiences that significantly impact your business. If you have just a few customers in tightly defined markets, it may be possible to gather this information on your own or through your marketing team. But if you’re providing products / services to a highly-segmented end user audience through distributors, dealers, or retail, then you’ll need a more robust methodology and analysis. Regardless of the market or segment size, a quantitative sampling is advisable.

Once research is complete, you will have gained keen insights into how your audiences feel about your brand and the value it does or does not provide. Use that knowledge to revisit the foundational elements of your brand to fine tune the Five PsPurpose, Pillars, Positioning, Personality and Value Propositions. Now your brand is ready to fire on all cylinders.

The next phase is to examine the journey each of your audiences travels with your brand. When and where do they first notice your brand? Some will be organically, as they seek answers to their need or challenge. Some will be directly from you, through your outreach to the market. And what then? Once you’ve discovered the first stop in their journey, plot out their itinerary—from first interaction to consideration to engagement to decision and purchase to product / service delivery and use. Define these moments and document the desired brand experience you want to deliver.

Armed with this journey map for each of your audiences, engage your design team to conceptualize the desired experiences, then prototype and test them. Validate the effect you wish to create with your target audience—both physically and emotionally. Refine the concept until it delivers on your brand’s promise with the greatest positive impact. Now implement, evaluate, measure, and refine.

So, building brand value is about knowledge, navigation, understanding, and design. Know your brand value and deliver it at every touchpoint.

There’s no reason why you can’t be the Disney, the Nike, the Harley Davidson, or the Ritz Carlton of your industry. Start today. Harness the power and potential of your brand.

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