Before we get into what I call the goodness of brand essence, I’m sure most of you are thinking “Woh woh back up, sister. What does brand essence even mean?!“
What is a brand essence, or positioning statement?
Simply put, brand essence is the internal expression of its purpose, the soul of your brand. Said another way, it is the business’s reason for being, which goes beyond simply ‘making lots of money’.
This positioning statement sits at the heart of the business and should be used to inform sales and marketing strategy, product development, HR decisions, team culture and, as a result, the experience your client ultimately has with you.
When it comes to branding, we often think the process involves these items: a logo, a business card, and a website. And in part, that is correct, yes. But I think much of the mystique (or intimidation) around ‘branding’ stems from the fact that there are no clear, universally accepted and/or sequential steps for brand development.
Functionally, a brand essence can be used as a building block for brand development. In other words, it serves as the foundation upon which all other brand elements (e.g. logo, tagline, brand personality, brand voice, etc.) are built.
Your essence gives depth to your USP (unique selling proposition) by going beyond price and product features, it educates your audience, and also helps you to develop your reputation. Over time, you’ll find that defining the essence of your brand effectively even helps you to attract the right audiences and ultimately – clients.
Let’s share a few examples to give you some context of companies that have a clearly defined brand essence.
Volvo – Safety
Disney – Making people happy
Apple – Think different
Why do I need one?
Let’s face it, as a coach, it’s a competitive market. Look, I know you rock, you’re a superstar in fact, but here’s the thing: positioning your brand and clearly defining your uniqueness, builds trust, confidence and ATTRACTS MORE CLIENTS… oh now I’ve got your attention! 🙂
When you understand precisely what’s driving your brand and setting you apart from your competitors, you can develop better messaging, content that connects, and stronger advertising and awareness-building campaigns. Today, it’s more important than ever for businesses to connect with their audiences on an emotional level. If you know that you define yourself as “Caring and Honest,” then you can put those principles first when creating messages to appeal to people that value respect and authenticity.
Brand essence allows you to get emotional with your marketing efforts, and it will also guide you towards the campaigns that are more likely to help your coaching business grow.
So how do you start if you don’t know where to start…
How do I find my brand essence?
Here are a couple of questions to help you get started. Write these on a whiteboard or a big sheet of paper –
- What motivated you to launch your coaching business in the first place (please don’t say profit)?
- What do you feel is your ultimate highest purpose as a brand?
- When a client gives you feedback on the results they’ve achieved from working with you – what do they say? Are there some common threads/patterns?
- If you/your business could be described as one thing – what would it be?
Look over what you’ve written down and see if something jumps out at you, makes you feel warm and fuzzy, even brings you to tears… warms your soul maybe! If it does, you’re definitely on the right track.
If you are struggling with your brand positioning, get in touch, I’d love to help.
Michelle Adams, CEO & Founder, Marvel Marketing House
Building Better Brands