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5 Principles Of Creating Great Brands

By: Nicole Enslein

Every brand is capable of achieving 'greatness' with the right strategy behind it. No matter how cluttered or competitive the category, your brand, product or company can catapult to new places. While creating effective and enduring communications is not formulaic, there are certain principles that always hold true.

5 Principles of great branding:
1. It ALWAYS follows the positioning statement (see definition of "Positioning" below as well as an example of how to write one)
2. It communicates a unique point of difference for your brand, which can be a functional or emotional benefit - the single minded point of differentiation for your brand vs. the competition or category.
3. It must be communicated in a concise, easily understandable manner -- every word works to deliver your message
4. Everything must be "on brand". In other words, your branding must be consistently executed across all elements of your brand: from the person who answers the phone to the product that sits on the shelf.
5. Once a positioning or brand perception is created in a consumers mind, it is very difficult to change.

In case you ask what is "positioning". Positioning is the foundation of all communication. It shapes and determines the perception your target has of your brand, product or company.

Here is a sample of how a positioning statement is written:

"To -- insert a description of your core target audience here (target audience is who you need to address to achieve your goals and objectives. Understanding your target is important to speaking authentically to them. It is beyond the demographics but gaining an understanding of their psychographics, motivations, lifestyle, etc.)
-- insert your brand or product name here --
is the one -- insert concise statement of competitive framework whether it is the category or segment you are in here --
that -- insert your unique point of difference, or brand benefit here (this can be an emotional or a functional statement of the benefit that is unique to your brand, product or company).

The most effective positionings:
- Fulfill an unmet need or better fulfill a met need
- Have a unique benefit or reason to believe creating a distinct point of differentiation for your brand (the first brand to... , the only brand that... , etc.)
- Are authentic to the brand, company's or product's performance -- it must ring true
- Are consistent with the target's experience, knowledge or perceptions
- Are enduring and last the test of time
- Take the future into account (can grow and change with the brand)
- Can be easily communicated

None of this is simple, but when you get it right, you create a level of attachment, an enduring loyalty and you can move the needle on achieving your goals.

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