Have you read my BRAND ABCD model? Well, here is my A, let's start!
In order to learn anything about anything you need to bring some structure into it. And this applies to everything, in fact. A text is a mysterious picture for you until you start recognizing individual letters. The songs on the radio are but a cheerful flow of sounds until you learn English. It works personally too; do you shout at people? Do you often have your way? Do you even get angry often? You are like that. Well, until you start working with a (real) coach or therapist. Then you may quite likely find out that this behavior also has a structure. That you are unstable.
Extrovert. And thus a choleric person. Well, does that sound better?
It does. Mainly, however, this is something your coach may continue working on with you; to help you with what you need. A (real) coach is unable to change you, but s/he may help you understand the causes and consequences of your behavior, to describe it thoroughly, and then help you find new strategies for how to handle this formula of yours. And the result? A choleric person working for some city authority will be a thorn in his/her colleagues’ and citizens’ sides. A choleric person in an advertising agency? Often an indispensable driving force for winning teams. How easy, once you know the structure. It works exactly the same with brands. A brand is no replacement, no bunch of coincidences, no matter how often it looks just like that from the outside. From the inside, though, everything is in order. Unfortunately, often with the brand’s owner – its master – being unaware of it.
Take a look around, glance through the newspaper, and try to recall your favorite brands. And apply them. Put on your WHO/WHAT/FOR glasses, and they will start picking up the colors nicely. Does a brand tell more about what it does? How it was created? Does it invite you to try it?
Remember – EVIDENCE is a typical trick of WHAT brands. Something works in a special way? Prove it! Procter&Gamble is a brilliant family of brands, and thus of excellent examples. Head&Shoulders shampoos, Always sanitary pads, Ariel washing powders or Blend-A-Dent toothpastes? All these are connected by this evidence. It’s not about emotions, creativity, fun (frequent mistake!) – it’s about an internal structure of the story. The girl whose hair smells so good thanks to the Head&Shoulders shampoo with an apple fragrance that her boyfriend can’t stop smelling it provides us with a lot of emotions in the commercial. And yet it’s not a FOR commercial. The commercial draws us into the process of the product, into the process it is used through. We can see an excellent animation in which the deadly shampoo quickly finishes off the dandruff; just to make sure it reminds us of how to wash hair, and eventually there’s the necessary stamp to show the product is recommended by this or that laboratory. Excellent. And for most people – subliminal. You’re enjoying a sexy story while consuming WHAT evidence. Result? That shampoo just has to work when it’s so excellent! Created in such a great way! People wearing white coats, mixing a new formula for a washing powder, cross-sectioning pads – all these are just further evidence. If you want to draw attention to yourself by claiming to be the strongest man in the world, it will be useful to at least look that way in order to get initial reactions. In other words, your product should have its excellent WHATs if you want to use them to keep shaping your product for a long time. A unique composition, low consumption, breathtaking design – you got it? You don’t? Remember that you’re not in a brochure of good advertising which is supposed to make something out of nothing (not that I object to advertising!) so we have to keep asking questions. Structured questions, remember?
FOR brands do it differently. Totally differently. The story they tell is result-oriented. Change-oriented. Would you like to know if you are a potential FOR brand? There’s a simple exercise – B/A, you know it from fashion magazines – BEFORE/AFTER. Simply apply this to your brand. On one side of the paper, describe the world of your consumer before your brand, before your product (of course, only what’s related to your product :o)). Finished? Ok, then on the other side, describe their world with your brand. Be fair, we’re not working on an advertisement, we’re working on a brand here! So what’s the result, huh? Take a look at some other shampoo – Johnson’s Baby; in these commercials, there are no white coats, labs, experiments, compositions, 4 out of 5 mothers or any other evidence. What do you see? A family, all smiles; the baby, kids, mom, and even dad. This is the result of the Johnson’s Baby shampoo! No clean, washed head. Not even a not-crying baby (that’s the key, the cause); the result is a satisfied family. Excellent! What can your brand do? What result did you get in the B/A exercise? Can your brand deliver more than just function? Can it deliver a benefit? Yes? Excellent! By the way, a benefit is for a FOR brand the same thing as a result is for a WHAT brand. Search for benefits, not for a basic function of your business.
WHO brands are the most complicated, the least clear, in better words. Surely you can recognize your acquaintances and friends around based on the same key; some of them often talk about themselves, what they can do, where they traveled, and what they managed yesterday, while the others talk less and people around talk more about them, what they did, and how they helped people. It doesn’t sound weird to us when it concerns people. He’s an honest man! She’s a fantastic woman! But nothing else pops up there, right? How many degrees she got, how much money she earned last year. There are brands like that as well. Brands you know for the way they are. For what they are. Their inner values, goals, and ideals are so contrasting on the outside that they become their characteristics. Still impossible to understand, right? Look at UNICEF. What is it that UNICEF does? HOW MANY employees there are all over the world? HOW do they do it? I don’t know. HOW MUCH did the world improve thanks to UNICEF? How many lives have been saved? I don’t know. What do we know about UNICEF then? I don’t know about you but I’m convinced that UNICEF fights for a better world. Literally. I know nothing more. However, it’s enough to make me send money every month for this fight. It’s enough for me; I need no evidence, no benefits. I believe. And what does your brand do to make others believe (in) it? Or do people already believe in you? Well, interesting. Now, you need to turn this gift into some kind of business.And what do you believe? Do you believe in your brand? Awesome, welcome on board! We are going to deal with everything in better detail. We are going to take a look at other examples, and I am going to show you my brand.