Brand Proposition & Baseline
Building a brand is about more than just building plants and establishing production lines. Even though a brand manifests itself in factories, offices, employees, & products, ultimately its value resides elsewhere – with consumers. What a brand really consists of is the sum total of all perceptions with respect to your brand in the minds of consumers. And while every individual will have some unique memories and experiences related to a brand, the perceptions of the brand that are broadly shared across a population, ultimately define it & influence its destiny. Therefore, while it is necessary to establish production capabilities and efficient customer management systems, another essential task is to build and maintain strong positive associations in the minds of consumers — associations that are tightly linked to the brand’s name, its logo, its packaging, and the experience of the product or service itself, and eventually it’s consumption. Strong associations often result from having a clear and consistent positioning, leaving no doubt as to what the brand stands for and what it is offering to its consumers.
This is where a Brand Proposition comes in!
SO, WHAT IS A BRAND PROPOSITION?
We find new businesses coming up with new product offerings and services in the market every day. Every business that introduces a new product wants sales to happen and wishes for more and more consumers to seek his product. With everyone out to do the same, why would a consumer choose you over all others present in the market? You give consumers the answer to this question in the form of your brand proposition.
Your brand proposition is what sets you apart in the market. It embodies your brand’s promise, the unique selling points of your product & the relevance that the product has in the consumer’s life. If done right, a brand proposition is what sets you apart from competition by helping you carve a place for your product in the minds of the consumer that cannot be easily replicated. An integral part of the brand building process, your “brand proposition” is all about occupying this space and gradually taking it forward as the consumers’ needs evolve with time.
To put it simply, your brand proposition is the reason why someone will buy your product and your baseline is how you put that reason into words.
WHAT ALL DOES A PROPOSITION ENCOMPASSE?
A brand doesn’t exist in silos – it exists in a market that is surrounded by competitors and consumers. Similarly, every element of a brand is co-related to the other. The ideal brand proposition is one that defines the tangible and intangible outcomes a consumer expects when purchasing the product or service. The brand proposition is a sum of Value Proposition, Brand Positioning & Brand Image, the 3 of which can broadly be classified into Positioning & Personality.
Let’s look at these elements in a little more detail.
1. Value Proposition – A value proposition states the benefits consumers receive by purchasing a particular brand of product / service. It is a promise of value that your brand will deliver to the consumers. The value proposition often embodies a unique selling proposition that can be emotional or functional benefits or even a combination of both.
2. Brand positioning – Brand positioning is the process of presenting your product / service / brand before the consumer in a way that it feels the way you want them to feel about it. It depicts all the benefits that you want consumers to think of when they think of your brand.
3. Brand Image – Your brand image is how you identify yourself in the market. The brand image is an outward expression of your product to consumers by way of a brand name, logo, symbol, trademark, the overall look & feel of your brand, and even the tone and style in which you communicate Consumers draw associations with pictures easily. Higher order symbology could be employed too, or sometimes it could be simply developing a mnemonic or a meme that is exclusive to your brand as a part of your brand image helps consumers remember your brand. To sum it up, your brand image encompasses everything that consumers see / hear in your communication, or often even outside of your communication.
Together, your value proposition, brand positioning & brand identity provide a brand platform that can be used as a roadmap towards the brand development process. While the Value Proposition & Brand Identity work as differentiators for your brand, the Brand Positioning is what sets you apart and establishes how you are unique. The processes involved in reaching each of the three elements lead us to a brand proposition that offers an emotionally positive solution to the needs of the consumers along with enhancing the consumer’s perception & recall of the brand.
The beauty of these elements is that each of them is closely related to each other and almost flows into the other. Your baseline, for instance, emerges from the thought process of the value proposition but fulfills the ‘purpose’ of your brand positioning. In extension, your baseline is also a part of your brand identity.
Foolish’S APPROACH TO BUILDING YOUR BRAND PROPOSITION
At Foolish, we take into account all external and internal factors that impact your brand before we go on to devise the proposition. For your company to exist in the industry and become a brand, you would have to evaluate the environment in which you are entering / operating.
While creating your brand proposition we start outward by analyzing the external factors and then combine them with internal elements of your company. The external factors analysis includes the following:
Industry analysis – A thorough analysis of the industry in which you exist is conducted. Your brand proposition is an element that will stay with you forever, hence, understanding what you are up against and what the future might bring is important. All economic, social and technological changes that might impact your brand are looked into.
This helps us create a brand proposition that not only fulfills consumers’ needs today but also pre-empts their future aspirations and is prepared to fulfill them as well.
Competition analysis – Often a competitor’s analysis is a simple approach of identifying competition and analyzing what they are doing. At Foolish, however, things are different.
We deep dive into analyzing who are they talking to? What our consumers spend on and how they are different from the competition’s TG? Which brands have a greater share of wallet and share of mind? Which competitors have a higher share of voice when advertising? Looking into which competitors consumers are paying attention to helps Foolish identify what consumers are looking for as well as what their preferences are.
Conducting a detailed analysis lets us narrow down on exactly what we are up against. Foolish believes thorough knowledge of the competitive base is one of the key factors behind developing a successful brand proposition.
Target audience behavior –Consumers are the key to your existence and they should be at the forefront of everything that you do. Detailed researches are carried out – right from consumer insight mining to opportunity sizing and a path to preference analysis. Information from these researches guides us in the right direction. Foolish by way of detailed research recognizes the consumers’ situation and places your brand as a facilitator of their needs
These researches form the base of the 3 elements involved in a brand proposition. Results of each research is used to decide how will your brand be positioned in the market, what will consumers like to see, what will stand out before competitors and what will attract consumers to your brand.
Every step in our approach to building your brand proposition ties back to the elements that constitute it. Every research is used in every element & unique results are derived out of their analysis.
BRING IN SOME VALUE ADDITION
By following a detail oriented process, Foolish helps you create an integrated brand. We identify the consumer’s need – state at every step of research and re-visit your brand promise to ensure that your offering is in line with what the consumer currently wants.
Your brand proposition is how the consumer identifies you in the market, making it even more crucial for you to get it right. The brand proposition, combined with all other elements accounts for how you want your consumers to feel about your product & brand.
Foolish makes sure that your baseline is in line with your brand proposition and puts your thoughts into words for the consumer to remember.
By way of aligning your brand’s essence and promise with research findings at every stage, Foolish
s helps you create a brand proposition & baselines that is not only perfect for the consumer to relate to but also unique & distinct from competition.