The Building Blocks of a Brand

by | Jul 24, 2018 | Digital Transformation

An exploration into the different types of media small business encounter during digital transformation, and why a big picture approach is necessary for digital success and growth of a brand.

What is the “Big Picture”?

L et’s for argument’s sake imagine the digital transformation journey of small businesses as a linear hero journey from point A to point B.

There is different terrain on this epic journey that needs to be prepared and planned for; boats to cross oceans, ropes to cross mountains, machetes to cross jungles, you get the drift. The different types of media in this chart are those different terrains.

Small businesses “enter” this digital transformation journey at different points, and with different gear to help them along; some are better at building boats but struggle to cross mountains, while others know more about smithing machetes than they do crossing oceans.

For each small business to successfully navigate this apparently “linear” journey (it isn’t linear, but we’ll get to that) an incredible arsenal of information and skill is necessary, because each business needs to know how to traverse all the different terrains with minimal loss of life, gear….and sanity for that matter.

Eventually, the small business arrives at point B (with much fanfare) to find out that the journey is not over, because now that journey needs to be repeated better, faster, with more of the correct results and with less time and effort spent on terrains that don’t need to be traversed to get to point B.
At this magical point B sits the reason the small business made the journey in the first place; The Customer.

This page is going to be an exploration of these different types of media/terrains, what questions are asked during each stage, and what skills you need to learn/outsource/hire to help you answer them.

Brand Core

(The Mountains)

If the Brand Core was a terrain it would definitely be mountains. It’s rocky and difficult to traverse, with many unknowns about the brand. Sometimes there is no awareness that this needs to be done. Sometimes there is no understanding of what questions need to be answered, and how they will affect the digital marketing strategy.

The Brand Core is what defines the brand. It is a set of questions whose answers are like the raw materials that need to be collected to build a boat (timber, metal etc). The questions may vary slightly, but it all usually boils down to:

  • Audience – Who are your targeting?
  • Value – What are you offering that provides value to your audience?
  • User’s Journey – How does the audience find this value that your brand is offering
  • Usability – What is the easiest way for your audience to find this value?
  • Stickiness – How will the audience remember this value, and return to experience it again and again
  • Personalization – How can the brand communicate with the audience in the most personalized context that time, budget and effort will allow
  • Assets – Now that all the above is known what would be the best format to deliver the value to the audience
  • Promoters – What will make a converted user recommend the value to other users

These questions need to be answered in succession. Each question provides more information to better answer the next question and so on.

Questions often asked

Why do I need this information and why is so important?
This information is the foundation of your brand.

Where do I start and what questions should I answer?
It can seem overwhelming at first, but start simple with a brand brief that covers some of these questions in a easy-to-use questionnaire

What about the questions I don’t know the answer for?
At the end of the day this initial information is a combination of industry benchmarks, fundamental assumptions, best practices and past data. So research, because if you can’t answer questions at this stage, then how can your marketers implement a successful digital marketing strategy?

What can I do with this information once I have it?
This information will be what your designers and marketers use to craft the brand voice and message. The more relevant and detailed this information is, the better and more relevant the campaigns targeted at the audience will be.


Skills needed to make this happen

Research and the ability to strategize based on what we already mentioned:
Fundamental assumptions
Best practices
Industry benchmarks
Past data

Being able to continuously refine the brand core by using collected data (this is NOT a set and forget exercise)

This video talks about some of the reasons why answering your brand core related questions is so important and how it contributes to understanding your target market better.

Owned Media

(The Beaches – This section is coming soon)

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