People often talk about the importance of identifying your ‘Brand DNA’ before attempting to undertake a brand stretch but we don’t agree.
A brand DNA is most often cited to be the brand’s USPs – its distinctiveness, novelty and attributes. However, these do not give ‘the why’ you should be buying into a brand for a consumer. Instead they are how the brand delivers its benefits for the consumer.
The ‘Why’ to us is the brand’s philosophy or belief. A core brand belief attracts consumers who believe what it believes; it answers their social or self esteem needs; it strongly resonates and it creates an emotional reaction. Why is this so important? Because 70% of decision making is emotional and not rational. Often there is no logic to consumers’ decision making, even though they pretend there is!
A strong brand will make consumers feel – give them something to buy into or out of. Here are some classic examples…
Not only is a strong brand belief essential for the health of a brand but it also enables a brand to successfully stretch much further and often in surprising directions. Take Innocent’s launch of their Veg Pots.
Innocent’s belief around ‘nothing but real ingredients and goodness’ gave them the permission to jump into a completely unrelated category from their homeland of smoothies and fruit juices
Establishing a strong core brand belief will ensure that any brand stretch initiatives avoid the main pitfalls – brand dilution and brand architecture confusion. It also acts as a strong GPS or guidance system for NPD development and judging the brand fit of innovation ideas.
Over and over again we have to tell clients why a great innovation idea cannot be launched under their brand. And most of the time it is because their brands aren’t having any impact on consumers’ emotions or feel like they have any soul to them.
Here at The Strategy Distillery we cannot over stress the importance of getting your brand belief in a good place before attempting a brand stretch into exciting new territories.