It’s easy to create a brand just for the sake of it. But to build one that stands out? It requires total immersion in the creative process. Brand pillars exist for a reason; to paint a picture of how you portray your brand to your target audience.
In today’s age, where consumers are more selective about the brands they support, having a strong personality is key to separating yourself from the competition. Having an idea is easy, but executing is where things get tricky.
This article will go over the five brand pillars to help you create a unique brand that will give your business the character and authenticity to stand out.
What are brand pillars?
Brand pillars are the foundation of your business as they serve as your main touchpoints. Each pillar significantly contributes to how your business will unfold. From brand perception to audience communication, brand pillars are the very definition of your brand in and of itself.
What is the intent behind your business? What values does your company hold? How do you want your customers to feel when they support your brand? You can find the answers to these questions when you have a clear definition of what your brand pillars are.
One example is Nike, whose brand pillars revolve around the “Just Do It” tagline. The message is loud and clear; take action and crush goals. Nike’s audience resonates well with its tagline as it embodies the journey of peak athletic performance.
You want to nail your brand pillars at the beginning of the creation process because they will shape your company’s future. With that said, let’s discuss the five brand pillars in detail to learn more about them.
Why are brand pillars important?
Brand pillars are important for the simple fact that they give an identity to your company. The digital revolution spearheaded the shift in consumer expectations, and people nowadays are more keen-eyed on the brands they support. Without a clear definition for each brand pillar, customers will have a tough time associating themselves with your business.
When a person asks someone why they love buying from a specific brand, that person will be able to tell the reason easily. If you can communicate your brand pillars effectively, you’ll know your target audience, how you can reach them, and how you can address their pain points more effectively than the competition.
Pillar #1: Purpose
British-American author Simon Sinek perfectly encapsulates the purpose of a company’s existence in his Golden Circle theory. He states that most brands know what they sell and how they sell it, but very few organizations know why they do what they do.
It’s an interesting thought to ponder because selling a product is easy. But what is your reason for selling it? Many would argue the reason is to earn money, but what happens if the sales go down?
A brand’s purpose trumps the monetary aspects of selling a product/service and exists to connect with your intended audience. It fuels you to keep putting in the work and see the dark days through.
Consider your brand’s purpose very carefully, as consumers nowadays have strong attachments to companies with the same values and beliefs as theirs.
Pillar #2: Personality
The second brand pillar is personality, and this one refers to the combination of qualities your brand possesses. From your brand’s tone, design, and style, personality humanizes your brand and allows customers to connect with you on a deeper level. Remember that emotion drives 95% of purchase decisions, and your brand’s personality plays a huge role in that regard.
In an era where social media reigns supreme, your brand has to have a distinct personality that makes you stand out from the rest. From how you deliver your message to how you interact with your customers, building meaningful connections is key to thriving in a competitive e-commerce landscape.
Gone are the days when companies follow the suit-and-tie approach when presenting their brand. Today, it’s about being fun, relatable, and engaging. Understand what your target audience’s preferences are, and see if the personality you envision in your brand will match their interests.
Pillar #3: Perception
Perception is the third brand pillar to discuss, and it’s closely related to the first two pillars we tackled. Why is perception important for a brand? Because it correlates to the thoughts and emotions that consumers feel when they buy your products/services.
People buy Apple products not only because of their quality but also how it makes them feel. iPhone users know they’re getting a reliable product that will last them for years, so they’re comfortable spending thousands of dollars on a smartphone.
To provide a meaningful experience, you must know what makes your customers tick. From there, it’s about going above and beyond to ensure you meet their needs and expectations. People support their favorite brands because of how they perceive them, and the best way to create the ideal brand perception is to hear from your audience themselves.
Pillar #4: Positioning
You’ve identified your brand’s purpose, crafted a distinctive personality, and defined its perception. What’s the next brand pillar for you to build? It’s positioning. Positioning refers to how you insert your company into a niche/expertise and make sure your customers take notice.
How will customers identify your brand if you jump into a super-competitive niche and follow what everyone else is doing? The key to brand positioning is offering something different your customers haven’t seen or experienced before. Give them a reason to choose you over your competitors. Whether through a value proposition or an innovative product/service, look for ways to one-up other brands and become a top choice.
For example, if you’re a service-based business specializing in full-service bookkeeping, you can position yourself as a top choice by showcasing your expertise. Share knowledge with your audience, and provide excellent services that speak volumes about your skills. A brand that knows its stuff will win over customers and position itself ahead of the competition.
Pillar #5: Promotion
The last brand pillar is the one that ties everything together, and it’s called promotion. You can nail all four pillars and create a truly unique brand, but none of them will matter if people aren’t aware of your presence.
Promotion is about announcing to the world that you’re the new kid on the block, ready to take on challenges and bring something new to the table. Like they always say, first impressions last, and you want to make a statement when your audience discovers your brand.
Communication matters in brand promotion, as you want your audience to hear and understand your message, and choosing the right channels can make a huge impact. Your goal is to introduce your brand and establish a long-lasting relationship with your customers, one of the main recipes to success.
When promoting your brand, make sure to emphasize your company’s personality and values so that when a customer interacts with you, they know exactly what you’re about.
Tying it all together
As the growth of e-commerce skyrockets, more brands compete for their customers’ attention. Nowadays, people look for brands with strong core values and unmistakable identities. Building a solid foundation for your brand can disrupt the marketplace and establish your presence within your niche.
Look to this article as a guide for creating your brand pillars, and immerse yourself deeply into the creative process. That way, you can make a mark in the industry you’re about to enter and earn the lion’s share of your target market.
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