September 2, 2022

What is a Brand Framework? And why is it important?

Get to know the components of a brand framework and why they are pillars of success for your business.

The power of a well thought out, well articulated Brand Framework is not to be underestimated. Don’t believe me? Zantar’s BrandZ data found that strong brands recovered nine times faster following the financial crisis of 2008. A Lucidpress study concluded that consistent branding boosted sales by 10-20 percent. And you can’t tell me that as you stand in the aisle of your local grocery store, deciding which brand of cereal to buy, that the associations, emotions, and storytelling of those colorful boxes before you don’t sway your decision. It’s what justifies $120 yoga pants and $700+ for a brand new phone every year, when Marshall’s activewear works just fine, as does your phone that’s less than a year old. It’s also the first step in branding your business to create fierce brand loyalty that allows fitness brands to open hotels or a watch company to manufacture bicycles, and it just make sense. (More on that here.)

So what is the magic of the Brand Framework, this illusive key to success? How do you brand your business for success? 

The jargon associated with creating a Brand Framework can feel intimidating, even frustrating. There’s brand purpose, pillar, mission, positioning, etc, just to name a few. Some don’t even call it a Brand Framework at all, using other terms like Brand Architecture, Brand House, Brand System, Brand Framework, Brand Identity. It’s no wonder business owners get confused. But ironically, at its core, a Brand Framework is actually meant to be a tool for clarity.

A good Brand Framework is built from a deep understanding of your customer, your market opportunities, and most importantly, your Why (best explained by Mr. Simon Sinek), enabling you to create a meaningful connection with your audience because you know who you are and lead with that at every twist and turn of their experience. Eventually, becoming more than a solution to their problem, but a part of how they define themselves. 

Our approach to a Brand Framework is rooted in simplicity, because we believe the more concise and clear, the easier to implement (as a brand) and easier to understand (as a customer). 

  1. The Brand Purpose. WHY do you exist? Beyond the financial or business goals, what is your 'why' for starting this venture, creating this experience, or delivering this service? This will be your North Star. Any business, marketing or team question should answer “Does this (insert Purpose)?” If it passes, then it’s a green light. 
  2. The Brand Personality. WHO are you? If you were a person, how would you think, act, speak? Aligning your brand with a Brand Archetype is one way to find a personality that will resonate with your audience. Or explore authoring your own. But know that this is who your audience will experience. 
  3. The Brand Values. WHAT MATTERS to you? What do you stand for? What is important? These begin to inform what your unique version of ‘authenticity’ means and are also a great decision-making tool for the brand.
  4. The Brand Pillars. These are the HOW. How do you deliver your purpose to your customer? These will be specific to your industry, product or service, and customer journey, but will ultimately be the vehicle for how your brand lives in the world.
  5. The Brand Position. The WHAT. And arguably the hardest part to nail down. Some call it the elevator pitch, others the mission statement. It acts as an easy way to express who you are, what you’re all about, and why it matters to your customer.

With these in place, you can begin to explore the more outward expressions of your brand, like the name, tagline, logo, visual identity, marketing strategy and content, etc. But without these in place, consistency will falter, as will your connection with your audience. 

Often, small businesses try to skip out on this part, the immediate ROI harder to justify. Those who get the importance, dare I say imperative nature, of these foundational elements are the Steve Jobs, the Phil Knights, the Chip Wilsons of the world, putting into daily practice the Brand Framework to transition from simply a brand to a way of life. 

Interested to learn more or have your Brand Framework evaluated or created? Work with R&Co. to develop your Brand Framework and set your business up for success.