If you have a business, you need a brand. Period.
That’s the only way to gain the trust of your audience and grow consistently.
To ensure that all your business decisions adhere to your brand and even share your brand with your stakeholders, you need a brand platform.
In this blog post, I’ll explain what a brand platform is and offer tips on how to craft one for your brand story.
It’s the foundation for your entire identity. A strong brand story is essential for creating and maintaining a unique, memorable identity that resonates with consumers. The best way to ensure a powerful brand story is to create a comprehensive brand platform.
What is a brand platform? Definition.
A brand platform is a document that includes all strategic and visual elements of your authentic brand story.
A brand platform serves as an internal guide to help ensure that all aspects of your business—from marketing campaigns to customer interactions—represent your overall brand identity and the messages you want to communicate.
Why do you need a brand platform?
1. Ensure brand consistency
Crafting a detailed brand platform can help ensure consistency across all facets of your brand and business, enabling you to stay true to your mission statement while allowing room for growth over time.
It ensures that your purpose, mission, and brand imagery are being represented accurately in all activities, marketing initiatives, and customer touchpoints.
A brand platform also ensures that your brand remains true even when you work on brand evolution exercises.
2. Drive better teamwork and alignment
A brand platform outlines how information about the brand should be conveyed and is great for streamlining internal processes.
It gives your team a shared understanding of your small business brand, which can help to align your marketing efforts and ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals.
Additionally, external partners also get clarity on how the brand should be perceived and represented.
Not only does this make things run more smoothly from start to finish, but it helps keep all of your brand strategy moving in the same direction.
3. Guide decision-making
A brand platform is a tool that can help you make decisions about your marketing strategy and execution.
A brand platform also helps guide strategic decisions such as product lineups and marketing strategies, creating a sustainable brand identity that resonates with customers.
Brand platform elements and model
The first step in creating your own brand platform is to create a brand platform model and framework and decide what elements should be included.
Here are some key points you should always include in your brand platform:
1. Target audience
Your target market is the group of people who are most likely to buy from you. When defining your target market, you should consider factors such as age, location, income level, and interests.
2. Brand purpose
Your brand purpose is the reason your brand and your business exist.
Your business’s brand purpose helps your audience to better understand and remember who you are, helps them to connect to you, and can also drive sales.
3. Brand Mission statement
Your mission statement is a brief description of what your business does and why. It should be clear, concise, and easy to understand.
Your vision statement is a brief description of what you hope to achieve with your business. It should be ambitious yet achievable, and it should be aligned with your company values.
5. Brand Values
Your brand values are the guiding principles that inform everything you do as a business. They should be reflective of your mission and vision, and they should be something that you are passionate about.
6. Unique value proposition
Your brand’s unique value proposition states the distinct advantages and benefits that come from purchasing, using, or interacting with your brand.
It essentially indicates what you offer, to whom, and what makes you different.
7. Brand positioning
Your brand positioning statement is a map of where you stand vis-a-vis your competition. It should be based on your competitive differentiation and target market, and it should be reflective of your brand personality.
8. Brand messaging
Brand messaging is the overall message a brand and business conveys about the brand, products or services, with the goal of creating an emotional connection with its target audience.
Your brand messaging includes 4 major components
- Brand promise
- Brand tagline
- Brand messaging pillars
- Brand story
9. Brand personality
Your brand personality is the way that your brand presents itself to the world. It is one of your most important brand attributes and should be consistent across all touchpoints.
10. Brand voice
How do you want people to perceive your company through its messaging and communication strategies? Do you prefer a formal or informal tone in all communications, both internally and externally?
Brand platform development and template
The brand platform elements are all based on your brand story, and in fact, should represent it.
Here are 4 quick tips to help you create your brand platform.
1. Create your brand story
The first step to creating your brand platform is identifying and developing your unique brand story
Get a FREE, detailed guide to creating your brand story
Next, it is time to start writing down all the elements and details that will make up your brand platform document.
2. Choose your software
Choose any software you are comfortable with to create your brand platform. MS PowerPoint is an easy one to use.
3. Create the sections
Divide your brand platform into different sections or pages. Include each brand platform element on a different page.
4. Design your brand platform
Make sure your brand platform is consistent with your brand’s visual identity.
Use the relevant imagery from your brand kit.
Brand platform examples
Understanding how brand platforms work can become so much simpler when you have some examples to work with.
But before I share those, here is something to note.
Most brands create a complete brand book or brand guidelines that include two key sections of a brand story:
- Brand platform: The complete DNA of the brand and the principles that guide it
- Brand kit: The visual and design guidelines of the brand, including how colors, typography, and other brand attributes are to be used.
So once you create your brand platform, make sure you create your brand kit as well!
Here are 3 brand platform examples to inspire you!
Slack starts its brand platform by defining who they are, followed by its values and personality.
Check out the full Slack brand guidelines
Carrefour created a new brand identity with a rebranding exercise, so it starts its brand platform with its new objectives, beliefs, and new brand expression.
Check out the Carrefour brand platform and brand kit.
Walmart goes straight to its mission in its brand book and also outlines its strategies for success.
Check out the Walmart brand book.
Tips to create a brand platform that strengthens your brand storytelling
Crafting a brand platform is essential for business success in today’s tight competitive environment; it serves to not only differentiate your company from the competition but also helps to tell the story of your organization.
Here are some tips that you can keep i mind while creating a
1. Share your brand platform with all your stakeholders, including your employees so they know how they should represent your brand at any given time.
2. Share your brand platform with your partners so they know what core guiding principles you stand by so they can work with you more effectively.
3. Update your brand platform if your brand story has evolved from where it initially started out.
4. Don’t make changes often to your brand platform, only if there is a big reason to do it and there have been major changes to your story.
5. A brand story takes time to be perceived by your audience and retained, so don’t change your brand story and brand platform too often.
6. Always keep your brand platform easily accessible so anyone can refer back to it if they need clarification on any aspect of their role in representing the company.
Do you have a brand platform for your story? Which elements do you include or leave out? Share in the comments!