What is an overview of the Ironclad Method for building a brand?
Sometimes people are intimidated by brand or they are turned off by how nebulous it can seem. But brand strategy is an exercise that anybody can undertake. You don’t have to wait for the muses to visit you – you can start right here, right now.
Here are the steps to building your Ironclad Brand Strategy:
Step 1: Orient. Orient by identifying your target customer as well as your competitive frame of reference.
Step 2: Listen. Listen to your target customers. Learn from them about the problem that your offering solves, so that your brand strategy can use these actual customer insights.
Step 3: Examine. Examine the insights that you’ve gathered and synthesize them into the Uncommon Denominator framework. The Uncommon Denominator will reveal the positioning themes that strike the overlap between what’s meaningful to your target customer and what’s ownable to your business.
Step 4: Ladder. Ladder by specifying the promise that your business delivers to customers, why your customers should believe that promise, and what they will enjoy as a result of experiencing that promise. This is the linchpin of your brand strategy.
Step 5: Characterize. When you characterize your personality and tonality, you enable yourself and others to embody your brand consistently and genuinely.
Step 6: Stage. Stage your customer’s journey with your brand. When you do this, you can tailor your messages to pinpoint each customer at each stage of the journey which progresses them along in their relationship with your business.
Step 7: Activate creative. Before you put any expression of your brand out in the world, or even develop that creative expression, first set the strategic directive, and that will establish the conditions for effective communication.
Step 8: Zoom out. Begin to see brand in everything. From the big to the small, from the obvious to the subtle. Let brand be your filter for making decisions as you grow your business.
Have you been dismissing brand because it seemed too nebulous or you didn’t know how or where to begin?
Remember, brand is too consequential to dismiss it or to be passive about it. So don’t wait for the muses to visit you. Use these steps to build a brand that only you can.
Lindsay is a Brand Strategist and Founder of Ironclad Brand Strategy, which builds brands using an exacting and analytic method. Her background as a P&L owner at Clorox fostered a deep appreciation for the executive charge: to create sustainable value. Ironclad advises companies from burgeoning startups to national corporations, including Zulily, IMDb, T-Mobile and Starbucks. Lindsay holds an MBA in Business from the University of California Berkeley, Haas School of Business.