The Brand Triangle: Part 2

Apr 03, 2015


In our last post, we articulated the concept of the Brand Triangle, copied again here. In addition to the three pillars (which were discussed directly), you may have noticed that in the middle of the Brand Triangle is the Customer.

The Brand Triangle-Part2_FIG1

Why is the customer at the center of it all? Because each of these pillars is only meaningful from the perspective of a distinct customer or customer segment. The experience that makes one person feel inspired, or secure, or joyful, may not have the same impact for someone else. That’s why we have to pick who we’re targeting, who we’re designing for and who we are interacting with as a brand.

And there’s one more important point: the bi-directional arrows in the triangle. The Customer Experience and Product Strategy must both support and reinforce the Brand Platform, and each other. These components are tightly interrelated; a change in one affects the others. Deficiencies or inconsistencies diminish the whole.

At this point, the discussion shifted back to the Brand Platform. Then what is it? One logical place to start is McCarthy’s classic 4 P’s:

  • Product – what offerings are we known for?
  • Price – what is our price position in the marketplace?
  • Promotion – what is our strategy with respect to promotional messaging and offers?
  • Place (distribution) – how do we reach customers? Where do they buy?

To which we add three additional P’s:

  • People – who is our core or target customer? (this is the oft forgotten P that drives the others!)
  • Promise – what do we stand for?
  • Personality – what traits and characteristics do we embody?

Strategy gets overcomplicated all the time. But that’s a problem. If we can’t summarize in a few words what makes us special and how we achieve that “uniqueness,” then our customers and employees will never feel it.

Brand strategy frameworks abound, as do the agencies and consultancies who proliferate them. 400-page books are written about them. College courses are taught about them. But remember the Brand Triangle – answer those few key questions about your business – and you will be most of the way there.