Delightful guides
Brand strategy
December 7, 2021
6 min read

How to build a better brand (Part 1): Three must-haves to get you started

Written with love by
Dan Dimmock

While most marketers and agencies do a great job understanding where a company should go, devising potentially effective campaigns and initiatives to project them getting there, where they tend to fail is follow-through. Not knowing what's needed to create lasting value.

To compete in today's fast-paced marketplace, it's vital to understand what's important to people and use this insight to define what's unique about what you do as a business, how you strive for it, and why people should care. 

We all want to contribute to something bigger than ourselves. The most admired and successful brands know this. With self-awareness in check, they put understanding people at their core and genuinely want the best for them. They deliver meaningfulness, how and when customers need it. 

So, how is it the best brands just seem to know what we want and need?

Here are three absolute imperatives to help conscientious entrepreneurs set their brand up for success.

1. Purpose first

No matter what it's called, every business must have a guiding light to inspire, measure and monitor its future success. Harnessing a shared purpose connects, unifies and mobilises others around a common goal. This is the foundation for creating lasting value and a purpose-driven brand.

Purpose-driven brands are defined by conscious visionaries who can connect the dots. First, establishing, then building and leveraging clarity to rally support, build a community, scale and grow their business the best possible way. Inside out. These visionaries appreciate the value of seeing things through others' eyes and them seeing the company through theirs. 

I like to refer to these change-makers as 'Brands with Clarity'. Daring to imagine how the world should be, their brand encapsulates an element of modern life that matters to them and feels compelled to change for good. Brands with Clarity and Purpose make people feel something and want to join them to be a part of that change to co-create impact.

2. Brand strategy, next

From product and team development to expectation management, there are a million and one things to think about for any entrepreneur or startup. But, no matter where you are on your journey to investment, losing long-term focus to appease short-term results is an easy mistake to make. And can prevent you from getting your passion across the line. 

If you genuinely want to build a successful business, there's just no shortcut or one-size-fits-all approach to building trust. Because Brands with Clarity are driven and guided by Purpose, all strategies, ideas, and tactics stem from this. Purpose becomes the 'North Star'.

Where strategy without Purpose is meaningless, Purpose without strategy is aimless. Driven by Purpose, a good strategy integrates and evaluates everything the business stands for and does to create value. Strategy informs every constituent of your Brand. From the look-and-feel and tone-of-voice to the experiences people remember, including every moment in-between.

Supported by strategy, your brand becomes a lens to help you stay on point, and teams make better, more informed decisions. This is how measurable, lasting Brand Equity is created.

3. Communicate consciously, always

As the team at Mamo know, I'm not particularly enamoured with Marketing, per se. Not least, in the hands of tradition, assumption, or short-term gains. Mindless, blanketed advertising is almost always disastrous. Literally and metaphorically. 

The tension between Marketing and Branding isn't new. According to WARC, 63% of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) believe the primary goal of marketing is revenue growth, with 59% focused on enhancing margin growth. This insight begs the question: What must Chief Executive Officer's be subscribing to if their CMOs think this? 

Thanks to a global community of conscious change-makers, business is reshaping rapidly, and with it, marketing practices are increasingly under the microscope (more on this to come).

Bridging the gap between reality and perception, Brands with Clarity are conscious communicators⏤ensuring all marketing, PR and communications are aligned with Purpose and focused on delivering positive and meaningful outcomes. Promotion is simpler, less time-consuming and less costly. Creating highly effective communications that build trust. 

Brands with Clarity earn attention. Existing customers become long term and are more likely (to ask) to become trusted Brand Ambassadors. Sales are also more likely to come through word of mouth and reputation. Communications work in unison to reinforce positive values in society as a whole. 

Brands built from the inside out create value. Brands with Clarity use their Purpose as a framework for clarification and direction. This framework empowers teams to make the right decisions as they have a benchmark. Communication is more meaningful because people are more motivated. What makes them sustainable is that Brands with Clarity stay true to their Purpose and Values while adapting to changing market demands and customer expectations.

Useful links

After a few (short) years in brand strategy and development, I’ve quite a repository of resources. So for anyone interested in building a better brand, here are a few recommended links to get you on your way:

Designing Brand Identity (Alina Wheeler)

How Brands Grow (Byron Sharp)

Branding Strategy Insider

Sustainable Brands

Jim Stengel 

Firstwater (of course)