The Branding Square

We wanted to share with you a branding tool we have been working on ourselves. We’ve found there are loads of branding tools/matrix/theories out there, but we wanted to put together a simple one, that talked in easy to understand terms, that small businesses could understand and use to gauge how strong their brand is. Introducing… Andrew and Pete’s Branding Square.

It is a really simple tool to use, because it talks in terms of 2 main things affecting your brand.

Number 1 – Brand Identity: Your brand identity is what physical, visual things you put out there to represent your brand, that people associate with your company. People unfortunately judge based on appearances, so having a strong image and identity is really important. This not only consists of design and communications such as your logo, business cards, website, slogan etc. But also incorporates what your business stands for, your business values, and USP.

Number 2 – Value of Product/Service: Your brand isn’t just what you say you do, but what you actually deliver, and if your company does what you say it does, and is worth the price. Note we aren’t talking in terms of pounds here, but rather value for money. The more value people get from using your product/service, the stronger your brand is.

Putting these together into a matrix like this below, you get Andrew and Pete’s Branding Square, with 4 main categories …

Branding Bin: So here we have a poor product value and a poor brand image. This is where you don’t want to be! Very few people are going to be enticed by your offering due to a low brand identity, and the people who do buy from you aren’t going to be impressed due to them not getting value for money. You will find it hard to get repeat business or referrals, life is going to be hard… it’s in the branding bin.

Branding Smokescreen: This is where you have a low value for money product/service, but a high brand identity, creating a smokescreen affect. The brand identity is great, it’s enticing, it’s got all the bells and whistles you would expect from a top product or service. But it is just there to hide a low value offering. Think of it like an expensive restaurant with low quality ingredients! In the short term you’ll get people to buy, but long term you’ll develop a bad reputation, and sales will fall.

Branding Injustice: We see so many atomic businesses unfortunately fall into this category. A branding injustice occurs when you have a fantastic product or service, which delivers great value, however you are let down by a poor brand identity. Your sales will grow due to strong word of mouth, as your customers are happy to recommend you, but by having a low brand identity you struggle to get across the benefits of what you can do, and so aren’t attracting as many customers as you could be. You have great potential here, putting some effort and investment into your brand image could help your business fly.

Branding Brilliance: This is where you want to be! Branding brilliance is what all thriving companies have, which allows them to grow. Firstly they have a great product or service at a price that is reasonable for the quality, so customers are happy. Backing this up, they also have a fantastic brand identity to match, which grabs people’s attention, and seamlessly puts across the benefits of working with them and why they stand out from the crowd.

ACTION: Think about where you are on the Branding Square? If you are anywhere other than Branding Brilliance, then have a think about how you can improve, either your brand identity, the value people get from working with you, or both! Once you reach the Branding Brilliance quadrant your business will thrive!