Wed 3 Sep 2008
A few folks have asked for an example to bring the brand pyramid exercise to life.
Let’s use Volvo. (Please note: I have never worked on any Volvo marketing nor would distribute any confidential brand materials; this is for illustrative purposes only). They’ve invested a lot of money in their brand over the years, targeting upper class families with small children.
The Volvo pyramid might look something like this. Start at the bottom and work the logic up:
Remember, the product attributes should be identified as those most compelling to your ideal customer and ownable to your unique products/services. The functional benefit tells you the tangible way it will benefit your customer. This serves as a point of difference from the competition. This connects to the consumer benefit, showing how the point of difference relates to a person and their emotional needs. And at the top, the emotional benefit shows how you are an emotional solution and embody internal value to consumers. Finally, the brand essence encapsulates the whole thing, serving as the DNA or soul of what your brand stands for.
This is an evolving process, filled with continuing research and validation. Continuing with the Volvo example, the brand pyramid would inform all aspects of the marketing plan and activation including:
Innovation and New Products: The motorcycle industry is expected to grow b/c of the rising concerns with fuel prices. Volvo’s looking to grow share. Does this extension fit into a Family-First brand? No. Better instead to invest in improving fuel-efficiencies of the cars.
Media Buy: HBO’s Entourage has a sudden opening for product placement, and we know it reaches a high income demographic. Does this glitz, glam and indulgent show feel appropriate for Volvo? No. Cancel that Maxim print buy as well. If you want to improve your coolness factor, look for media that targets moms but appeals to her fun-loving, hip side. Like Us Weekly.
PR: Car & Driver is looking to test sedans and rate them for safety. Should we include our ’09 4-door? Absolutely. When you tout legendary safety, you better put your $ where your mouth is. A industry discussion about safety without Volvo presence is a big error.
Have you had an experience working with a brand pyramid? Love to hear – good and bad.