Brand Architecture: What is it and Why do Brands Need it?
When it comes to writing for your brand, that shit’s easy, right? After all, you built it. Therefore, engaging the right audience through newsletters, social media, blog posts, website copywriting, you name it, should be second nature. You’d think, but that isn’t always the case. In fact, that isn’t the case a lot of times.
If only there was a comprehensive framework that helped you connect with your audience(s) and ensure marketing efforts were aligned with your communication goals.
Luckily, there is. It’s called Brand Architecture.
WTF is Brand Architecture?
Glad you asked. Let’s start with brand guidelines. You’re probably familiar with those; they’re essentially a brand’s bible of color palettes, logo usage, and anything graphic-related. It tells designers what to do and what not to do with the brand’s image, to ensure it’s consistent wherever people are engaging with it. Brand guidelines are extremely helpful for designers, but what about people writing for brands? How do writers ensure that the content they’re producing is in line with how the brand should communicate to people?
These were just a handful of questions we asked ourselves when we started building out voice guidelines. But what started as a simple voice document quickly exploded into so much more. You see, voice drives everything about your brand. Once you have an established voice that’s distinct, consistent, and aligns with your communication goals, it will guide all visual elements too, such as typography, colors, designs, and more.
Cool, What’s In It?
Brand Architecture is a pretty meaty document. But don’t worry. We break it down into digestible sections. Brand Architecture includes:
- Communication Goals
- Brand Positioning Statement
- Mission Statement
- Core Values
- Brand Attributes
- Example Messaging
How Do You Build It?
Correction: How do we build it.
We build it together. Our clients are smart people. They’ve put a ton of heart and elbow grease into getting their brand to this point. They don’t want some group of nerds to tell them who they are and slap a pretty label on their brand. Hell, we wouldn’t want that either. What we want – and what’s in the best interest of our clients – is to build Brand Architecture together through a collaborative process.
With this knowledge, we created our Brand Architecture Workshop which consists of two parts.
Part I: Exercise
What better way to collaborate and educate than by building a Brand Positioning Statement together. What is a BPS?
“I always like to start with what a brand positioning statement isn’t, before going into what it is,” says CEO Cory Savage. “It isn’t a mission statement. It isn’t a tagline. It’s a concrete statement about what your brand is, who you’re speaking to, and why those people should care.”
He’s pretty much nailed it. A brand positioning statement isn’t sexy like a mission statement. It’s more like the mission statement’s geeky older brother. Not a ton of charisma or personality, but something we can always call upon for advice, as it’s what all of our marketing efforts should refer back to.
A brand positioning statement has six components:
- Brand Promise
- Point of Difference
- Reason to Believe
Translation for non-marketers:
- Who are you talking to?
- What is the name of your brand?
- Where do you play?
- What do you promise people who interact with your brand?
- How are you better than your competitors?
- Back it up.
Part II: Wordshop
Yeah, you read that right. We said wordshop, as in a workshop just for words. Pretty nifty, huh? Anyway, this part of our collaboration means everyone on your team gets a list of forty to fifty curated adjectives and two minutes to pick out the top five that describe your brand. Once you do that, we have a round table discussion until you’re challenged to – of those five words – choose the one that best describes your brand. The discussion continues, meanwhile, we’re lowkey working our wizardry on something that will blow your mind. We can’t tell you in this blog post for obvious reasons, ie. it will ruin the surprise when you team up with us.
Built to Endure – and Evolve
Brand Architecture ensures we all – your team, our team, and marketing efforts – stay on the right path. With an established Brand Architecture in their toolbox, clients are empowered to live out their brand and continually evolve it within the framework we’ve built together.
Are you ready to start engaging with the right people? Are you brave enough to own what makes you stand out among the competition? Connect with us and let’s talk about your Brand Architecture.