I was lucky enough to be able to write this article below that first appeared in Entrepreneur on 9th May 2019

In an increasingly competitive, consumer-savvy marketplace, it’s the brands with a higher “purpose” that inevitably stand out from the crowd. So how can you build your “brand temple” to help create an “emotional connection” and build an authentic, loyal customer following?

Around the world, customers are now more informed, conscientious and mindful than ever of the products and services they choose. From sustainability, social responsibility to cruelty free ethics, a brand choice has now become an extension of our own self-expression, values and identity. And, it’s the brands that serve that fundamental purpose for their customers that ultimately come out on top.

In fact, brands with a purpose are now growing twice as fast as others.

Kantar Consulting’s new Purpose 2020 report  revealed brands with a high sense of purpose have experienced a brand valuation increase of 175 per cent over the past 12 years, compared to 70 per cent growth rate for brands with a low sense of purpose. Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds of the millennial and Gen Z express a preference for brands that have a point of view and stand for something, the report found. 

Build your Brand Temple

So how can you build a brand that serves a higher purpose? The “brand temple is a powerful place to start.

This planning tool gives you a “framework” to refine your brand vision, so you can effectively attract a loyal customer base that have a genuine, emotional and deep connection with your brand.

Seeing your brand as a temple also helps you visualise better as to how your brand messages could be perceived and interpreted by your customers. Think of it as the “happy place” for your customers, where they feel trust, at ease and at home with your brand.

Let’s Start the Construction Process

We can start building the architectural framework of your brand temple by following the following key steps:

  1. Build a Foundation: Like any building that stands the test of time, it has a solid foundation. What do you sell, make, or offer that is genuinely different in a sea of similar competitors? In other words, what can you own?
  2. Construct the Pillars: On this foundation are your brand pillars, the structural support keeping the whole thing together. What are the key elements of your offering that you’re excited and proud to share with your customers?
  3. Strengthen the Roof: The roof of your temple is the core essential of what you offer as a brand that serves that higher purpose. Why do people buy from you? How will your brand change their lives for the better? Why might they not buy from you and go to your competitors?
  4. Top Up the Temple with The O.W.E: This is your “One Word Equity”. What is the one word or attribute that you want to be known for in your industry?
  5. Don’t Forget the Finishing Touches: The finer details of your “temple” should make your customer feel completely at home and trust your brand. What is it about your brand that they can genuinely trust, love and happily recommend to their family and friends? What words and expressions do you want your customers to conjure up when they come in contact with your brand?

These factors help shape your unique brand “temple” and once constructed, every step you take from its establishment should be informed by this fundamental structure. Does your next business decision align with the foundations upon which you built your “temple”? Is your next action going to help reinforce, enhance and transform your “temple” for the better? If the partnership, campaign or promotion doesn’t support the vision of the “brand temple thinking”, then it’s time to stop and re-strategize. The temple planning tool—once completed and approved—will essentially help pave the way for businesses to map out a strategic marketing roadmap, and use it as a filter or screen to help make better, more intelligent and impactful business decisions. 

This article first appeared in Entrepreneur on 9th May 2019.

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