When we help clients with brand development or rebranding, it’s imperative that we help them discover what’s their one thing. In other words, what is the one thing that must be communicated clearly and consistently every time. This is a crucial part of branding because consumers are inundated with advertising messages. Brands must craftily deliver a message so sticky that consumers can easily recall it.
Ever see a commercial and remember the storyline but can’t recall the brand? Or, what about the company that offers a vanity URL that differs from the actual brand name, you go to find that product or service online and can’t. Then there’s the ad that hits you with so much stuff, so fast, that you can’t recall anything tangible about the brand or its messaging. This is where the one thing comes in …
I recently saw a TV commercial from the brand, Lactaid Milk. It’s the one with the guy talking in front of a slew of cows. I watched this spot only once and instantly knew what the one thing was. I could see how focus group research was used to decipher consumer misperception about the brand, which was addressed in the spot.
Lactaid is dairy milk that looks and tastes like regular milk, the only difference is it is lactose free. The one thing the TV spot conveyed is that Lactaid is in fact regular dairy milk, made by dairy cows, without lactose.
In a simple, clever way, the Lactaid brand was able to convey this message, address undesired perceptions, and underscore its one thing: Lactose-free Lactaid is indeed made from real dairy cows.
To avoid brand confusion or to address specific issues, companies looking to brand or rebrand should ask these questions upfront. The answers will support clear, concise, consistent messaging down the road:
1. Who is my audience and how, when, and where do they consume media?
2. How is our brand perceived externally (in the marketplace)?
3. How is our brand perceived internally (staff, board, shareholders, etc.)?
4. What is our desired brand perception internally and externally?
5. How do we achieve this internal and external brand perception?
6. Currently, what do we tangibly possess to help us get there?
7. What challenges or obstacles must we tackle to get there?
8. What are our internal and external value propositions?
9. What are our brand attributes?
10. When it comes to our target market, what is the one thing we must clearly, concisely, and consistently communicate?
11. Is this one thing believable?
12. How do we know it’s believable?
Keep in mind that your brand, over time, should evolve to place where it’s recalled with little or no aids. This is the ultimate goal and is often referred to as unaided brand awareness.