How Big Brands Use Holistic Branding and Why It Matters
This week I listened to Tony Robbins interview Warby Parker founder, Neil Blumenthal. Warby Parker, is a successful multi-million dollar business that revolutionized the eyeglasses industry with their perfect execution of Blue Ocean Strategy (I’ll explain what this is later).
What resonated with me was what Blumenthal said about branding his business and that for high-level leaders, “brand architecture is your reason for being.”
“Brand matters more than ever. Experience is a buzz word, but it really does matter, and it’s a holistic experience. Our brand is not just our product; it’s the moment somebody hears about Warby Parker.” – Neil Blumenthal
This is a perfect example of holistic branding, or as I like to call it, Branding on Purpose. Blumenthal is taking every touch point of the customer experience and crafting it to align with the brand’s highest commitment, in his case – accessible, easy, and fun.
My coaching and consulting practice centers on holistic branding, which means your entire visual, verbal and emotional identity is in alignment with who you are being.
It’s branding on purpose, with purpose.
Let’s break down what this really means so you can apply holistic branding to your business and see how I help my clients take the big concepts of hugely successful companies, like Warby Parker, and make those methods their own.
We live in a purpose-based economy and as Neil says, “We really need to expand our thought on what a brand is.”
Branding is no longer a marketing strategist buying ad space; it’s not billboards or networking, it’s both your on- and off-line existence and experience.
Your brand is moments of genuine emotion and sharing from organic purposeful perspective. Let’s break it down.
STEP 1: Create your Brand Commitment
When we create our brand from the inside out, we start at the heart.
I call the heart of a brand the Brand Commitment. In business speak, this is the Unique Selling Point, or Proposition, or Mission Statement. In branding terms, we soften it up a bit to pull on our customer’s and client’s heartstrings and make a human connection.
“Vulnerability is key to relationships. Brands can create relationships just like human beings create relationships.” – Neil Blumenthal
Your purpose, your Brand Commitment is what is going to make you wake up in the morning and create a fantastic culture of business, and build loyal ambassadors that wildly promote and share your brand.
From a personal branding standpoint, your brand commitment is your highest life purpose. What were you put in this world to do? From this place, we set the intention for the brand.
Now that you’ve created an intentional, heart-centered brand on the inside, what happens with the outside of your brand?
Branding on the outside is how we approach our customers and clients through visuals and strategy.
Often, brand strategists and ad agencies skip straight to this part, which is a sure-fire way to fail. Anyone can learn how to execute the best ad campaign out there; it’s only a success if people connect, care about it and most importantly share it.
STEP 2: Target your Target Audience
Moving forward, let’s imagine we have the Brand Commitment in place, we’ve branded the heart and soul of our business with intention and purpose.
It’s soaked through your culture, language and it’s your reason for being, as Neil says.
The next step is to take a deep dive into your target audience. I always say that it’s called “Target Audience” because you need a target to hit.
The obvious question is: where are they?
Where are they talking, sharing, shopping? Why do they care about you? What can you provide them that no one else can?
STEP 3: Find their Pain Point
Let’s continue with Warby Parker as our example.
My husband wears glasses and doesn’t have a lot of time to go to the eyeglasses shop, try on tons of pairs (fingers crossed one of these looks great on this face), then wait for a sales person to help him fit them (why is there only one sales person there anyways, why is this taking so long?), and then hope he made the right choice and looks stunning and handsome (like he always does).
What if a company saved him time, gave him options that were super hip, fun and cool, then shipped them to our house so we can try them on at home, and spend some time with them to make the right choice in our real life?
Enter Warby Parker.
This is their “Blue Ocean Strategy.” They turned the eyeglass industry on their head by totally recreating how their customers engage with and experience shopping for eyeglasses.
Diving deep into what your target audience’s pain points are and recreating their experience is a beautiful way to make your brand stand above the rest.
With your target audience in place, brand strategy is the manifestation of your brand in the world, how it shows up and touches your customer and client at every interaction, on and offline.
It’s the entire holistic experience, the culmination of your brand commitment, visual and strategic approach.
In the fall I’m going to launch a 3-week online course called Branding With Purpose to give you the tools you need and the mindset shift it takes to create a brand from the inside out with action and intention.
Prior to Branding With Purpose I’m hosting a free masterclass to teach you how to create big brand impact using bright launch strategies.
Just like this article about holistic branding, I’m going to show you successful real-life examples of how big brands create huge impact through launching and the top strategies they use. I’ll break down the best marketing practices you can take from these big brands and how to apply them to your work whether you’re a product or service-based business.
Hi there, I’m Lisa.
I’m a life, brand + business coach for entrepreneurs and leaders. I help ambitious women create a life by design with intention, experience, and insight. Interested in seeing what’s possible for you? Message me and let’s talk.
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