A brand is so much more than a logo, a slogan, or a mission statement. It’s everything that your company represents. It’s what makes people trust you and want to work with you.
In order to create a strong brand, you need to define your brand pillars. In this blog post, we will discuss the 5 brand pillars that every business should be focusing on. We’ll also examine examples of each brand pillar.
What are the core values that your company stands for? What makes you different from your competitors? Let’s discover how these questions can be applied to real-world businesses.
What are brand pillars?
Brand pillars are the core beliefs and defining traits that your business embodies. They are what make you different from your competitors and what will attract your ideal customers.
There are many different ways to define brand pillars, but you can think of them as a framework for your brand. Just like a house needs a strong foundation, your brand needs a strong foundation as well.
Why are brand pillars important?
Brand pillars are crucial because they help you to focus on what is important to your business. They act as a guide for everything you do, from the products and services you offer to the way you communicate with your customers.
If you don’t have a clear understanding of your brand pillars, it’s very easy to get sidetracked and lose sight of what is most important to your business.
The 5 main brand pillars defined
Now that we’ve gone over what brand pillars are and why they’re important, let’s take a look at the five main brand pillars that every business should be focusing on.
Note: These can be different depending on who you ask. But if you ask most knowledgeable individuals “what are the brand pillars?”, they’ll tell you about the 5 P’s:
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Pillar #1: Purpose
Your purpose defines why your business does what it does. It explains why you exist, what drives you, and what makes you unique.
Your purpose should answer two key questions: Why are we here? And, what do we stand for?
It’s important to keep your purpose simple and straightforward. If it’s complex, it will be much more difficult for your audience to understand, and for your staff to stick to.
Brand Purpose Examples
Here are some examples of brands that have great purposes:
Apple – To design and develop innovative products for our customers.
Dell – To provide technology solutions that empower people to achieve more.
Google – To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Starbucks – To inspire and nurture the human spirit.
Notice how each of the examples focuses on the brand’s why. Knowing why you do what you do will help inform both what you do and how you do it.
How to Define Brand Purpose
To help determine your purpose, try answering the following questions:
- What is your core offer and who is it for?
- Why did you start this business?
- What led you to the decision to get started?
- What are your biggest short term and long term goals?
Pillar #2: Perception
Brand perception is all about how the world (especially your potential customers) sees and experiences your presence on a day to day basis.
The easiest way to define how you want people to perceive your brand is by picking specific words which represent your morals and values.
In most cases, this should be limited to 2-3 words so they will be easy to repeat and remember.
Brand Perception Examples
Here are some good examples of brand perceptions:
Apple – Innovative, high quality, cool.
Dell – Reliable, dependable, affordable.
Google – Responsive, helpful, authoritative.
Starbucks – Friendly, welcoming, approachable.
Notice how just reading the three words associated with each company can give you an idea of what they’re like. This is the whole point of brand perception.
How to Define Brand Perception
To determine brand perception, try answering these questions:
- How do you want people in your niche to see you?
- How do others describe you?
Pillar #3: Positioning
Brand positioning is about how you approach the market as well as customer acquisition and retention.
You need to know where you stand in relation to your competitors. Positioning is what will show your potential customers why they should choose you instead of someone else, regardless of price or convenience.
Positioning is closely associated with your unique value proposition (UVP). A strong UVP is one of the best ways to attract customers without having to compete on price.
Brand Positioning Examples
Here are some examples of powerful brand positioning:
Apple – Beautiful, innovative technology that provides a superior customer experience.
Dell – Functional, affordable technology that integrates with your favorite software.
Google – The fastest path to the world’s knowledge.
Starbucks – Delicious coffee and food where you can relax and meet like-minded people.
Although each of the examples above is only a single sentence, they all provide compelling reasons as to why their ideal customers should buy from them.
How to Define Brand Positioning
To figure out your positioning, try answering the following questions:
- Who is your ideal client/customer?
- Where do they spend time online?
- Where do they buy things online?
- What niche are you in?
- What sets you aside from your competitors?
- How do you provide a great customer experience?
- How do you interact with your customers and audience?
Pillar #4: Personality
A brand’s personality is its character, attitude, and overall vibe.
It’s the intangible part of your brand that makes it special. Your brand personality is the sum total of your brand’s core beliefs, values, and culture.
Personality is the glue that holds your brand together. It helps create a connection between your brand and your audience.
Brand Personality Examples
Here are some great examples of brand personalities:
Apple – Elegant, simple, fun.
Dell – Tough, reliable, friendly.
Google – Smart, fast, far-reaching.
Starbucks – Relaxed, inviting, down to earth.
Each example shows a different side of who these companies are. If you were to ask anyone who is a regular customer of these brands, they’d likely use similar words to describe them.
How to Define Brand Personality
To help determine the brand’s personality, try answering the following questions:
- What tone of voice do you use to speak to your audience?
- What are some words that represent your brand?
- What actions and activities are you known for?
Pillar #5: Promotion
Promotion is the act of getting your message out there for everyone to see.
Your promotion strategy includes everything from advertising to marketing to public relations, and more. Whether you focus on organic social media, paid ads, or another strategy, the way you promote your brand will help define all of the previous pillars.
Brand Promotion Examples
Here are some examples of effective brand promotions:
Apple – The release of the iPod Nano.
Dell – Regular sales and discounts to get people in the door.
Google – Free front end products and services.
Starbucks – Clever social media marketing.
How to Define Brand Promotion
To figure out your promotional channels, answer the following questions:
- What is a typical customer’s experience with your brand?
- What makes them want to extend that experience?
- How do customers and potential customers communicate with you?
- Where do they meet you online?
- Who represents your brand?
- What is your elevator pitch?
How to create brand pillars
Now that we’ve talked about what brand pillars are and why they’re important, let’s take a look at how you can develop your own brand pillars.
The first step is to sit down and brainstorm with your team. What are the values that you want your business to stand for? What makes you different from your competitors?
Once you have a good understanding of what your brand pillars should be, the next step is to start incorporating them into everything you do. From the way you communicate with your customers to the products and services you offer, make sure that your brand pillars are at the core of everything.
How to create a strong brand identity
There are a few key things you need to keep in mind when creating your brand identity.
- Make sure that your branding is consistent across all platforms. This means using the same logo, colors, and tagline on your website, social media, business cards, and marketing materials.
- Make sure that your branding reflects the values of your company. Your brand should be an extension of who you are as a business.
- Make sure that your branding is unique. You want people to remember your brand and be able to identify it easily.
Want some help developing your brand pillars?
If you’d like a hand sculpting your brand pillars and voice, you can get 80% off a one hour strategy session with me by following this link.