Introduction to the Star Brand Model
So as we think about the Star Brand Model, here you see, just to start explaining, there's five steps. Hence, the star. And the way to think about the model is that it's a process of discovery, of creativity, and then action. So we will be moving through the different steps. So in step number one, we will be talking about where you're starting from, so that you can really chart your trajectory. Then we're going to go into defining the brand equity, the target. Then, once you define who you're going after, you need to find out what you're going to tell them to persuade them to come into your brand. Then we are going to go deep into marketing strategy, which is really where the brand comes to life, and the strategy comes to life. And then finally, the action part is where we put all of that together in a plan that you can execute and track and repeat over and over again, until you achieve the specific sale goals that you have set up for yourself. Now, depending on where you are as a bran...
d, if you already own a brand, or you're starting and you're, "Okay, I have a product. I have a service." You can really start anywhere in the Star Model. Right? The reality though, is that every touch point's interconnected. If you change your product, you change your target. You change your target, you might need to change your offering. So it's important to recognize that all of these choices will impact the others. So, for the purposes of today, we're gonna start in order, because that would be my recommendation of always approaching it afresh when you start making sure that you very much acknowledge where you are, where you want to go, and what needs to happen in between. So that's the intent. The other thing to keep in mind is this works for any brand. It's not like it has to be a big brand or the brand might not even exist today. Maybe you just have it in your head and you just want to start putting the concept into a potential brand. The model works for anything, even yourself. So you can be your own brand as well. When you're thinking about being a professional. You need to define what you're good at. You need to define what sets you apart from the rest. You even need to target the right companies that you wanna work for, or you need to target the right clients that you believe are the ones that you want to make the business a success. And when you're putting yourself out there, you have to break through the clutter. And that's no different than any brand. So, the model, as I said, works for any brand. It can even be used for yourself. And you can start at any point, but we're going to start in order so that we can see how the model works. I'm gonna do a high-level run-through of all the different steps, so you can see how they're connected. But then we're gonna go step-by-step in depth, so that you can actually replicate the steps yourself at home, for the people online, as you take notes as well, and then this is going to be homework for you, as you go and build your own brand. So, step one, what we call brand assessment and goal setting helps us define where you're starting from and where you wanna go, and the reason why this is important is because, just like in life, you can not set into a new direction, without knowing where you are first, right? Like when you go to Disneyland, you look at the map, you need to know is you find the star, I'm here, before you can know how to get to Cinderella's Castle. And in brands, it's not any different. The more time you spend about truly assessing where you're starting from, what is working for you, what's not working for you, what might be the mines along the way that you need to manage through. You will increase your chances of success, because you're really defining what type of trajectory is right for your brand. That's why we call it the brand assessment. So, where you're starting from and where you want to go is the first step of any business endeavor. You might think, oh well, but I already have a product, but the key is, if you don't define what works and doesn't in that product, you won't be able to even articulate that for a potential investor or even for yourself. You don't wanna go blind in the brand-building process. So one of the tools we're gonna be exploring is called the SWOT. Maybe you're familiar with it. It's quite used in business and it speaks to basically strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to allow you to really fully assess your current market situation. And it's both about who you are as a brand, or a product, or a service and also as much as the marketplace. So we're going to be using and we're gonna be learning how to build one and how that connects with some of the choices we will make. So, more to come on the SWOT. The second step after you define where the brand is. Now we can start to define what type of brand you wanna be, your positioning, and also who you wanna go after. So in this step, intentionally we have these two pieces, because I explained to you before is who you are determines who ends up buying you. But you could also say if these are the consumers that I want, I might need to be a little bit more appealing to connect with them and adjust your positioning. So these two go hand-in-hand and is basically where you're defining your brand strategy. Let me give you an example. Let's think about the bottle water market in the US. Explosive growth over the last couple of years. How many brands of water bottles do you think there are in the US? Any guesses from the audience or the internet? 50? Okay. Any other guesses?
So out here on the internet they're saying 65.
And we have a 110.
110. Okay. Interesting range. Well let me tell you. There's over 700 registered water bottle brands in the US. That's in the US alone. How much can you do with water? (audience laughter) And the explosion of the water market has little to do with thirst, has more to do with, actually, Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Why would that be? Well the reality is that, if the only need that consumers were looking to satisfy with water was physiological, tap water would just do. So there wouldn't be a bottle water market out there, or a branded bottle water market out there. But the reality is, as we see here, there's many other needs that we have as consumers beyond thirst on the energy water, natural water, status water, that we also want to satisfy, even by drinking liquid. And it's that variety of consumer needs that are out there that really brands capitalize on to set themselves apart in the marketplace. That's why there's so many branded goods and services. Not just one brand would do, because thanks to the Hierarchy of Needs, as a consumer, and it changes by category, your needs by category change consumer by consumer. That's what allows the branding world to exist. And remember what brands really do, is you are a promise that I can service that need better than anyone else in a particular way. So we are in the world of solving consumer needs with branded products or services, and there's a lot of psychology behind that. This is not someone else. This is all of us here. When you think about it, just pick any category and the many different needs and why we pick many different brands. So we will be talking about Maslow and the pyramid of needs when we talk about the positioning of a brand. The key tool that we're going to learn about is called the Brand Equity Pyramid, is the most often used way to talk about all the elements of a brand and that will allow you to develop a positioning for your brand yourself. And once you have the positioning, of course you will need to find out who's this brand for. Thinking about the needs in a category, you can also segment the market to be able to find those people that you're most likely to attract. So we're gonna be talking about segmentation, and how you can actually use needs to define who are those consumers that you're most likely to source from, and that you can be attractive to, and that makes sense for your brand. We're gonna be having a whole chapter on segmentation so you can identify the right consumers for you. So once you know where you stand, you know what you're gonna be standing for, and then the consumers you go after, the next step is how do you discover the insights to communicate with those consumers in a way that actually translate into a future purchase. So we're gonna be talking about communication ideas and advertising, because you need to pick a message to bring them over. Right, it's not like the product just shows up and they buy. You have to break through the clutter. You have to be insightful, and you have to be quite persuasive to tell people why you're the right choice for them. So we're going to be talking about how to build great ideas. Here's just an example of a helpful tool, a very simple Venn diagram to illustrate the core components of the communication that we will be studying, which is you need an insight that comes from the target, which is a way in. Something that the consumer says, "Oh, that's me". That aha. That connection to the consumer. Then a benefit, which is basically what you're offering as a brand. And the marriage of those two, the insight and the benefit, is what will give birth to an idea for your brand. And ideally those ideas last over time, so that you're always connecting with consumers in the same terms and the same message. Okay? So we are communicating with the consumer now, 'cause we have an idea. But reaching out to consumers and understanding the different ways in which that translates into sales and hopefully you will repeat, you need to put all of that together in a sound strategy on how to build the brand and that's where marketing strategy comes in. We will be talking about what marketing strategy is, but also what are the different components of the marketing mix. Maybe you guys have heard this in other branding classes or branding books. We're gonna be talking about product, price, promotion, placement, the famous four or five Ps, (laughs) depending on how many you wanna use. And here is where you are going to choose, how is it that your business will show up and will actually be connected to how you can generate profit as part of these branded transactions. So, that's a meaty step. There's even some algebra that we will look into. We won't be doing any computations today, but we will be able to articulate actually that there's brand math beyond any of these business endeavors. And, yes, it still belongs in the branding world. So we will have some fun with that, because if you don't translate the consumer interaction into a purchase, then you won't have sales. If you don't have sales your brand won't grow. And if you don't grow, you're not a sustainable business. So this is all interconnected and that's what all the steps are trying to gear us to as we start. It's about increasing your chances of success, to be a sustainable brand, and to be a sustainable business. I'll explain in more detail what all these components mean, but for now I just want you to keep in mind that the inputs that we have in this formula, that's what we're looking to maximize, so that we maximize the sales that we generate out there. Okay? The fifth step is the meatiest of all, because you take all the previous four steps and you put them together into a solid business plan that you can execute. So we'll actually go through even how this document might even look like and how you will use the different components of the previous steps to build a solid marketing plan, And the marketing plan could be useful just for you or you can even turn it into a business proposal, if you're looking for investors, if you're looking for partners, or if you have employees, even if it's one more, to really convey the vision of what you're here to do when it comes to your business and your brand. Also, part of this step is measurement. So, brand building is a journey. You can not wait a year to assess whether you're moving in the right direction or not. There's measurement along the way. And there's ways in which you can break down all the choices that you have been making along the way, because the good news is consumers respond really fast. So you don't have to wait years to know whether you are on track to build a brand and a successful business. You'll know right away when someone likes your product or not. Probably if they don't like it you'll hear sooner. So, measurement will be an important part of when we talk about the marketing plan. Okay? We went through the different steps. We're gonna learn on where you're starting. How do you position your brand? Who is it for? What I'm going to tell them about my brand. How does it all come together in a plan? And then, can I stay on track? And where do I need to adjust? That in a nutshell is five steps to build a brand.