In today’s increasingly competitive world, finding a unique voice for your brand that is compelling is no easy task. We believe that the best brands are built on a strong foundation of powerful messaging and values. These brands connect on an emotional level, rather than just visually. An emotional connection between both brand and consumer can be your strongest tool in your marketing toolkit, and will make customer conversion and retention a much easier task.
Brand equity is the value that derives from your customer’s perception of your brand. Organisations such as Apple have a high level of brand equity, whereas brands that are comparatively pretty unknown have a low level of brand equity. Whilst brand equity models can get complex (e.g Keller’s Brand Equity Pyramid), we’re keeping it simple – separating brand equity into two component parts: Visual Equity and Emotional Equity.
A lot of brands have visual equity – this is what consumers SEE when interacting with a brand. This comprises items such as Corporate Logo/ID, Brand/Product Logos, Typography, Use of Imagery, and Straplines. Whilst powerful on their own, these alone aren’t enough to create a strong and enduring connection between a brand and its consumers. What many brands lack is powerful emotional equity – that connection that transforms a salient brand into one that has resonance. Emotional equity can be affected by a number of factors, but primarily concerns how you communicate, e.g Messaging, Tone of Voice, Language, Style of Imagery, Storytelling…
Quantock worked closely with Hampton School’s internal team and ambassadors, to develop four core brand ‘pillars’. Hampton is a school whose focus is to enable their pupils to be open-minded, tolerant and full of conviction, aiming for personal success while supporting those around them with kindness. These values needed to be able to be communicated in a clear and concise way that captured the true essence of the Hampton community and culture.
Emotional equity triggers a feeling – in most cases a positive one. Whether its a suburb line of copy that captures your imagination, a beautifully composed shot that fills you with inspiration, or a masterfully told story that brings a tear to your eye, creating an emotional link is the most powerful way that you can connect in a meaningful way with your audience. Emotive brand communications should be underpinned by a clear set of brand values, or ‘Brand Pillars’ as we like to call them. These are different from an organisations ‘values or ethos’, in that they are designed with the customer in mind.
Brand Pillars are unique, emotive statements that perfectly capture the essence of your brand and organisation, that are completely ownable by you and no one else. It’s vital that Brand Pillars are backed up with tangible and true proof points, to make them authentic and believable. When used effectively, they can serve as a powerful foundation for your brand, particularly through advertising campaigns.
PREP SCHOOL TRUST
Quantock carried out a bespoke brand workshop to gain insight into the values behind Prep Schools Trust and determine what sets them apart from the competition. The schools within the Prep Schools Trust deliver a rich and diverse educational experience focusing on the development of individualism and confidence so every child can prosper both at senior school and in their lives beyond school. Their ethos was simplified into four key pillars, that would go on to form the framework for the all internal and external communications.
By having clear and consistent messaging that is highly compelling, you’ll be able to build resonance with your audience and reinforce your brand’s reputation. Over time, these statements and values become synonymous with your brand.
KING EDWARD’S WITLEY
The first port of call was to gain insight into the fabric and ethos of King Edward’s, and discover what exactly made them unique, and how they needed to take them forward. Quantock held a series of bespoke brand workshops with both SLT, staff and parents, in order to uncover the true ethos of the school and to better understand where the school was at, and where they wanted to be in the future. The result of these interactions was the development of six tangible pillars, that would go on to form the framework for the both internal and external communications.
Brand Pillar creation forms an integral part of our Slingshot Program, where we help brands to discover and capture what makes them truly unique. The insights gained from the previous Brand Audit and Brand Workshops stages are a vital part of the discovery process which then in turn informs the pillar development stage.
The primary challenge with this project was that as a newly formed organisation, each aspect of the brand had to be crafted entirely from scratch. The Lighthouse Education project represents the most extensive research and development exercise we have undertaken. Working with multiple stakeholders and teams across the World, we lead the creation of an overarching brand framework, built upon a foundation of core brand pillars. Ambitious and far reaching competitor auditing was conducted, together with immersive and in-depth interviews (parents, pupils, school owners, teachers and alumni across all continents) to uncover the true DNA of the organisation.
If you’re interested in finding out more about Brand Pillars and how they could help bolster your brand, get in touch with us – we have lots of insight and experience to share!