Build a Brand to Change your World

A Step-by-Step How-to Guide for Building high-end cultural & creative Brands,
to create a powerful Brand from scratch or to rethink your existing Branding Strategy.




For whom is this book?

Basically, for everyone who wants to set-up a business or create a strong brand in a category that requires not just excellent products, but a good story – especially in the high-end cultural & creative industries. The book is for people who want to leave a good mark on the world with their business – who not just look for money, but for purpose – and who stand up for what they believe in. Under the big umbrella of the high-end / lifestyle segment, this includes also alternative businesses, sustainable, eco and spiritual brands and people businesses like artisans, designers and healing professionals.




Create a Brand with more Depth and more Meaning

Many businesses do not really know what they want to stand for. But consumers are increasingly judging brands by what they believe in, stand for, and do in the world. Identity-driven branding concentrates on who made something (Brand Personality), why (Brand Purpose), and how (Brand Values). Leaving brands and products ‘naked’ without a compelling identity, is a wasted opportunity to create competitive advantage.

A big part of the brand-building process deals with the creation of ‘meaning’. Building a brand is about developing brand identity. And brand identity planning is a brand’s DNA configuration. It helps to create a brand’s unique fingerprint, to give it an aura and soul, and a personality all of its own.

As marketing professor at emlyon business school, I focus on ‘how to build high-end brands’ and especially on 'how to create brand identity’ since many years. And that’s also what this book concentrates on:
How to create BRAND MEANING.

Workbook Brand-Building: How to turn your Business (Idea) into a Strong Brand




Brand Identity Planning - Brand Purpose

Build a Business & a Brand...

Entrepreneurs never just create a business – they always need to create a brand at the same time. Building a business also means building a brand. Therefore, the book combines entrepreneurship and brand identity planning. The starting point is a business idea or an established business that needs rebranding. Change your World

Strong brands are driven by a desire to change the world. For your brand, the starting point is ‘your world’ – the world around you.



Building your Brand is a Journey of Self-Discovery

Developing an identity-driven brand requires, first of all, to understand your own identity: Who do you want to be? What is your higher purpose that motivates you to jump out of bed in the morning? How can you fulfill your ‘reason for being‘ through your brand? Based on the Japanese concept of ikigai, the book outlines a brand-building process that is also a self-discovery process (including self-exploration exercises and personality tests).

Make use of Consumer Psychology

The book connects brand-building with consumer psychology. It explains how you can make your customers see that there is a higher purpose for your company and how to specifically define that greater end. Therefore, it outlines the best techniques to uncover deep-rooted Consumer Insights – to connect your customer’s life goals with the purpose of your brand. It describes various frameworks of consumer psychology that help you to better understand both, your customers and who you want your brand to stand for (your Brand Personality): This includes personality dimensions, brand personality archetypes, the value circle, the wheel of emotions, the lifestyles octagon, etc. Throughout the book, you will learn about the major branding success factors based on research in the field of psychology and persuasion.





What are the main Branding Strategies the Book draws on?

Identity-driven Branding:  Expand details...

While positioning-based (mass) marketing aims at defining and constantly adapting its market positioning according to market research and consumer surveys, identity-driven (high-end) brand management means deriving the brand philosophy from inner beliefs and visions. The major challenge of identity-driven branding is to find out what a brand should actually stand for – to develop brand identity: a detailed construction plan of brand meaning. For many lifestyle brands, symbolic benefits even exceed functional product benefits. This means that big parts of product benefits are not made in the factory, but in the marketing department (Heine et al., 2018).

Purpose-driven BrandingExpand details...

As customers are increasingly interested in understanding the brand purpose, character, culture and business practices, successful brands focus on ‘why’ they do what they do, instead of what they’re selling. Purpose-driven entrepreneurs pursue innovations in culture & society, not in products. But it's quite a challenge to find a meaningful band purpose – and, ideally, to combine it with life goals of the target customers.

Personality-driven BrandingExpand details...

The personality-driven approach to branding can complement identity-driven branding and take it one step further. Drawing on the concept of anthropo­morphization, the central idea of personality-driven branding is to enliven a brand in the minds of brand managers and company employees (MacInnis and Folkes, 2017). Instead of describing a brand’s personality with just a few terms, managers should have a metaphoric picture in mind about what kind of person their brand represents, just as if they would think about a ‘real’ person: What are the brand personality’s goals in life? What is her/his lifestyle? How does s/he look like? How would s/he design a website or flyer? Developing a brand personality allows you to create meaning, to know much better what and whom your brand should actually represent. Personality-driven branding sees the brand personality as an intentional agent and the focal point for brand management, who guides all branding decisions and provides inspiration. If all employees were to align their actions with the desired brand personality, the organization would appear to act as one person (Heine et al., 2018).

Personal brandingExpand details...

In the 19th century, it was common that a manufacturer would vouch for the quality of his products with his family name. Companies were ‘humanized’ as their founders and owners were their public faces, which helped building personal and trustworthy relationships with customers. Today, customers still want to connect names and faces to the brands they like as much as they did a century ago. The point of giving your brand a face is turning it into a human-like relationship partner (Fournier and Alvarez, 2012). A person selected as the brand’s public face should be developed as a ‘personal brand’ that is representing the company. One of the major success drivers for self-employed people in creative industries, such as designers, artists, chefs, or architects, is to turn themselves into a ‘person brand.’


What's included?

  • Brand-building toolkit: A modular system of brand-building templates based on the Brand-Building Canvas. As there is a separate template for each of the major brand-building blocks, you will better understand how all the concepts of branding are connected (from Brand Mission over Brand Philosophy to Brand Culture and so on).
  • Many real-life examples and case studies illustrate the success drivers of high-end brand-building
  • How-to Boxes explain how to apply the brand-building and market research techniques in practice
  • Decision Boxes provide an overview about the typical options you have at a particular stage of brand-building. For instance, to help you specify your Brand-Customer Relationship, there is a Decision Box with an overview of about 50 different Brand Relationship Roles to choose from.
  • Checklists summarize the do's and don'ts of brand-building
  • About 160 pages (A4, ready to print)





Contents Overview


The book is structured by the main steps of the brand-building process:


Introduction: The Starting Point: What is your Ikigai, your Purpose in Life? What is your Business Idea?

Foundations: The Brand Identity Planning Model: What is Brand Identity? What is the Logic of the Brand-building Canvas?

Main Part: Build your Brand: How to complete the Brand-building Blocks?

Step 1: Brand Vision: How to come up with your Brand Vision, Mission & Purpose?

Step 2: Products: What should be your Value Proposition & Brand Qualities? How to achieve Brand Authority?

Step 3: Target Customers: How to connect your Customer’s Life Goals with the Purpose of your Brand?

Step 4: Brand Character: How to create Brand Personality, Brand Culture and an overarching Brand Theme?

Step 5: Relationships: What are the Options for your Brand’s Customer Relationship Type, Role & Tone of Voice?

Step 6: Touchpoints: How to derive your Brand-Customer Touchpoints from Customer Journey Mapping?

Step 7: Brand Expression: How to symbolize what you want your Brand to stand for? How to make your Brand recognizable?







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