Brand House: The best framework for building a brand
Branding is absolutely critical to business success because of the overall impact it has on your company. Branding can influence how people perceive your brand, it can drive new business and increase brand awareness.
Strong brands can lean on their name to build recognition, increase value and generate referrals while attracting and retaining great employees who are drawn to the brand.
But when it comes to building a brand, it’s not as simple as it looks. A Brand House template is a popular framework used by marketers and product teams to organize the various elements of a brand.
What is the Brand House template?
A Brand House template is a handy tool for brand marketers to help consolidate, organize and understand the complex beliefs, messages and market position of a brand.
A brand house has five main components:
Sitting at the top is the Big Idea.
Under that lives the Brand Positioning following by the Brand Attributes.
The next layer includes the three Brand pillars that support the brand.
And at the bottom, the foundations of Proof Point and Boiler Plate.
In the next section, we’ll explain how to gather this information and complete your own Brand House template.
How to build a Brand House
Open up the Brand House template on our digital whiteboard, and send a link to any of your teammates so they can join in the collaborative session in real-time. You may also want to start by completing a Brand Equity Pyramid to gain additional insight into your brand’s value.
Begin at the roof of the house, then continue down through each layer. Encourage your team to add their ideas as Sticky Notes to the template, then work together to consolidate and vote on the main ideas in each section.
Once you’ve completed your Brand House, easily download it as a PDF, add it to a brand guidelines document or share a link with the wider team.
It all starts with the big idea. This refers to your brand as a whole. An easy way to define your big idea is by looking to the future. Picture your brand 20 years from now, what do you want people to think about it? What do you want your brand to be remembered for?
Positioning refers to the way you will position your brand within the marketplace, and within the consumer’s mind. Do you want to position your brand as the most exclusive out there, or a more accessible brand available for everyone? A perpetual map can help you understand your current position in relation to your competitors.
Think of attributes as the way you will communicate your big idea to your audience. These form the core of your brand messaging, and may include things like warm, friendly, helpful, diverse.
Identify three non-negotiable pillars that underpin your brand. These are essentially the rules around what you do and how you do it. These specific attributes make your company unique. Consider things like using sustainable suppliers, local ingredients, excelled customer service, etc.
The proof is in the pudding, as they say. What pieces of evidence, policy, marketing materials, data or products can you use to prove the validity of your brand pillars, attributes, positioning and ideas? If you can’t find any data or supporting documents to support your brand ideals, then you may have a difference between perception and reality. A perceptual map is also useful here to help you dive into this further.
Brand House example
We’ve created a Brand House template focusing on the iconic Starbucks brand. It based on the big idea of Starbucks being a ‘third space’ for customers, after their home and work. Check out the completed Brand House below, and let us know what you think in the comments below.