Brand pillars are the values, the personality and characteristics that make up your brand. And your brand is everything that you say and everything you do. Strong brand pillars are the fundamental points that set your company apart from your competitors – not your products or rates (sorry Product teams)
What are the brand pillars?
Everyone sees this differently, but we will look at these: brand purpose, brand perception, brand identity (or proposition), values, and brand experience.
This is why your company exists. Yes, you offer mortgages. But so what?
What do you want to communicate to brokers your purpose? What do you want to communicate internally? It will also provide a hook to tell your company's story and differentiate yourself from your competition Talk to your C-Suite and see how they answer this.
We see perception as the 8th-P in the marketing mix. Perception is reality. How your brokers perceive you is what really matters. And how does this differ to how you want to be perceived? This is the perception gap.
This of course assumes you know how you want to be perceived. If you don’t, work this out first then measure brand perceptions and then you can begin to create a stronger pillar.
3. Brand Identity
This brand pillar is about who you are as a brand. What do you stand for? What is your proposition to the market?
A brand is something you are, it's not what products you offer.
It's all about your personality as a company. Personality attracts brokers – then it is your character that retains them.
An example from the past for a good personality description was “We offer mortgages for everyone through a fast automated process.”
Values are about communicating your overall position to your audience and how you want your staff to interact with each other and with brokers.
5. Brand Experience
If you want to be seen as fast and automated, then your brand experience must reflect this. You must be trusted. Trust comes from relationships, credibility and by being reliable in your offering. By using these brand pillars as a basis, you can stand head and shoulder above your competition. Companies that fail most likely haven't considered what their brand pillars are and how they align.