The world we knew is changing before our eyes, affecting the way we perceive it and how we derive meaning from it. The social and cultural changes we are experiencing are redefining the way we see our own place in society, our sense of identity, and everything that affects our lives, including brands and businesses.

Since the beginning of time, we have been surrounded by codes and meanings that help us understand life. People value meanings. We don’t consume brands for their logos or products, we consume them for what they mean to us – for what they represent in terms of our own desires, values, feelings, and mental images that we create about the world we live in. The more meaning you create as a brand, the more value you have and the more meaning you can exchange with your customers.

The more meaning you can exchange with your customers, the stronger the mental, emotional, and cultural bonds you can create between your brand and the Company and, in a broader context, also with the culture and society in which your customers live.

Embedding your brand in the vital context of culture and society, through the symbolic territories and perceptions that your brand generates in people’s minds, is the best way to create a strategic position that truly resonates with people based on their shared values and beliefs.

To conquer a territory you have to have a good map and for this it is essential to explore. In geographical terms, first there was the territory and then the map was drawn. In Branding it is the other way around, first the map that leads us to understand a concrete reality, based on the
insights
and needs of customers. From that point on, we will be able to identify the territory on which to build meaning, and which is a fundamental pillar for the brand strategy.

THE MAP OF THE TERRITORY

The map represents the understanding of the coordinates on which to identify a need that can become an opportunity for your brand. It is based on an attitude of investigation that leads to the conclusion of a reality that affects customers, especially their emotional state. It can be complex but, like any exploration, it requires being very attentive to the signs.

Emotional states can be very diverse, but there are 6 main needs states that can help you identify them: “Surprise me,” “Help me,” “Reassure me,” “Educate me,” “Impress me,” and “Excite me.”

In order for them to make sense, they must be used in a way that really provides value: contextualized in a given framework, intertwined with knowledge of the specific target and their behavior, and then used to determine what should be the direction to follow through the territory.

4 Steps to Draw Your Brand Map

  1. Analyze the environment

This is what leads you to want to explore, or not. The conditions of your brand, the product, the competition, the market, society… List the opportunities and problems that may arise and evaluate them.

  1. Prioritize your audience

This means understanding all the targets very well, knowing their preferences, ambitions and hobbies, as well as the credibility and reputation with which your brand is perceived. A socio-demographic segmentation has always been carried out, today it is convenient to think about the need states that are more transversal.

  1. Watch for Signs

Spot trends based on your brand’s interests and evaluate how they would fit into your reality. Going against the strongest trends may be a foretold failure, but who says your brand can’t create its own trend?

  1. Filter the information

The filters can be many and varied, as well as brands, trends, targets and strategies that may exist. Your filters should be demanding and objective, you should accept that even good filters ruin a tempting idea.

BRAND TERRITORY

Brand territory is the tangible and intangible space occupied by a brand, defined by its very nature (company/business) and by its rational and emotional aspirations to its stakeholders.

In other words, the Brand Territory is the competitive space where the brand builds its own meaning that people can value. It is the basis for the construction of the brand strategy as it will allow you to focus on values and benefits, a personality and a way of behaving.

Territories can be explored in different ways, either with an overview or by exploring the different angles within the same territory. This will determine what perceptions the brand is going to be linked to. For example, exclusivity or luxury may be a territory, but it is too general to be differential, while sporty luxury could achieve greater differentiation. Let’s see how Rolex has based itself on it to define its brand strategy that has led it to sponsor “luxury” sporting events, such as Wimbledon or the Ryder Cup in golf.

4 levers to activate brand territories

  1. Knowledge

For brands that can be considered as experts or authorities in their segments. They pay special attention to innovation and maintain very distinctive styles.
Related territories: Experience, leadership, intelligence, dissemination, innovation…

  1. Solution

Oriented towards the other end of the scale with respect to knowledge. He becomes an ally of the customers, someone who is on their side with empathy.
Linked territories: Ease, speed, price, service, being an ally, being a prize…

  1. Authenticity

With the capacity to elevate the previous two, enhancing the emotional benefits to a greater extent.
Linked territories: Honesty, transparency, trust, responsibility, originality…

  1. Lifestyle

Originating from the way in which relationships with third parties are established. It combines tangible and intangible factors.
Linked territories: Exclusivity, popularity, connection, trendy, inspirational, traditional, living on the edge…

 

Finally, you have the map narrowed down and you know how to move around and exploit that fertile territory. Work on it, invest, be consistent. Don’t let anyone else get into it, make it yours, grow with it. It is not an easy task, you can always count on the help of professionals.

 

Carlos Puig Falcó
CEO of Branward