How do you build a brand? It’s an easy question. Sadly, it has a thousand answers.
Were I to ask how to build a car, the answer would be with an engine, steering, wheels, transmission, chassis, etc. How do you build a sandwich? How do you make beer? Of course there will be variations in ingredients but the components are pretty static. Not so much in brand building.
If you ask ten brand consultancies you’ll get ten different constructs for what constitutes a brand plan. Components may include product development guidelines, packaging, a visual identity scheme, (e.g., a logo, style and usage manual) and rough communications guidelines, but for the most part the actors charged with building the brand are a federation of marketing people inside and outside the company (agencies) following a marketing plan, not a brand plan.
Marketing plans are built with line items transferable from one company to then next. Metrics include: unit sales, revenue, market share and profit plan. And lots of tactical cow bell. Brand plans, on the other hand, are devoted to building product and consumer value. Values based on care-abouts and good ats. They are not transferable line items but values endemic to the product.
The best marketers are also great brand advocates. They don’t care only about the plumbing, they care about the product and its unique value to the consumer.