How to Build a Brand Fantasy – Guide for Digital Marketers

Brand Fantasy - Brand Strategy for Digital Marketers

We’ve been discussing neuromarketing and the impacts this has on branding, digital marketing, and consumers. To win and stay ahead of competition, balancing the importance of unconscious and conscious marketing is vital – sure, it’s difficult and sometimes abstract, but it’s absolutely needed for a full 360 degree view of who your customer is.

Daryl Weber’s guide on “Brand Perception” provides a mechanism for defining brand fantasy. The recurring theme is to begin this exercise with an open mind and think differently.

Step 1:  Capture Your Brand’s Unique Underlying Feeling

  1. Key Senses:  what does your brand feel like? smell like? taste like? look like?
  2. Brand World:  what would life on this world be like? how would people get around? how would people talk? what makes this different that Earth?
  3. Brand Persona:  beyond the obvious, what would this person eat? where do they sleep? what do they dream about?
  4. Brand Party:  what kind of music would be heard? what type of food would be served? how would people stay entertained?

Step 2:  Make the brand real

  1. List 3-5 words that bring this brand fantasy to life
    • If needed, start off with a long list of words, then narrow down from there
    • Someone with little knowledge of the brand should be able to read these short words and instantly understand the essence of the brand / brand fantasy
  2. What are the key associations of this brand? Think spiderweb modeling AKA mind map
    • Group the word associations into categories that can be turned into phases
  3. Create a multidimensional mood board filled with word/image associations. These can be abstract, but need to clearly define the brand
  4. What triggers make this brand fantasy real?

Step 3:  Check your brand fantasy agains the 3 Cs

  1. Consumer:  consumers should be buying into a better version of themselves through your product, therefore, the brand fantasy should inspire
  2. Commerce:  the brand fantasy should be different, fill a gap, and be completely unique
  3. Culture:  should be able to survive today’s world, as well as, be future proof

There are a handful of exercises to run the top 3 steps by, including:

  • Mood boards
  • Image sorting
  • Project language techniques
  • Story telling
  • Implicit association tests

These exercises help you uncover even more about your brand fantasy and ensure you’re on the right track. Some of these are suitable for Product Marketing, Engineering, Executive Teams, etc – best practices on when to use these tests and for whom to come in an upcoming post.

Be strategic, be communicative, and be strategic. Don’t shy aware from the concept of a brand fantasy, but embrace it as an compliment to your existing brand strategy.