The human brand theory booklet 1


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New Strategic Methodology, specifically developed for the Contemporary world of Branding.

Helping Brands be more human.

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The human brand theory booklet 1

  1. 1. THE HUMAN BRAND THEORYA New Paradigm forContemporary Brand SuccessAndre Le Roux and Thys de Beer BOOK 1
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION____________________________________________It all started with the story of an apple.Story telling is part of who we are as humanbeings. Through story telling great truths andlearnings are passed on from one generation tothe next. Story telling is used to demystifycomplex concepts and ideas. We use stories toengage with each other, to in one shortparagraph communicate multiple meanings aboutourselves in order to hopefully create adesired perception about ourselves with others.A great example of such a story is of how SirIsaac Newton “discovered” gravity when an applefell on his head. In one swift moment the worldchanged, as someone brilliant had a moment ofinsight. Since then, we have been telling thisstory and our world has truly changed.That moment was so significant that it neverappeared in Newton’s official biography. Wewould only read about this world changing event11 years after Newton’s death, or 70 yearsafter the event was said to have happened.There were of course no real eye witnesses tothe event.In one small story, so many truths are revealedTHE HUM AN BRAND THEORY© Page 1
  3. 3. about us as human beings. In one brief story weare not only explained the theory of gravity,but also the brilliance of Sir Isaac Newton. Itcould have been any object that fell, a pieceof paper, a leaf or even Newton himself, butthe author or creator of this story chose anapple. The very fruit which of course landed usall in so much trouble in the Garden of Eden,when Eve plucked the apple from the forbiddentree of knowledge.Immediately it elevates the brilliant Newtoneven further and places him in the realm of amodern day Prometheus, who stole the fire fromthe gods and gave it to man. If you know thehistory of Sir Isaac Newton, this glorificationis something that he would have utterlyenjoyed.In this story, lies the seeds and inspirationfor the Human Brand Theory©. This little bookis about showing you how Brands and BrandStrategy is not as one dimensional as what youmay think. There are multiple meanings andtruths that are hidden in every story and mostof the time, those hidden meanings are verycleverly inserted to do one thing – to plant avery small seed of meaning and perception.THE HUM AN BRAND THEORY© Page 2
  4. 4. THE DREAM________________________________________Just like a good story, dreams are universal toall of us. We all have dreams and some men andwomen have greater dreams than others. Justlike stories, our dreams have multiple levelsand meanings, but one thing remains true, it isour dreams that drive us.The Human Brand Theory© has a very simpledream:“To help Brands achieve their dreams in theever changing Brand world, through being morerelevant, more engaging, more people focusedand authentic.”Our dream is not to write and propose the nextPrincipia Mathematica of Brand Strategy, butrather to propose a simple holistic model ofhow to consistently build Brand success in acrazy, contemporary (Brand) world.This is the story of how to build more humanBrands.THE HUM AN BRAND THEORY© Page 3
  5. 5. THE WHY OF THE HUMAN BRAND THEORY©________________________________________Not long before Newton, men were literallyburnt at the stake for challenging and thinkingdifferently about accepted norms and theories.Thinking differently requires bravery, and webelieve that the Brand building industry is indire need of some brave, challenging thinking.In the past 100 years we have seen a massiveamount of change in regards to how people thinkabout Brands and Brand Building. Brands havegone from being seen as an identifying device,to a device of competitive differentiation, toan emotive engagement platform, to even beingdescribed as a feeling and social promisebetween consumer and Brand.The truth of the matter is that Brand Strategyhas become complex, as the world we live in israpidly changing and evolving. There are morecompetition, more exposure, everything is outin the open and everybody is connected. The oldmethods of Brand building are no longer workingand as a result, we, the industry, have had tochange our thinking about how to build Brands.In light of all this change, trend analysts andmajor Brand thinkers are calling for thedevelopment of more Human Brands.THE HUM AN BRAND THEORY© Page 4
  6. 6. The very constructs we use to definecontemporary Brand success are very humanconstructions. A Brand needs to have ideals,needs to have a soul or essence, it needs tobuild meaning over time, it needs to have astable identity, build relationships and aboveall else, it needs to tell stories.THE HUM AN BRAND THEORY© Page 5
  8. 8. The argument holds that if Brands need to bemore human, then we need to have a system todevelop more Human Brands that helps Brands toanswer to these modern Brand needs.This might seem a bit simpler than what itlooks like. Brand Strategy is in a bit of abind, as it is a field that pulls from threetheoretical sources: Marketing Theory, BrandTheory and Consumer Behaviour which in itselfpulls theory from Psychology and Sociology. Theproblem is that all of these theories liveapart from each other and not as one globalsystem.No wonder people view Brand Strategy as beingcomplex, and in a modern world where people arestriving for simplification, they are strivingfor the simplification of Brand Development.Simply put, the Human Brand Theory© is a BrandBuilding Methodology that tries to incorporatethe effective theoretical constructs of all theBrand building disciplines into one system, inorder to help us build more Human Brands thattell great stories and that resonate withpeople.THE HUM AN BRAND THEORY© Page 7
  10. 10. AND THE APPLE DROPS. . .________________________________________For anyone else during that time period to seean apple drop and connect it with the existenceof gravity, or to even conceive of the conceptof gravity, they needed to be aware of all theconstructs, schools of thought and applicationsof physics and mathematics. Newton took hisideas, thoughts and learnings and createdsomething new. A new Model of thinking thatcould be applied to the world of physics.We are by no means creating a new law ofphysics, far from it, but the same theoreticalprocess still applies. Understand the currentthinking and apply it to something new.When you look at the top Brands in the worldtoday, specifically the Brands that have beenconsistently at the top, you see remarkablethings. All these Brands, i.e. Facebook,Google, Apple, Nike, IBM, Starbucks and soforth exhibit very human elements.In other words, they stand for a higher ideal,they are focused on a purpose, telling stories,a stable identity and developing relationships.They exhibit other elements as well; the waythese Brands developed was in a very stable,holistic human manner. What we found is thatfactors are also prevalent in other things suchTHE HUM AN BRAND THEORY© Page 9
  11. 11. as big societal movements such as religion orthe Renaissance.Brand Strategy might be a relatively newconcept, but all of these traits and factorsare age old, very human and very wellresearched and documented by Psychologists andSociologists. If these factors are universal,researched and stable, then it makes sense forus to try and understand the history,psychology and sociology behind these humanfactors.By looking at the work done by greatPsychologists, Sociologist and Brand thinkers,we were able to bridge the gap between Brandthinking and consumer behaviour, andincorporate all our thinking into one model.If you put all of the key insights andlearnings together into a system, you get theHuman Brand Theory©.THE HUM AN BRAND THEORY© Page 10
  12. 12. WHAT IS THE HUMAN BRAND THEORY?________________________________________“A brand is a person’s gut feeling about aproduct, service, or company.”Marty Neumeier – The Brand GapWHAT IS THE BIG IDEA?A successful Brand is just like an influentialHuman Being that stands for a higher ideal. He/ she has a big dream that drives everythingthat he / she does. An identity that makes him/ her compelling and an engaging individual.And he / she needs to build lastingrelationships in order to grow, thrive and tobe happy.In a world where Brands need to become morehuman, we need to have a methodology thatanswers to this need.The Human Brand Theory© is a Brand developmentmethodology that is simple to understand,scientific in application and predictable inoutcome.Using our understanding of the Psychology andSociology, and by using the associatedtheoretical and tested models behind these key“Human Brand Success” Parameters, we are ableto create a methodology to build better Brands.THE HUM AN BRAND THEORY© Page 11
  13. 13. THE APPLICATION OF THE THEORY________________________________________A NEW DEFINITIONIf a Brand is a platform for an idea, and thatidea is based on a higher principle and idealto improve human life or add value, we canpresent the following definition of what aBrand is.“A Brand”“An entity and force of positive socialinfluence and change.”In light of this, we can create the followingdefinition for Brand Strategy:“Brand Strategy”Brand Strategy is the organic development of anentity through utilising societal relevance,resonance and credibility in order to achievetranscendence.All systems and theories have laws that governtheir inner workings. The Human Brand Theory©is no different.THE HUM AN BRAND THEORY© Page 12
  14. 14. Putting this into practice – the 7 new laws ofBrand Building.The Seven Laws to Building Human FocusedBrands: 1. Successful Brands are guided and driven by a single emotive, unchanging and inspiring dream. 2. Successful Brands have a stable identity that develops over time in a systematic manner. 3. Successful Brands evolve and adapt in order to survive, but are always rooted in a single dream and stable identity. 4. Successful Brands are socially relevant in everything they do, say and how they express themselves. 5. Successful Brands resonate with their peers, friends and family through expression, experience and communication. 6. Successful Brands strive to develop in order to become more than Brands but social shapers, identifiers and leaders – forces of change and influence. 7. Successful Brands are focused on building long-term relationships that are based on mutual respect and understanding – Rapport.The 7 Laws are proprietary to the Human Brand Theory©THE HUM AN BRAND THEORY© Page 13
  15. 15. THE BRAND SUCCESS MODEL________________________________________The Brand Success model is a model that hasbeen developed through understanding andlooking at the various psychological andsociological constructs that determinesuccessful and stable human development andinfluence.THE HUM AN BRAND THEORY© Page 14
  16. 16. This model works on the basic inside andoutside principle. The outside factors cannotfunction without the inside factors and viceversa.Right at the core of the success of the Brandare three key elements: 1. The Dream of the Brand 2. The Identity 3. The RelationshipThe external side of the model is filled withfactors that are all results of robust andsuccessful internal factors working together –i.e. the internal health of the Brand isintact. 1. Stability of the Brand over time. 2. Rapport and the constant building of Rapport. 3. Transcendence and constantly striving to be more than just a Brand, but to get people to buy into an idea, ideology and dream.THE HUM AN BRAND THEORY© Page 15
  17. 17. A NEW MODEL TO VIEW BRANDS THROUGH________________________________________If we say that this is the model of Brandsuccess and if this is our definition, what dowe need to do to ensure that a Brand achievesit dreams and ultimately become a successfuland iconic Brand?In order to do this, we need to focus onviewing the Brand as a holistic construct. “Asingular entity that is more than the sum ofits parts.”We cannot simply focus on the positioning ofthe Brand, or the Brand message, we need tojudge, analyse and influence the entire Brandto ensure that the Brand in its entiretyanswers to the Brand Success Model, so that theBrand can grow as predicted by the Human BrandTheory© Brand growth model.In regards to the Human Brand Theory©, we cansay that the holistic Brand consists of thefollowing components: 1. Dream/ Development 2. Mind / Identity 3. Body / Visual Expression 4. Environment / Where the Brand lives and interactsTHE HUM AN BRAND THEORY© Page 16
  18. 18. THE HUM AN BRAND THEORY© Page 17
  19. 19. The Holistic BrandIt is clear that these four components of aBrand are not only interlinked and heavilyinfluential on each other, but are alsoimportant to consider when analysing the Brandand to understand how healthy the Brand is ineach of these components.In the ever increasing market environment, itwill become impossible to influence Brandsuccess if we only focus on singular componentsof the Brand.The Human Brand Theory© was born andconceptualised from the dream to both simplifyBrand Strategy, and also to make the BrandStrategy process and methodology more effectiveand predictable.THE HUM AN BRAND THEORY© Page 18
  20. 20. THE IMPLICATION OF THE HUMAN BRAND THEORY©_______________________________________________Due to the rich theoretical information andbackground research that went into thedevelopment of the Human Brand Theory©, we caneffectively help Brands with the following: > More effectively define their Brand Dream and Ideal. > More effectively construct a unique and engaging Brand Identity that people can relate to and want to engage with. > Building more committed and longer lasting relationships. > To more effectively grow holistically as a stable Brand. > More effectively define their product offering. > More effective communication strategy development at the most relevant contact and interaction points. > More optimally use their Brand Portfolio to build lifelong relationships and ensure Brand growth. > More customised solutions to help Brands grow optimally. > Help Brands to become more than just Brands, but become iconic.THE HUM AN BRAND THEORY© Page 19
  21. 21. > Always stay relevant to consumers and the environment. > Constant return on investment as the Brand is more relevant, constantly innovative and the consumers are more committed to the Brand. > Constant return of investment as the Brand is constantly talking to committed Brand consumers who are in a relationship with the Brand. > Help Brand ideas to tap into societal movements and trends, and accordingly increase consumer buy in and relationship building with the Brand. > Help Brands to build and create better, more relevant and engaging Brand Stories. > To more effectively and systematically build relationships.THE HUM AN BRAND THEORY© Page 20
  22. 22. THE FUTURE AND BEYOND________________________________________Using the insights and understandings gainedthrough our year and a half of in-depthresearch into Brand success, societal movementsand human development and influence, we havebeen able to develop a very stable andpragmatic Brand building methodology.Through using this methodology we havedeveloped a whole range of Brand successinterventions and products to ensure thatBrands develop in a stable manner, that theBrands are driven by and rooted in the correctvalues and ideals and that the Brand buildsmutually beneficial relationships. More thanjust a methodology, we have developed alanguage and a different paradigm toapproaching not only Brands, but also Brandsuccess.When Newton wrote his Princepia Mathematica,there were reportedly only a handful of peoplethat could read and understand this piece ofliterature – our goal is to help people betterunderstand the needed complexities of a Brandand Brand Strategy.If you want to know more about our thinking andmethodology, please feel free to contact us fora personal presentation.THE HUM AN BRAND THEORY© Page 21
  23. 23. ABOUT THE AUTHORSAndre le Roux is a Brand Strategist, Mentor andBrand Theorist who has been working in theBrand Strategy industry for more than 10 years.He loves his job, thinking too much aboutBranding, dreaming about the power of Brandsand better ways of building better Brands.Thys de Beer is the Lead Navigator of BrandStrategy at The Vega School of BrandingLeadership, as well as the head of the HonoursProgramme at Vega. He has been in the industryfor over 10 years and is currently busy withhis Master’s Degree thesis on the Artist as aBrand.THE HUM AN BRAND THEORY© Page 22
  24. 24. The EndPlease contact us for more information. Please note that all work pertaining to the Human Brand Theory© is Proprietary and that all information and constructs appropriated in order to build the model will be correctly referenced. THE HUM AN BRAND THEORY© Page 23