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THE ONE-PAGE BRAND 
a strategy for startups 
© 2014 archer>malmo ventures 
archermalmo.com/ventures
GRAB A COPY OF THE CANVAS 
BrandStrategyCanvas.com
3
WHEN BRAND MATTERS FOR 
STARTUPS 
at product-market fit
5
WHERE BRAND MATTERS FOR 
STARTUPS 
across the customer lifecycle
7 
ACQUISITION 
ACTIVATION 
RETENTION 
REFERRAL 
REVENUE
execution vs. strategy
9 
NAME 
LOGO 
SITE 
CREATIVE 
DIRECTION 
RESEARCH & 
ANALYSIS 
STRATEGY 
EXECUTION 
ESSENCE 
POSITIONING 
PERSONALITY 
VA...
10
an example
12 
NOTE: This is just an example. Zappos did not ask us to develop their 
brand strategy canvas. Though it would be cool ...
Customer/User Insight 
What do people think and feel regarding the category? 
How are you relevant to those needs or desir...
Customer/User Insight 
They are comfortable buying apparel online (and 
do so often), but shoes can be a hassle because 
o...
Competitive Environment 
What concepts and conventions define the category? 
Who are your direct and indirect competitors?...
Competitive Environment 
Limited-inventory clearance sites, high-end luxury-centric 
retailers, or online versions of exis...
Company/Product Features 
What is the simplest description of your product and what it does? 
What aspects of that are dif...
Company/Product Features 
Zappos is an online retailer that removes all the 
problems of buying shoes on the web. Our 
cul...
Rational Benefits 
What are the tangible benefits of the product? 
Which benefit is unique or most important?
Rational Benefits 
Responsive and helpful customer service on the 
website, via email, and over the phone, available 24 
h...
Emotional Benefits 
What are the intangible benefits of the product? 
Which benefit is unique or most important?
Emotional Benefits 
Confidence in the selection and purchase process ; 
satisfaction in the quality of the experience; 
en...
this is the centerpiece of the brand strategy 
it follows a specific formula designed to be 
comprehensive and useful 
23
YOUR POSITIONING STATEMENT SHOULD 
MEET ALL 5 CRITERIA: 
IMPORTANT 
UNIQUE 
BELIEVABLE 
ACTIONABLE 
SUSTAINABLE
Audience 
For: 
Who are they and what is their 
most important psychographic 
need or desire as it relates to 
the brand’s...
Audience 
For: 
Who are they and what is their 
most important psychographic 
need or desire as it relates to 
the brand’s...
Description 
what is the simplest 
description of the product? 
or what is the broader, 
more strategic frame of 
referenc...
Description 
what is the simplest 
description of the product? 
or what is the broader, 
more strategic frame of 
referenc...
Benefit 
What is the unique, primary 
benefit or point of 
difference of the product? 
that:
Benefit 
What is the unique, primary 
benefit or point of 
difference of the product? 
that: 
delivers category-defining 
...
Proof 
What are the factual, 
meaningful and provable 
reasons to believe the 
primary benefit or point of 
difference? 
b...
Proof 
What are the factual, 
meaningful and provable 
reasons to believe the 
primary benefit or point of 
difference? 
b...
Payoff 
What is the ultimate 
emotional payoff for the 
customer or user? 
Does it answer the need in 
the audience sectio...
Payoff 
What is the ultimate 
emotional payoff for the 
customer or user? 
Does it answer the need in 
the audience sectio...
Brand Essence 
What is the core idea or 
defining concept of the 
brand? Is it tangible or 
attitudinal? 
(Unique, succinc...
brand essence: Deliver WOW 
For frequent online shoppers with high expectations, 
Zappos is the digital shopping service 
...
DOES IT MEET ALL 5 CRITERIA? 
IMPORTANT 
UNIQUE 
BELIEVABLE 
ACTIONABLE 
SUSTAINABLE
Company Values 
What are the values of the company? 
(Usually expressed as nouns.) 
How do the values of the founders infl...
Company Values 
Service, frugality, flexibility, humility, fun, openness , 
personal growth, constant improvement
Brand Personality 
What are the brand’s human characteristics? 
(Usually expressed as adjectives.)
Brand Personality 
light-hearted, quirky, positive, passionate, 
empathetic
Key Messages 
What’s your story? 
What are the most important and differentiating 
aspects of the brand? 
How can you defi...
Key Messages 
We are powered by service. 
We create a culture of happiness. 
We’re a service company that happens to sell ...
WHAT NOW? 
• Work alone, then discuss as a team 
• Test all design and messaging against 
choices your made on your canvas...
P. S. See our SXSW talk: 
“When Bad Names Happen to Good Startups” 
45 
http://bit.ly/BetterNames
THANKS! 
46 
Please share with a startup in need. 
BrandStrategyCanvas.com 
Questions? Email pwoods@archermalmo.com and ch...
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The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 1 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 2 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 3 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 4 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 5 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 6 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 7 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 8 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 9 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 10 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 11 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 12 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 13 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 14 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 15 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 16 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 17 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 18 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 19 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 20 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 21 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 22 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 23 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 24 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 25 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 26 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 27 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 28 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 29 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 30 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 31 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 32 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 33 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 34 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 35 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 36 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 37 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 38 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 39 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 40 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 41 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 42 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 43 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 44 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 45 The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups Slide 46
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(First, grab a copy of the Brand Strategy Canvas at brandstrategycanvas.com)

Branding is hard for startups. News flash: It’s hard for everyone. So we built a tool to make it easier.

A clear-cut path for startups toward a rock-solid foundation for their brand. It’s the Brand Strategy Canvas—a single-page, step-by-step formula that serves as a starting point for a stronger brand.

Who are we? Advertising-slash-startup vets at one of the largest independent agencies around. We’ve spun years of experience into the Canvas, turning brand strategy into a process, not a philosophy.

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The Brand Strategy Canvas: a One-Page Strategy for Startups

  1. 1. THE ONE-PAGE BRAND a strategy for startups © 2014 archer>malmo ventures archermalmo.com/ventures
  2. 2. GRAB A COPY OF THE CANVAS BrandStrategyCanvas.com
  3. 3. 3
  4. 4. WHEN BRAND MATTERS FOR STARTUPS at product-market fit
  5. 5. 5
  6. 6. WHERE BRAND MATTERS FOR STARTUPS across the customer lifecycle
  7. 7. 7 ACQUISITION ACTIVATION RETENTION REFERRAL REVENUE
  8. 8. execution vs. strategy
  9. 9. 9 NAME LOGO SITE CREATIVE DIRECTION RESEARCH & ANALYSIS STRATEGY EXECUTION ESSENCE POSITIONING PERSONALITY VALUES THE CANVAS ZONE
  10. 10. 10
  11. 11. an example
  12. 12. 12 NOTE: This is just an example. Zappos did not ask us to develop their brand strategy canvas. Though it would be cool if they did.
  13. 13. Customer/User Insight What do people think and feel regarding the category? How are you relevant to those needs or desires? What problem(s) do you solve for them? What benefits of your company/product are most valuable to them? What most strongly influences their decisions in this category?
  14. 14. Customer/User Insight They are comfortable buying apparel online (and do so often), but shoes can be a hassle because of fit, comfort, and style variables, "trying them on" is very important; they want quality, not just low prices; looking for a painless shopping experience
  15. 15. Competitive Environment What concepts and conventions define the category? Who are your direct and indirect competitors? What defines them? Where is the strategic void in the market? Are you disrupting the category in any way?
  16. 16. Competitive Environment Limited-inventory clearance sites, high-end luxury-centric retailers, or online versions of existing brick-and-mortar shoe retailers; most follow a category non-specific ecommerce approach, i.e. the overall experience is not tailored specifically for shoe shopping; various policies regarding shipping and returns; customer service experience varies greatly between online-only and offline/online retailers
  17. 17. Company/Product Features What is the simplest description of your product and what it does? What aspects of that are different from everyone else?
  18. 18. Company/Product Features Zappos is an online retailer that removes all the problems of buying shoes on the web. Our culture of service, web experience and shipping policies are superior to all others in the category, online and offline.
  19. 19. Rational Benefits What are the tangible benefits of the product? Which benefit is unique or most important?
  20. 20. Rational Benefits Responsive and helpful customer service on the website, via email, and over the phone, available 24 hours from well-trained employees; a well-designed user experience; extensive product selection, all with many sizes and styles available; fast, free shipping and returns; 365-day return policy
  21. 21. Emotional Benefits What are the intangible benefits of the product? Which benefit is unique or most important?
  22. 22. Emotional Benefits Confidence in the selection and purchase process ; satisfaction in the quality of the experience; enjoyment of the product discovery process; trust in the depth of product offering and the competitive (though not discount) pricing; convenience of a one-stop shopping experience; delight in the level and manner of service
  23. 23. this is the centerpiece of the brand strategy it follows a specific formula designed to be comprehensive and useful 23
  24. 24. YOUR POSITIONING STATEMENT SHOULD MEET ALL 5 CRITERIA: IMPORTANT UNIQUE BELIEVABLE ACTIONABLE SUSTAINABLE
  25. 25. Audience For: Who are they and what is their most important psychographic need or desire as it relates to the brand’s category?
  26. 26. Audience For: Who are they and what is their most important psychographic need or desire as it relates to the brand’s category? frequent online shoppers with high expectations
  27. 27. Description what is the simplest description of the product? or what is the broader, more strategic frame of reference for the product? is
  28. 28. Description what is the simplest description of the product? or what is the broader, more strategic frame of reference for the product? is Zappos the digital shopping service
  29. 29. Benefit What is the unique, primary benefit or point of difference of the product? that:
  30. 30. Benefit What is the unique, primary benefit or point of difference of the product? that: delivers category-defining customer service
  31. 31. Proof What are the factual, meaningful and provable reasons to believe the primary benefit or point of difference? because:
  32. 32. Proof What are the factual, meaningful and provable reasons to believe the primary benefit or point of difference? because: we hire and train for an empathetic culture, provide an optimal web experience and offer a vast selection with fast, free shipping & returns
  33. 33. Payoff What is the ultimate emotional payoff for the customer or user? Does it answer the need in the audience section? so that:
  34. 34. Payoff What is the ultimate emotional payoff for the customer or user? Does it answer the need in the audience section? so that: every customer is wowed.
  35. 35. Brand Essence What is the core idea or defining concept of the brand? Is it tangible or attitudinal? (Unique, succinct, pithy, and ideally 2-4 words.) Deliver WOW
  36. 36. brand essence: Deliver WOW For frequent online shoppers with high expectations, Zappos is the digital shopping service that delivers category-defining customer service because we hire and train for an empathetic culture, provide an optimal web experience and offer a vast selection with fast, free shipping & returns so that every customer is wowed. 36
  37. 37. DOES IT MEET ALL 5 CRITERIA? IMPORTANT UNIQUE BELIEVABLE ACTIONABLE SUSTAINABLE
  38. 38. Company Values What are the values of the company? (Usually expressed as nouns.) How do the values of the founders influence company values? How do company values influence your product, culture, or customers?
  39. 39. Company Values Service, frugality, flexibility, humility, fun, openness , personal growth, constant improvement
  40. 40. Brand Personality What are the brand’s human characteristics? (Usually expressed as adjectives.)
  41. 41. Brand Personality light-hearted, quirky, positive, passionate, empathetic
  42. 42. Key Messages What’s your story? What are the most important and differentiating aspects of the brand? How can you define them as quickly and interestingly as possible?
  43. 43. Key Messages We are powered by service. We create a culture of happiness. We’re a service company that happens to sell shoes. Deliver WOW.
  44. 44. WHAT NOW? • Work alone, then discuss as a team • Test all design and messaging against choices your made on your canvas • Regularly check your assumptions against the 5 positionining statement criteria
  45. 45. P. S. See our SXSW talk: “When Bad Names Happen to Good Startups” 45 http://bit.ly/BetterNames
  46. 46. THANKS! 46 Please share with a startup in need. BrandStrategyCanvas.com Questions? Email pwoods@archermalmo.com and check out archermalmo.com/ventures
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(First, grab a copy of the Brand Strategy Canvas at brandstrategycanvas.com) Branding is hard for startups. News flash: It’s hard for everyone. So we built a tool to make it easier. A clear-cut path for startups toward a rock-solid foundation for their brand. It’s the Brand Strategy Canvas—a single-page, step-by-step formula that serves as a starting point for a stronger brand. Who are we? Advertising-slash-startup vets at one of the largest independent agencies around. We’ve spun years of experience into the Canvas, turning brand strategy into a process, not a philosophy.

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