How to Stake Your Claim in the Minds of Your Market

Let’s start with what is branding?

Branding is where your practical promise and brand emotional connection meet.


Here are a few brands, the company’s practical promise, and the related emotional connection:


Practical Promise

Emotional Connection


Great Electronics

Creativity, Individuality


Fun Entertainment


Southwest Airlines

Cheap Flights



Good Coffee


What is your practical promise?

Maybe it is product-based practical promise:

  • High-end copper cooking pans
  • Industry specific plastic fencing (think deer, construction, etc.)
  • Cheap calculators
  • Healthy diet drops
  • Strong snow shovels

Maybe it is a service product practical promise:

  • Small business coaching
  • Youth-serving nonprofit consulting
  • Holistic dental services
  • Wedding flower arrangement classes
  • Place-based investment advising

Next, what is the emotional connection?

  • Are your cooking pans going to turn someone into the next Julia Child? Are they for everyday use? Are they aimed at creating one-dish meals for busy families?
  • Is your youth-serving nonprofit consulting business focused on the organizational capacity building? Innovation? Or maybe changing the way programming is provided so kids living in poverty are better off after being served.

Whatever your case, your brand should be able to fit into the simple chart above right beside Starbucks and Apple.

Your brand strategy helps you stake a claim in the minds of your customers and works with your brand identity. Let’s break down the difference between the two.

Let’s break down the difference between the two; brand strategy versus brand identity.

You get to your brand strategy through brainstorming, research, developing personas and testing it in your market. A brand strategy feels more like a plan and should be a strategy within your business plan. Your brand identity results in a set of tools including key messages, visual standards, and a brand guide.

For example, your brand guide outlines a common set of colors that you use on a website, in your enewsletter, and on your pamphlets. Your brand identity is helpful, pragmatic and practical.

Your brand strategy is how you stake your claim in the minds of your market.