Promise, Purpose, Personality, Position, Mission Strategy

The Minimum Viable Brand

In Building a Brand by Distility1046 Comments

Minimum Viable Brand Requirements

Through our technology clients, we were fortunate to have had early exposure to the new wave of programming that began about a decade ago and prominently features the concept of the “minimum viable product”.

A minimum viable product only has the features that allow the product to be functional but nothing more. This allows it to get early customer feedback before the development team invests in extra features customers may not want. Proponents of the approach believe it is the most efficient way to develop successful software.

We love the pragmatism inherent in this approach, and, in this post, we offer what we see as the key requirements for a minimum viable brand.

Business Strategy

  • What are you selling?
  • Who are you selling to?
  • Who do you compete against?
  • How do you plan to win?

Brand Strategy

  • Brand Promise: your team’s passion fused with the customer need
  • Brand Personality: The style with which you deliver
  • Brand Position: The space you seek to occupy in the customer’s mind

Brand System

  • Brand name that customers can pronounce, that has no negative cultural or linguistic connotations, and that will not invite legal challenges from competitors or other entities
  • A basic brand system consisting of:
    • A URL
    • A wordmark, even if just the brand name in Helvetica or another chosen font
    • A colour palette
    • A font to be used consistently in all communications
    • Simple guidelines that detail how to use the brand system
  • Commitment from all team members to use your chosen brand system

In addition, a tag-line and branded imagery are a high quality addition, but not essential for a minimum viable brand.

Digital System

  • A clean, typographically driven, one page website, with the means for visitors to contact the company.

Business System

  • Business Cards: Typographically driven.
  • Letterhead.

Brand Education

  • A meeting to ensure the team understands the brand strategy, and guidelines for the use of the name, colours, etc.

Brand Fidelity System

  • A method to learn if the brand strategy is being applied consistently. For instance, someone who approves all customer facing communications.

Brand Monitoring System

  • A method to get feedback from customers on their experience of the brand, so that the brand can be continuously improved.

What Else?

Depending on the nature of the business, there will be other minimum requirements. For instance, a store-front business requires signage. What do you think? For your business, is there something we could remove from the minimum viable brand list? Or something that must be added?

Are You Ready for Branding?