Why You Need a Brand Pyramid and How to Make One

Brand Pyramid how to make

Successful bloggers build strong personal and professional brands, and a brand pyramid is a visual device used by publicists and marketers to help their clients clarify the important aspects of a business identity. This clarity helps in developing communication strategies that are aligned with a brand's essence. For example, it makes sense that brands like Free People and Lulus have a presence at Coachella and other music festivals that appeal to their youthful audience. If a brand like Ann Taylor or Revlon jumped on the music festival scene, it would seem out of place. Existing customers may feel like the brand they trust has abandoned them on a fool's errand to appeal to a different type of person, and concert goers would be confused.

3 Benefits of a brand pyramid

Bloggers, like companies, need brand pyramids for a few different reasons. The first being, as in the example above, a clear brand identity can help you decide what types of brand opportunities, article ideas and images are a fit for your your site. Secondly, a brand pyramid is a useful document to provide a graphic designer who may be working on anything from a new blog header to an entire site redesign. Third, a brand pyramid can help you uncover important distinctions in how to define yourself among other bloggers.

So, what is a brand pyramid, exactly?

There are several different versions of the brand pyramid, which first gained traction in the mid 1990's. Basically it's a way to visually demonstrate brand attributes, with the goal is building a pyramid that results on customer (or in this case, reader) loyalty. The process of creating a brand pyramid can take time, but allow yourself to become a fierce editor, leaving behind only what most clearly and effectively showcases what your blog is all about.

Like the name suggests, the Brand Pyramid includes a foundation that builds upon itself.

How to create your own brand pyramid

Draw a triangle on a piece of paper and draw six horizontal lines, creating a pyramid. You may also want to create a single piece of paper for each of the following different attributes, putting down all your thoughts and then transferring the most salient of ideas onto your final pyramid.

Foundation: What are the most tangible aspects of your blog/business? This may be your location, your laptop, your camera, and the tools that you use – wordpress, Twitter, Pinterest.

Functional Benefits: What do you deliver though your blog? This could be articles, advertising, photos, event appearances, or products like ebooks, free downloads, or service-based skills offered like styling, social media strategy etc.

Emotional Rewards: What purpose does your blog serve to you personally? What about to your readers? Your interns? Your family? Break down the purpose of your blog for all of the different people who are affected by its existence and think about the emotional benefits that your blog provide.

Value: What do your readers care about? What do they need? What do they want? What is important to them. You may also play with the values of brands you want to work with – what are their goals, what do they value in a working relationship with you.

Personality:  As a personal style blogger, your blog personality is likely to be a reflection of your own personality. But it might be just a bit elevated from who you are in your daily life. Perhaps it's a bit more joyful or sarcastic, perhaps your blog personality is a bit more of a risk-taker or a romantic.

What do you stand for?

Finally, will all these components into place, you want to identify three to five key words that exemplify what your blog is all about. As a trick, choose one word that epitomizes how you want to feel about your blog, how you want a reader to feel about your blog, and how an ideal brand partner would feel about your blog. Ensure that these three words are in accordance with the functional and emotional benefits your blog provides and are in alignment with the values of your audience and voila – you are well on your way towards crafting an irresistible brand for your blog!

Next week, I'll share an entirely different approach to building a brand pyramid for your blog based on the tenants of personal branding.

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15 Responses

  1. Trendeneur

    Really useful post! I’ve had a lot of trouble sticking to what I first planned on so until I made a clear schedule and plan I just wasn’t structured enough. I think it is all about planning and truly knowing what target audience you have, how you want to brand yourself and what messages you’re sending out. People like consistency and if you don’t even know yourself what your brand is, how should other people know? Thank you!

  2. Asia Mays

    Love this! This well be helpful in gauging where else I am looking to take my blog.

  3. Maddie

    Really informative post! It’s so important to take a step back in define what your blog is, not only because it gives a blog a great foundation, but it also gives bloggers a way to check that they’re still on track.

  4. Katie

    This was fantastic! I love articles that are hands on like this and that help me to better my blog, especially in an area I struggle with like branding or networking. Kudos, can’t wait for next week!


  5. Amanda

    Ooh! This is a really helpful post. I think I’ll be doing this later on tonight after work. I’m a fashion merchandising student and it never occurred to me to do this for my own blog! If it were a snake…. Thanks!

  6. Zhenya @BeingZhenya

    You guys have some of the most useful posts for bloggers on the Internet! I really hope I can write like your writers some day! This is extremely helpful and I can’t wait to utilize the pyramid for my blog

  7. Laptop Lookbook

    Such a good read. Thinking of branding while blogging is extremely important. My goal is to have a successful blog that I not only enjoy writing and creating, but that others see value in. If I can inspire at least a handful of folks in some positive way than I’d say it was a success and my goal was achieved.

    See you on the interwebs

  8. Onianwah

    As soon as I saw the title of this post I knew it was Crosby *grin*. I love all your posts on IFB and look forward to them. I can’t wait to build a pyramid for myself (I really do need it as I have been wavering a lot in recent times.) Thank you so much for this.

    Lagos, Nigeria

    • Crosby Noricks

      Hi Barbara,

      Grin right back at you! I hope you enjoy building your pyramid!

  9. Emily G

    This is really helpful! I have tried to create lists and I feel like I’m always missing something. I’m definitely creating a brand pyramid right aw ya.


  10. Shanice

    I love branding exercises, and I’m so glad I ran across this post. I like the idea of a pyramid. It helps bloggers and entrepreneurs see that their brand isn’t just their logo or blog name, but it’s a combination of everything that makes their business or blog unique. I’m definitely going to try this!

  11. Alison

    I really appreciate this post. The idea of a brand pyramid is a wonderful concept, and it’s new to me. I wish, however, that there was a case study with this post, so that we can see the creation of a brand pyramid in action. Cheers!

  12. Mika

    Thank you so much for this article. There’s so much that I want to share in my blog and develop but I was finding it pretty hard to have a clear focus. This pyramid helped me to realize in every aspect of my blog there is one common denominator and it’s looking great and making great creations for a very affordable price.

    Thanks Again,
    Mika (luvmika87.blogspot.com)

  13. ChrisM

    A truly great post. I do Income Taxes for locals and I need a Brand Pyramid for my Facebook business page.

    Owner CEL Financial Services
    IRS Registered Tax Preparer
    Registered bonded California CTEC Tax Preparer