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.