The 3 Ps of branding

- February 10, 2021 3 MIN READ

You’ve likely heard of the 4, 6 or even 7 Ps of a marketing mix. These extend from product, place, price, promotion, people and process to purple cow and even phone! And while those are all excellent points for marketing, they don’t quite hit the mark on branding, writes award-winning brand strategist Debbie O’Connor.

Marketing is very much a ‘push’ tactic where you push your message out to the market. Branding on the other hand is a ‘pull’ tactic where you pull customers towards the brand. Connection is where branding comes into its own and turns a business from simply being transactional, to one that truly resonates with their audience. After all, “branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room” (thanks Jeff Bezos of that wonderful explanation of branding).

Let’s take a look into the 3 Ps of branding that can help you build a business that your customers will fall in love with and not only continue to use, but will tell their friends about too.

The 3 P’s of Branding

#1 – Personality

Most people are really confused as to where they should start when developing their brand. The first port of call it to discover what your Brand Personality is. This is easier said than done, as your brand is more esoteric than an actual person. Finding your Brand Personality becomes a fundamental framework in which to craft not just the visual aspect of your brand, but also the language and tone, the culture you want to create and most importantly how you want people to feel when experiencing your brand.

There are a number of personality models, but we like the one built off Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung’s 12 personality archetypes. These 12 personalities are ones that we all intrinsically know and understand. If I were to mention an innocent young woman, a caring granny or a brave firefighter, you would not only have conjured up in your mind what they look like but also their personality traits. And I bet that the innocent young woman does not have a shaved head, covered in tattoos, walking down the street kicking over bins and swearing at people. ‘No!” your brain is saying. The archetype doesn’t fit what you subconsciously already know and understand. However, if I were to tell you that the tattooed-potty-mouthed woman is The Rebel archetype, you easily accept and understand that.

Now imagine if you apply these same human attributes to a brand. Imagine if your business sounded like a person or created an unforgettable experience for your customer that left them surprised and delighted? Ultimately by using a personality framework you are aiming to ensure that your brand can be experienced the same way you would experience an encounter with an actual person. You will get an essence of how they look, behave and sound.

By knowing what your Brand Personality is, you will gain clarity around how to communicate and connect with your audience and have a clear idea of how to make them feel. To find your Brand Personality play the online quiz at

#2 – Promise

Most businesses spend a huge amount of time and energy focusing on their vision and their mission. These are great, however, they are all about the business. Branding, remember, is all about the customer, so we need to flip the focus from being about the business to now being about the customer.

By creating a brand promise you are demonstrating to your customer that you are committed to them. A promise between people is a very powerful and intimate declaration. So too is a brand promise. However, like all promises, if you break it, you will lose the trust of your customer which in turn can damage your brand.

When creating a brand promise you need to focus on your customer’s key pain points and how you can solve their problems. The trick is not to have multiple promises as this will likely lead to you letting people down. You need one very powerful promise that everyone in the business focuses on each and every day. And if you break the promise? You need to move mountains to make things right.

#3 – Purpose

The quote “if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything” is more relevant today in branding than ever before. Whether it’s in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, actively taking a stand against domestic violence or being environmentally conscious, brands that have a clear and well-defined purpose often have a stronger connection not just with their customers, but with their team too.

Consumers today are more conscious and discerning in their buying habits and they care about more than just your service or product. They care about what kind of impact a brand is making on the world and even more importantly, they care that their purchasing decisions can have an impact on the world.

Your brand purpose is not about making a profit but rather about making a difference.

Is it time for you to focus on the 3 Ps of your brand?

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