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Written by Tania Cook
on September 30, 2021

Ever wonder what strong brands have in common and how they express their DNA? 

One thing they share is a strong global communication platform, which helps them to express their brand in a consistent way. A well-considered communication platform guides all communications globally, regionally and locally. It is an essential starting place for unified communications across all touch points – including online, social media, pr, advertising, sponsorship, thought leadership, events, internal communication, media relations and signage.

Before delving into an explanation of this platform – let’s first look at what it does. A communication platform:   

  • Ensures consistency across all your markets, expressions and touch points
  • Creates an emotional connection with your various audiences
  • Makes your brand unique and different
  • Remains valid for a long time and helps to build your brand for the long haul
  • Helps create time and cost efficiencies by acting as a guide to your agency briefings 

A few examples

Let’s look at an example of a famous brand and see how they use their communication platform.

Nike

Nike-Logo-1978-present

Nike’s brand DNA is:

AUTHENTIC ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE    

This DNA is expressed in everything they do – their products, their services, their values.

However, Nike does not communicate its DNA explicitly. “Authentic athletic performance” frankly does not sound very interesting, and for many it could create the impression that “this brand is not for me as I’m not a professional athlete.”

So, what does Nike do? They use a global communication platform that is based on a simple insight:

Everyone who has a body can be an athlete

And here’s how they express it in their communication by featuring imagery showing regular people in everyday situations:

nike just do it surfersnike just do it

 

Finally, this is elegantly summed up with the simple and powerful slogan:

Just Do It.

nike just do it slogan

Zurich Insurance

Zurich_Insurance_Group_logo.svg

Another example is how Zurich Insurance used their global communication platform.

Zurich identified its brand DNA as “Intelligent Protection.” As a global insurance company, they have been helping customers understand and protect themselves from risk by providing the intelligent protection they need and value.

Their communication platform was based on the customer insight: if something means the world to you, you want it to be absolutely safe and to protect it in the most reliable and careful way. The strength of Zurich is that as a Swiss insurance company with a global presence, they have been offering private and business customers around the world the most reliable, thorough and expert protection since 1872. They pride themselves on really getting to know the customer, so they can create the best protection to suit each customer’s passions. The company uses this idea to create an emotional connection in their communication. 

This is then all summarized in one message:

Zurich Insurance. For those who truly love.

It’s worthwhile to see how they expressed the communication platform visually. They have used the color blue on objects of protection over the things customers truly love. The girl with the blue umbrella is standing in pouring rain and because she truly loves her dog – she is protecting her dog with the umbrella, not herself. The car that is loved by its owner is protected and kept safe by a giant blue knitted hat.

zurich insurance 1zurich insurance 2

So now we’ve seen that a global communication platform allows us to express our DNA and that it’s more than a tagline. The question now is how can you do it?

Steps to creating a communication platform

Creating a communication platform means following a few steps,  as we have just seen in the Zurich Insurance example.

  1. Start with defining your target group. Who is this exactly for?
  2. Uncover an authentic insight into this target group. What do they really care about?
  3. Form a proposition based on this insight. How can your brand help through an offer that is credible and relevant?
  4. Create a message that will allow your target group to respond accordingly. This message is not the proposition, but the stimulus that evokes that response.
  5. Create the communication, considering the specific situation. How will your audience encounter that communication – is it paid, owned or earned media; are they looking for information, entertainment, stimulation?
  6. Give the communication a creative twist that makes it interesting and engaging. This is the creative expression – aka as the magic sauce.
  7. Test your ads and measure your campaign impact (research).

Free guide to creating personas

Read more: UP Switzerland focuses on Swiss and global brands.

Create a strong communication platform

To summarize, the global communication platform is more than a tagline. It means following a process to create impactful communications.

  • You start from the perspective of your customer and identify an overall, high-level insight.
  • Then, you identify the reasons to believe and outline the key strengths of the brand through a compelling proposition.
  • You want to create an emotional connection to your brand and bundle that up into one message.
  • An effective communication platform builds recognition of what your brand stands for through its consistent application.

UP’s own process for creating impactful communications is known as BASE-UP.

Need help in developing a communication platform? Contact Us to get started.

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