By: Manindra Shrestha

One of the seven elements mentioned in my previous article ‘How to create a single Page Brand Strategy?’ is Brand Essence. The actual Brand Essence encapsulates a brand’s soul in 3 – 5 words. The essence is also defined as the core value of the brand.

With the core value at the center, one can draw The Brand’s Architecture. Like an onion, this model has four layers: Symbol, Heroes, Rituals, and Core Value, which expresses the behavior of the Brand. Developed between 1967 and 1973, this model is also known as Hofstede’s Onion Model or Cultural Model and was the basic framework for cross-cultural communication.

Using this model, we can find out the expression of the Brand at different levels:

  • Symbols: This is the outer layer of the onion. It is represented largely by identifiable icons and memories that the brand is associated with. These could be the unique identity of the brand such as colors, packaging graphics, advertising symbols, sounds, smells and looks. For example, the Nepali audience can relate purple is the color that directly connects with Ncell.
  • Heroes: The second layer are the personalities that consumers look up to as their role models. It provides execution cues for communication. Since the role models keep changing constantly in society, brands need to review the Heroes they use timely and frequently.

Sports person, Movie star, Rock star, or even real characters like a father, mother, brother, or sister are mostly used as heroes in advertising communication.

  • Rituals: The third layer can be defined as collective activities. It is a brand’s emotional benefits/reasons through which the relationship between consumers and brand is established. The articulation can be expressed through values like — what do I get doing the things I do? As its nature is stable over the time, rituals are the theme of brand communication.

Collective activities such as rallies and ceremonies are strong bonding and communication medium for brands towards their loyal customers. Its major objective is to evoke other potential brand fans to join their wagon.

  • Core Values: The fourth and inner layer is the core value. It represents the social-historical roots rarely articulated by consumers such as evil vs good, unnatural vs natural, illogical vs logical. The unique experiences or the loyalty created by a particular brand can be termed as a core value.

Here, I would like to present the Hofstede’s Model of the most powerful and classic motorcycle brand in the world — Harley Davidson. The elaborated model will help you to understand how to extract core value and, apply for your brand.

Manindra Shrestha

Founder & CEO , M.A.D Consultant Pvt. Ltd

The author is a professional Brand Consultant who wants to extract the brand from his experiential knowledge 

Credit: This article is based on my learning from my guru “Mr.Praveen Mukhia”.

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