Brand Building 101: Brand Assessment

Putting together a brand identity campaign requires hours—even years—of dedicated work. Accomplishing a celebrated brand identity is the fruit of tireless inquisition into a brand’s mission, values and target audience. It requires an encyclopedic understanding of everything the company represents and the needs of the audience.

Learn from the acclaimed brand strategist, Carolina Rogoll, as she delves into the procedure for successful branding. She brings her vast experience to students at HOW Design University with a comprehensive course based off of her popular book, Star Brands: A Brand Manager’s Guide to Build, Manage and Market Brands. Throughout her career, Rogoll has led brilliant campaigns for brands such as Proctor and Gamble, and was hired on at the School of Visual Arts in New York City for the first-ever Masters in Branding program. Along her journey as a creative professional, she has accumulated multiple advanced degrees and accolades.

As an instructor, Rogoll surveys her students every year about their favorite brands. She deduced from her students’ responses the following about celebrated brands:

“For some students, the enthusiastic supporters, a favorite brand is more than a simple product preference; it is a statement of character. In some way, large or small, the brand has qualities they identify with, the same qualities that they want others to see in them. They love these brands and are proud to be associated with them.

The passion these students exhibit for their favorite brand is the gold standard for measuring a brand’s success. Brands that are able to connect with the hearts and minds of their customers are brands that will thrive.”

In her book, she illustrates the core concepts to star branding. See the excerpt below for her model to star branding.

The Star Brand Model

by Carolina Rogoll

Building a brand is a journey, so I will walk you through a series of steps, a process of discovery, strategy, creativity and action using the Star Brand Model. Following the steps in order will give you the greatest chance of success. If you are already well along in your brand journey, refining the earlier steps will ensure that you have based your strategic decisions on strong fundamentals. Regardless of where you are in the brand-building process, each step will help you ask and find answers to important questions to further your progress. Answering these questions will give you and your team greater focus and help you make strong strategic decisions to bring your brand to market. Each step will include case studies and real and hypothetical examples to maximize your learning. There are five steps in the Star Brand Model. The first four focus on defining your brand and strategic goals, while the last focuses on building a plan to implement them in the marketplace.




  • Step 1—Brand Assessment and Goal Setting: 
    In this step, you will learn how to define the market environment you will be operating in, including an assessment of the brand’s core strengths and weaknesses via a SWOT analysis. The goal of this first step is to articulate the current status of your brand and to begin to chart your brand-building trajectory. Based on this starting point you will be able to formulate core business challenges and set a vision for your ultimate success.
  • Step 2—Defining Brand Equity and Target:
    This step is about defining what your brand stands for and to what group of consumers it most appeals. You will learn how to define your brand equity and select the target audience for whom your brand is most relevant. This step is based on the principle that what your brand offers—your Equity—and the type of audience you choose—your Target—are highly interdependent.
  • Step 3—Crafting a Communication Strategy:
    In this step, you will learn how to discover insights and benefits for your brand, and how to use these to generate new communication ideas. You will also learn how to write an advertising brief—the foundation for effective brand communication. I will also discuss the media world in general, as well as share enlightening case studies about credit cards, beauty products, and beer!
  • Step 4—Establishing the Marketing Strategy:
    In this step you will learn how to define the ideal marketing mix by understanding and selecting core components of your brand’s marketing strategy. We will also learn how to quantify the impact this mix will have on potential sales and brand growth.
  • Step 5—Building the Marketing Plan and Measurement:
    This is the meatiest step of all and where the previous four steps culminate. You will learn how to bring all the elements together into a solid business plan with a well-defined marketing mix. The marketing plan will also include the defined core elements of your brand from the previous steps as well as go-to-market choices for your product or service such as pricing, distribution, and promotion, including communication and media. This step will also include a measurement plan for determining the success of your strategy in market.

As indispensable resources for branding literacy, both formats, the book and the course, explain each concept with extraordinary detail.

To get the ball rolling on drafting your brand strategy, here’s an excerpt from her HOWU course, Brand Building 101: How to Build, Manage and Market a Brand, concerning the initial step in the Star Brand Model – Brand Assessment.

Brand Building 101: Brand Assessment

Learn more about developing a brand by registering for the self-paced course, Brand Building 101: How to Build, Manage and Market a Brand