It�s defining the market segments you will serve. But not just defining them: understanding what motivates the members of those segments as well.
The platform is a good place to set down on paper market needs, desires and triggers. And if different market segments have different needs and triggers, be sure to identify those differences.
It may be that market research will be required, or you may have already performed this function while conceptualizing the business or product. Just be sure you�re appealing to the segments with meaningful and compelling messaging.
For instance, if you are a free-lance graphic artist looking to serve ad agencies and pr firms as well as corporate clients, be able to delineate the ways they are different. Then you must look for common denominators upon which you can build a unified brand. There may be different messages to both groups in our example, but the basic branding elements need to be compelling to both, i.e., name, logo, tagline, etc.
In addition, it is important to understand how your target markets are now solving the problems or satisfying the desires that your new company/product promises to fulfill. Not only are current preferences to be identified, consumer attitudes and habits need to be explored and put on paper.
These �human� elements of the branding platform are essential. They will contribute brand messaging as well as helping you devise an appealing brand personality.
Yes, there�s a lot of work involved, and many an entrepreneur will short-cut acquiring this information because of time and budget restraints. But as the old saying goes, if you don�t have time to do it right the first time, where will you find the time to re-do it the right way? Doing it the wrong way can absolutely mean failure.