When you’re thinking about branding your business, it starts with understanding. No business plans to be crappy, hurt customers and destroy people’s lives.
They start as everyone else’s wanting to change and set an example; until one day they realize they are just like everybody else. Good intentions or a will to do good can’t solve, transform and fix what requires an excellent sense of direction.
When it comes to branding your business, the direction is so much important than speed. Many are going nowhere fast. To brand your business in the right way, here is how you get started.
Who are you?
Where do you have the most credibility? Where does your passion lie? If you can, write a future obituary. A notice of death especially in the newspaper for your brand.
What do you do?
What business are you in? Decide what your purpose is. Beyond selling a product or service, make it short 12 words or less. Nothing fancy, if it gets more words than that, rethink it.
What’s your vision?
What do you want to accomplish in 5, 10 or 20 years? Paint a vivid picture of your future. Test it on a real piece of communication, talk to people and it should get to the core of what you’re trying to accomplish if it doesn’t rethink it.
Write it down, it will help when you want to go back and refine it further. Use it repeatedly to illustrate the direction of your business.
What wave are you riding?
What trend is powering your business? How powerful is it? Can you ride more than one trend at a time? Make a list of trends that will power your business.
Who shares the brandscape?
Is there anyone else who competes in your category?
Who comes first, second and third in customers’ minds? Find out how your brand ranks with clients. Design a strategy to become number one or two or become the first mover in a new category.
What makes you the only?
What’s the only thing that makes your brand both different and compelling? Complete this simple statement
- I help ______________
- do ________________
- so they can __________
And definitely add more details by answering, what, who, where, how, when and why?
What should you add or subtract?
Are there any existing brand elements undermining your uniqueness? What new brand elements could strengthen it? How do the remaining elements align with your vision?
Make a list of all current and planned offerings and brand elements then decide which offerings to keep, sacrifice or add. Be brutal.
Who loves you?
Who makes up your brand community? How can you make the “give” and “get” so everyone is happy? Business is about win-win situations, so how are you creating that with your brand?
Diagram your brand ecosystem and decide how each participant will both contribute and benefit.
Who is the enemy?
Which competitor can you paint as the villain? Instead of being too much invested in telling your customers who you’re. Start telling them what you’re not. Be specific don’t hide behind the bushes.
What do they call you?
Is the name helping or hurting your brand? If it’s hurting is there an opportunity to change it? If it’s too late to change it, is there a way to work around it? Is it suitable for brand play? Does it have creative legs?
Choose a name that’s different, brief, and appropriate.
Make sure it’s easy to spell and pronounce also find out if the name can be used as a URL and then determine how easy or difficult it will be to defend legally.
How do you explain yourself?
What’s the true statement you can make about your brand? Craft a true-line that tells why your brand is compelling, on your statement avoid any commas or “and.” Turn your true-line into a tagline to use with your customers.
How do you spread the word?
Is there a way you unpack your name, true-line, and tagline? How can you enroll brand advocates through messaging? How can you align all your communication with your radical differentiation?
Make sure you’re messaging is different as your brand and only compete at the touchpoints you can win.
How do people engage with you?
What are you selling and how are you selling it? Map your value proposition against those of your competitors and see what competitive areas you can avoid entirely. Discover touchpoints where you will be unopposed.
What do they experience?
How I’ll, your customers learn about you? How can you “enroll” them in your brand. Who will be your competition at each touchpoint? Where should you put your marketing resources?
Map the customer’s journey from nonawareness to full enrollment. Bet your resources on the experience that your radical differentiation your brand has.
How do you earn their loyalty?
Is there a way you can help customers build barriers to the competition? How can you avoid to create a “disloyalty program”?Start by being loyal to the customers and don’t make new customers feel punished or excluded.
Give new loyal customers the tools to introduce new customers.
How do you extend your success?
How do you keep growing the brand year after year? Choose between a house of brands and a branded house and add an extension that reinforces the brand’s meaning. Avoid extensions that bring you into competition with leaders.
How do you protect your portfolio?
How can you stay focused on short-term pressure? Avoid C-sickness, contagion, confusion, complexity, and contradiction and understand the long-term effects of brand extension.
Does this look like work?
Because it is, I never promised a silver bullet or a quick shortcut to doing things. What I promise is a way to achieve something worth your while.