How to Define Your Brand in 7 Steps

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Ever wonder what makes or breaks a brand / business? You must be able to talk to the right people and define what it is that you offer them, ultimately attracting more promising leads. This is the starting point that I highly recommend for each client of mine starting a new business and/or beginning the branding process. When you’re working to define your brand, ask yourself these 7 questions:

WHAT IS THE CORE MESSAGE?

Everyone has a mission statement, but behind that is a core message that you want your audience to know. What do you want the audience to receive from your mission? What’s the message they need to hear from you? Take a little bit to jot these down.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE?

Beyond your mission statement, why do you do what you do? When it comes down to it: what is the purpose of your brand and why did you create this business in the first place? This is the sentiment that will drive all of your marketing and branding efforts throughout time.

IS THIS A NICHE BRAND OR UMBRELLA BRAND?

The way you’re going to end up marketing your business all depends on whether you have a niche brand or an umbrella brand, and this greatly impacts your visual and emotional branding elements. Niche branded folks speak on one topic and one business only. Umbrella brands encompass many businesses within them and have different clientele/customer bases for each.

For example, I bet you didn’t know that PepsiCo not only owns Pepsi, Aquafina water and Mountain Dew beverages, but they once owned Taco Bell (in addition to KFC and Pizza Hut)! They also own Quaker foods and snacks (the guys who make the oats), Gatorade, and Lay’s lineup of chips (Cheetos, Fritos, Doritos, etc.). Is this why Taco Bell has their signature Doritos Locos Tacos and Mountain Dew Baja Blast drink? Sorry, I’m just so curious! Maybe they’ll add overnight oats to the breakfast menu next??

But, you catch my drift. PepsiCo is an umbrella brand marketing to different audiences for each individual corporate underneath it. if you’re going to have different divisions of your brand with different businesses, your visual and emotional branding will be impacted accordingly.

WHO IS THE IDEAL TARGET PERSONA?

If you haven’t already performed a customer persona mapping activity, now’s the time. Take the time to craft a fictitious person who you can use to make marketing decisions for your brand - this person is a model for your ideal target customer or client. Ask yourself: What are their likes and dislikes? What do they do in their day-to-day life? What is their wish by hiring me/buying from me? You may have multiple customer personas - that’s okay! Give them unique names to set them apart.

WHAT IS THEIR PAIN POINT?

Even more important than their likes and dislikes, this client or customer persona has a problem - one that you can solve with your service or product. Ask yourself what their pain point or struggle is. This will help you craft your StoryBrand and set you up for success in the long run.

HOW DOES THE BRAND HELP SOLVE THIS?

After identifying this pain point, ask yourself: How do I help resolve this? Your product or service should be a direct response to their struggle and it should be very clear to them how it is going to improve their quality of life. If you don’t know the answer to this, you aren’t targeting the right persona.

WHAT TANGIBLE SERVICES / PRODUCTS DOES THE BRAND OFFER?

What is this product or service of yours that I’m referencing here in this post - what is it that you offer? Are you a business with professional services or a physical product? Each offering should be specifically designed with your target persona in mind and should serve a need or desire of theirs. Mapping out your offerings and which persona they are designed for is great knowledge to have on hand and distribute throughout your company to your employees and partners.

Now, go! Dive in! Comment below with your thoughts from the experience better defining your brand and all of its uniqueness.

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more food for thought…