Brand building is a critical step in ensuring long-term loyalty with your customers. If you’re new to branding it is important to understand what a brand is and why it matters. You can then use simple frameworks to help you articulate yours. Sound fun? It is! Let’s get started.
1. Be Yourself
Your brand is how you choose to present yourself in order to influence how you are perceived. Sounds shallow? Not a chance. Your brand should reveal your deepest “why”, showing the world who you are and what you believe in. This is transparent, vulnerable stuff. It takes thought and work but is well worth the effort.
2. Be Clear
Just like any good relationship, building trust and long-term loyalty with customers requires clear communication and management of expectations. In an increasingly global and competitive marketplace, people want to connect with organizations who share their values and meet their needs. Articulate why you’re here, what you’re doing and, if necessary, what you aren’t.
3. Be Consistent
Brand integrity requires that you be consistent not only in your visual design and editorial tone, but also across your company culture, operations, business strategy, customer service, and partner interactions. Inconsistency can be perceived as hypocrisy which will diminish credibility and break trust.
Got it? Good! Here are a couple quick exercises that can help you begin to articulate your brand.
EXERCISE 1: Defining Your Brand
Fill in the blanks. The shorter and more concise the answers, the better! Have a team? Do this together:
Q. Why are we here? “We exist because we believe…”
Example: We exist because we believe that everyone should have a stress-free life.
Q. What are we doing about it? “Our goal is to…”
Example: Our goal is to teach people how to reduce their stress.
Q. Who are we targeting? “The people who need this most are…”
Example: The people who need this most are susceptible to burnout and work in high-pressure environments.
Q. How do we achieve our goal? “We achieve this by…”
Example: We achieve this by providing stress management training for individuals and teams.
Q. What makes us different? “We are unique because…”
Example: We are unique because our training leverages play and humour as scientifically proven methods to reduce stress and is free to organizations through Government funding.
Q. How do we want to be perceived? “When people encounter our brand they can see that we are…”
Example: When people encounter our brand they can see that we are accessible, humorous, effective, and scientifically credible.”
EXERCISE 2: Brand Positioning Statement:
Use the answers from Exercise 1 to complete this statement:
For the (Answer to #3) who wants/needs (Answer to #2), we are a (Answer to #4) who, unlike any other brand, (Answer to #5) in a way that is (Answer to #6) because, at the end of the day, we believe (Answer to #1).
Example: For people who are at risk of burnout and need to learn how to manage their stress, we are a stress management trainers who, unlike any other brand, leverage play and humour as scientifically proven methods of stress reduction and offer free training to organizations in a way that is accessible, humorous, effective and scientifically credible because, at the end of the day, we believe that everyone should have a stress-free life.
Did you end up with a run-on sentence? Probably! But it’s a place to good start. Your next two challenges will be to test if the brand resonates with your target audience, and then to ensure that you express your brand across each encounter, product, and aspect of your organization.
Best of luck and, if you need a hand, I’m here to help!