Many businesses may provide the same or similar services. So what defines your company?
A key element of marketing is communicating your brand story to consumers, but before that can happen, you must have a clear grasp of your brand. Without a shared understanding within your team, you may find yourself jumping from place to place with branding. Instead, you must first plant your flag in the ground and claim your space to establish for yourself, your team, and your customers who you are and what you represent. A defined brand position grounds your efforts and provides an overarching vision. Investing in branding will lead to long-term success, but only if you first identify and articulate your brand from an internal perspective.
To guide you through this process, we have outlined five areas for reflection that will help you develop a clear brand image that can then be documented, shared company-wide, and implemented into marketing to provide a consistent brand experience for consumers.
Brand Purpose – Why do you exist?
The reason for your brand’s work and existence should be immediately apparent to customers. The answer to this question should go beyond making a profit and explaining what your company does. Consider your product or service and audience to decide the core element driving you to make a positive impact through your business.
Brand Differentiators – How do you differ from others?
Many companies may be offering the same product or service in a saturated market, but there is only one you. So, what is your defining and differentiating feature that sets you apart from your competition? Establishing this will help you have a more targeted marketing strategy to reach your customers and increase conversion. These factors should be your key assets that clients will learn to associate with your brand.
Brand Deliverables – What problems are you solving for consumers?
It may be easy to offer a simple list of tangible products you provide. But on a deeper level, your brand deliverables should also include the intangible results that a customer will walk away with after purchasing from you. These are the issues, gaps, or problems that customers are coming to you to solve and that your company and brand are particularly situated to resolve.
Brand Expectations – What do you want consumers to expect?
A fundamental tenet of business is to strive to exceed customers’ expectations. If you know what you want consumers to anticipate when buying from you, you can position your brand to meet those customer expectations and be ready to go above and beyond.
It’s important not to assume that you know what consumers expect but to base your answers on solid qualitative and quantitative research, both from external sources (your customers) and internally with team members. This will serve to uncover gaps and opportunities within the company, culture, and brand positioning. Subsequently, this research will support in developing a remarkable brand that offers a consistent experience every time. Brand Insights™ research will get you started in defining your brand, informed by actual data.
Brand Perception – How do you want consumers to see you?
The final element to know about your brand is how customers understand your company and your deliverables. This is closely tied to your reputation, your differentiators, and your customers’ expectations. What are the first concepts you want to come to mind when your audience thinks of you or refers you to someone else? These core principles are the final step in forming a complete picture of what your brand entails.
Having established a solid foundation by understanding and articulating your brand internally, you are now ready to begin sharing this brand story and marketing your business. Partnering with a branding and marketing firm can help you share your message with consumers and meet their needs in an effective and rewarding way.