Defining your company’s unique brand may be a little tricky.
After all, simply defining “brand” to begin with is somewhat of a winding road.
It has to be done, though. Before any marketing can begin – from ad placement to blogging to business cards, and beyond – you must clearly establish your company’s brand so that it remains consistent throughout your website and all future campaigns.
In a nutshell: potential customers must immediately be able to understand what you do, how that can help them, and why in the world they should stick around to learn more.
Your company’s unique brand is what distinguishes your goods and/or services from everyone else in the marketplace. It’s a well-balanced brew of the attributes, values and strengths that drive who and what you are.
So, really – who and what are you?
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What benefit do you offer to customers? (Itemize your unique skills and strengths.)
- Who are your customers, anyway? (What are their needs?)
- How will you solve their problems?
- What differentiates you from those who can do similar things?
Now, take a look at your answers. Together, they construct your business’s unique value proposition. Use them to craft one or two sentences that will help keep your messaging consistent as you go out to do great big things. This brand positioning statement should articulate how your unique value benefits customers, and sets you apart from the competition.
When establishing your brand identity, sometimes it helps to view your brand as an individual. Go ahead – anthropomorphizing is fun!
Let’s say you’re out with friends, and you invited your brand for drinks. But your brand just texted: “Running late – had to save a burning bus full of kittens.” While you wait, how would you describe your brand to everyone else in the group?
Consider the following benchmarks:
Your brand’s essence entails the emotions you hope customers experience when they encounter your services for the first time. These are intangible concepts – the heart and soul of your business. Your essence is what you stand for. Your brand’s essence can often be boiled down into one or two word descriptions, such as “inspirational,” “comforting,” or “authentic.” Perhaps the best example of brand essence is Walt Disney’s – which sums up its impact throughout the generations perfectly: “magical.”
Personifying your brand makes it relatable to your customers. Developing your brand’s personality involves ascribing well-defined human characteristics to your business. How does your brand think? How does it act, speak, and behave in public? Is it playful? Stoic? By-the-books or fancy-free? Coca-Cola’s brand personality, for example, is a blend of sincerity and excitement.
Tell Your Story
People like stories. They like to be told stories. So build a narrative around your brand. Position yourself (your company) as the hero. But also position your customers as integral characters in this particular saga.
Ask yourself: what is the struggle your brand had to overcome? Recount your history, but don’t neglect to tell the tale of how you impact your customers’ lives for the better.
Admittedly, these building blocks to a solidly defined brand can seem overwhelming. And, believe it or not, they’re just the tip of the iceberg to creating a thoughtful and precise brand identity.
Do you have a clear picture of how you want your business to be perceived by others? Do you know what your company stands for? IMPACT Marketing & PR can help you craft your company’s unique brand. Call us at 410-312-0081 to learn more.