Your brand is the foundation to your business. Creating a great brand will amplify your results, but where do you start?
Defining your brand is a time to reflect and put pen to paper. By defining your brand in writing, it will help provide clarity and encourage you to ensure that your brand permeates throughout the business to get maximum effect, but it doesn’t mean you need to write pages and pages. To the contrary, it is better to keep it short and to the point, which will encourage you and others to review it as required.
There is no point in writing any document including your brand definition, unless you intend to use it on an ongoing basis. Too often people make the mistake of writing business plans, marketing plans and so on and then file them, never to be looked at again! What is the point? Unless you are happy wasting your time, don’t make that mistake. This is not a document to be created and filed anyway. Your brand should evolve over time to reflect changing market conditions, so you should keep it close at hand and if you want it to permeate through the business, then you want your staff to understand what your brand stands for
What should you include in your brand definition?
- Your identity.
This covers the elements that makes your brand unique, so that you are differentiated from your competition. This includes things like:
- Why do you do what you do? What is your story?
- What is your purpose or mission?
- What is your vision for the future?
- What are your values?
- What is your businesses USP (Unique Selling Point(s))
2. Your target market.
It is imperative that you “own” your target market to maximise success. To “own it”, you need to know it intimately, which includes defining it in your brand document. Everything that you do is about appealing to that target market. This includes things like:
- Demographics – age, sex, race, location, financial position etc of your typical client.
- Their personality, including their behaviour type.
- Their needs.
- What will prevent them from buying from you?
- What things are they likely to respond to?
- What is their customer journey likely to look like?
3. Market position.
Where in the market do you want to sit? What problems that your target market has, do you want to solve? Why will your target market choose you?
4. Conveying your brands personality.
What are the elements to convey your brand’s personality?
- Taglines you want to use.
- In what tone do you want to convey your messaging? Soft, upbeat, educational, friendly and so on.
- What platforms will you use that are consistent with your brand definition?
- What colours and fonts fit your brand?
- Logos that you have created.
- Key messaging that you want to use.
If your vision for your brand is young and hip, then your messaging, colours, platforms, should be consistent with appealing to your young and hip market. How your business operates, what your product or service looks like, your values, your mission, your story, should all be consistent with what will resonate with your target market.
By taking the time to think through this document and understand the connecting links, you can refine your brand and therefore your approach to achieve the maximum cut through with your target audience.
Defining your brand should not be scary, but it should be thought provoking. It shouldn’t be something set in concrete never to be changed, but rather something to be regularly reviewed and refined as required.
Start with defining your brand and then move on to the creation of your marketing plan, to get maximum results!