When it comes to branding your startup or thinking about a rebrand for your existing business, finding a designer or design agency who 'gets it' is key. One way to help communicate the essence of your business is by mapping out brand strategy. This will help you and your designer to get a clear idea of what the brand should look, feel and behave like.
From there you’ll be able to create an identity to suit your brand and niche. In order to do this, you will need to be crystal clear on all aspects.
So here’s the 10 most important questions to ask yourself and your team when embarking on this journey:
1. Who is our audience?
The clearer you can be on who your customer is, the easier it is to build a brand style and messaging to resonate with them. Understand pain points will help your brand to resontate deeper with your audience.
Be really specific on who you (wish to) attract, because it will help to understand their situation and be able to talk directly to them.
Pin point demographics and psychographics – age, gender, brands they follow, social media they use, what fears and desires they have. It’s really important to be as specific as you can to help define the rest of your strategy.
If you are too broad with your audience, you might find marketing a struggle. SEO, for example, is based on targeting keywords your audience searches. So narrowing things down as much as possible will help in all areas of branding and marketing.
“When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one” - Meredith Hill
2. What pain points does our audience have?
What do they need help with, what are their concerns and worries, what is standing in the way of you helping them? As well as fears and desires, think about possible objections to your offering to help navigate any obstacles.
3. How is our business going to solve these pain points?
Knowing this will help you answer your customers pain point issues and really help your brand to resonate. You can use these in your marketing, website copy and also blogs or social media posts which will help towards your website’s SEO.
"A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well." - Jeff Bezos
4. Who are our competitors?
Look at the companies offering similar products or services, what do they have in common and what are their differences. Perform a SWOT analysis to find strengths, weaknesses and identitfy gaps in the market.
5. How will our solution differ from theirs?
Differentiation strategies are the key to give your business a leading advantage in your market. If you are offering people the same as everyone else your brand may be invisible. If you can differentiate, it will not only help your brand to stand out, but will also help to be memorable.
6. What is the brand personality and will that resonate with our audience?
Aligning your brand’s tone of voice and speaking your customers language will help to resonate deeper. Do you need to be empathetic or formal, high energy or calming? How do you want people to think and feel about your brand. Consistency is key here, keeping the same tone of voice will help towards becoming familiar with your audience.
"Build something 100 people love, not something 1 million people kind of like." — Brian Chesky, Co-Founder & CEO, Airbnb
7. Where will we reach our audience?
Your audience demographic will depend on where you can reach and engage with them. Will it be through your website via a blog, will you share those on Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest?
8. What is our brand’s substance?
Brand substance is a very overlooked part of brand building, but can be very useful for driving business success. If you work with a team, mapping out the 4 pillars (Purpose, Mission, Values, Vision) of brand substance can help to make sure everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals, which in turn can help with morale.
9. Is there anything we want to avoid when communicating our brand’s message?
Identify things you dislike and want to avoid, phrases or messaging that won't resonate with your audience or portray your brand correctly.
10. Is the brand name correct and will it connect with our audience?
A brand name will normally be given at the very start of the brand building journey, which is why it’s a good opportunity to revisit the name choice at the end of the strategy stage. Now that you have a clear picture of who you are targeting, why and how – it’s an ideal point to check-in with your brand name and ask yourself if it is aligned with your audience and your brand's purpose, mission, values and vision.
Need help to get clear on these points for your brand? Get in touch
About the Author
Gemma is a logo and branding designer at Emotion Brands and enjoys working across strategy and design. During her 20 year career she has worked with global brands, such as Davines, Secret Escapes, Wella Professionals and L'Oréal. She's constantly evolving her skills and enjoys taking a holistic approach to branding, with a particular interest in sustainability and eco print practices.
If you're looking for Branding or Design Agencies in Bournemouth get in touch.