Many people confuse branding with company logos, corporate identities and websites. It’s true, consistent brand visuals are important to establish a brand identity. The company brand though begins with the intangible elements a company is built on.
Questions included below are important to ask before you start your company and well before you begin your marketing and promotions. Some of them will be easy, some may need to be honed in over time.
These questions can be used by start-up businesses or existing businesses that needs to evaluate their brand presence and definition. Grab a cup of coffee, pen and paper or open a text document and start noting answers for each section.
- What unique value do you bring to the market?
- What does your company do?
- Who are your customers?
- How does it benefit your customers?
- How are you different from your competition?
What does your company stand for and offer to your customers every single time? All brand decisions are based on this promise to prospects, customers, employees and partners.
Do you want to be known for:
- high quality product or service
- giving back to the community
- niche market
- 24/7 service?, etc.
What are the specific personality traits you want your company to be known to provide or represent?
What is your brand story?
Did you open an e-commerce shop with all Michigan made products to support local artisans? Did you author a book on a parenting because you want to help young mom’s and children? Are you a manufacturing company built on a strong work ethic and safety who has achieved ISO certification?
Share your company history here:
- Why were you founded?
- What value do you bring?
- What products and services?
- How does your story build your credibility?
Brand Associations / Visual elements
The physical assets of your brand; name, logo, website, font, tagline, business cards, print collateral, etc. When you are choosing images, fonts, colors for your brand visuals consider your market and message. Reflect your brand promise, personality traits, and support your unique selling position.
By all means be consistent! Start up companies may select brand visuals that are trending in the moment. Quickly they discover they don’t relate to their brand, they don’t stand out and are quickly dated. Take your time in this step and be sure to ask people outside of the company their thoughts on brand visuals you are considering.
You may find everything falls into place very easily. Some companies may find additional help of a brand consultant or a graphic designer with a strong grasp of brand marketing is helpful. We help companies at this stage and there are firms that have made brand consultation their specific niche. If you are a start up company without a budget to outsource a professional brand consultant, don’t let it stop you from answering the questions. Your answers don’t need to be award winning script others see. It is more about defining your brand to yourself first to help you to live it with your customers, staff, vendors and your community.
Stay connected! Which question is the most challenging for you? Did any of them give you new insight on your company brand? I’m interested in hearing how the process was for you.