A brand is a promise to your customers.
A brand includes your mission, values, and target audience.
A brand is about communicating your business’s values.
What drives you will drive the success of your business.
Brands are so much more than a logo. They have a lot to do with your business’s mission and core values, as well as the experience you consistently give your customers. Join us as we define what branding is and share some exercises to make your business’s branding even stronger.
What Is a Brand?
A brand is a promise. You’re promising your customer that your personality, quality, uniqueness, and approach will stay true to who you are — and that they can expect this consistent experience each time they interact with your company and products.
A brand promise goes back to the core of your business. For instance, when you order a piece of clothing from a particular company, you expect that they’re always using that same quality of materials every time. And when they don’t do that, they let you down and you probably start looking for other brands.
Another example is when you go to Starbucks. You’re promised that your coffee will always be at the right temperature and taste the same — and that the experience in-store will be the same, from the customized order options to the music.
A brand includes your mission, values, and target audience. It encompasses the questions “who is our customer?” and “who are we serving?”. Branding can give a customer an idea of whether a business or service is the right fit for them.
Keep in mind that you can’t be all things to all people. (That’s why there are different brands!)
Why Does a Brand Matter and How Do You Start Building One?
A brand is about communicating value (or values). It helps you connect with your target customers and gives them peace of mind. With every interaction you have with a customer or product/service you provide for them, you personify the experience or promise to your customers.
Whether you’re starting a brand or strengthening one, here are some important questions to consider as you evaluate your business’s goals, values, and defining characteristics.
- Who are you?
- What drives you?
- What do you stand for?
How you answer these questions will become your brand promise. We recommend going through these questions with a business mentor so you can have a sounding board as you define your brand.
Some Branding Exercises
Here are just a few exercises to clarify your brand and communicate your values clearly.
Exercise 1 – What do I stand for and why?
Write out your values. Next, write down answers to the following questions:
- What matters to you as a business owner?
- What drives you?
- Why does it matter?
- Are these values unique to your business or industry?
Exercise 2 – Buyer Personas
Take the time to create buyer personas (and be as specific as possible!). Consider using stock photos that represent the target customers you want to reach. Give each of them a name and details about their background. Consider their distinct demographics. Think about their unique challenges, goals, and communication preferences.
When making buyer personas, keep in mind generational differences. For instance, Gen X will have different values and communication styles than Gen Z.
Exercise 3 – The Game of Opposites
Go through a list of opposite phrases and say them out loud to home in on your business’s feel, core values, and the type of customer you’re targeting. Don’t overthink it — go with your gut! It’s possible that your brand is a mix of seemingly contradicting qualities (e.g. playful and professional).
Is your brand…
- classic or modern?
- playful or sophisticated?
- economical or luxurious?
- abstract or literal?
- formal or casual?
Exercise 4 – Creating Your Brand Board
Create a mood board for your brand. Gather pictures from your website and social media. Add in the following elements:
Does the finished board give you the feeling and cohesion that you want? Use this visual to stay inspired, especially if you’re growing your brand and business.
How a Brand Comes to Life
Your brand comes to life when you…
- Choose colors that personify your brand voice
- Select fonts that represent your values
- Identify icons that show your personality
- Package your products with passion
Building a Brand Takes Time
Remember that it takes time to build a business. (Patience is a must!)
And keep in mind that brands evolve. Logos, branding messages, and target groups change over time. Your internal team will evolve too.
Branding and Beyond
Need some coaching to establish your brand or make it even better? Consider booking a mentoring session with Technology Therapy ® Group — and check out the following on-demand courses!