So you’ve decided that you want to create a brand for your company. Great.
But you’re probably thinking, “where do I start?” Understandably. Because it can seem like a pretty big job with all the things that can go into making a brand.
But don’t panic. We’re here to help.
Put simply, the key to building a brand successfully is to get the basics right. Do that and the rest will follow naturally over time. A good way to get those right is to start with the three simple components of your powerful personal brand identity:
- Your Who and Do What statement
- Your Why You Do It Statement
- Your Tagline
The second statement should be about why you do what you do. Not what you do, not how you do it, but why.
For example, if your company provides accounting services, your Why You Do It Statement could be something along the lines of:
“We live to make accounting fun for small businesses.”
A simple statement like that, at the heart of everything you do, will ultimately create a strong brand. “Fun accounting” immediately inspires a curvy logo, bright color palettes, a quirky tone of voice and more. It gives you the very foundation of how to proceed onwards.
But what if you’re not an accounting firm who wants to be fun? What if you’re not really sure what your brand should be about or what your why is? That’s fine. Lots of companies start this way, based on a great idea for a product or a service and then discover their why later.
The following are questions that you can ask yourself to help you find your brand and craft your statement.
- Why are you doing this?
- What are customers thinking or doing?
- What is the competition doing?
Why are you doing this?
This is the single most important thing you can ask yourself. The strongest brands come from the story of why. After all, people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
Why did you start your company? Why did you create your product? Why do you offer your service?
Dig deeper than the obvious answer of profit. There are loads of ways to make money, why did you choose this path? What’s your purpose? What’s your cause? What’s your belief?
Case study: Apple
If Apple just said “We make great computers”, they’d sound the same as anyone else in the market.
No one would’ve cared.
Instead, Apple has built a brand around not what they do, but why they do it. Their brand statement might look like “We challenge the status quo, we think different.”
It’s already so much more compelling than “We make great computers” and it’s spawned a valuable culture of innovation for the company.
What are your customers thinking or doing?
Brand inspiration can also come from what your customers think, believe and do.
For example, if you find that everyone thinks that accounting is boring, then that creates a space for your fun firm to make some noise.
Chances are, you already have a good deal of insight into this. You work in the market and you talk to customers all the time. But if not, try to do a little research.
Send out surveys or talk to people in person and find out what they think.
Case study: Compare The Market
Insurance comparison site Compare the Market had a non-existent brand but grew pretty big due to the vast amounts of money they spent on TV advertising. They were hardly number one in the market, though.
When they realised their TV wasn’t working as well as it could, they changed it dramatically to feature a cute and quirky Russian meerkat. Suddenly, out of seemingly nowhere, they had a strong brand that shot them to the forefront of everyone’s mind.
How did they come up with something so random?
Well, one day somebody realized that market sounded a bit like meerkat. And so they ran with it, creating an opportunity for a fun and quirky brand to quickly be established.
What is the competition doing?
It’s always a good idea to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
If you’re too similar to an established brand then no one will be interested. But on the other hand, if everyone else in the market is similar and you come along with a strong difference then everyone will take notice.
Try taking a look at the brands that operate in your market and make a list of everything that all of them say and do. Then all you have to do is take a different angle on one or more of those things.
Case study: Jeremy Corbyn
The leader of the Labour party in the UK won his position with a ridiculous number of votes. Better yet, Jeremy Corbyn was pretty much completely unknown and up against political heavyweights.
So how did he do it?
Quite simply, by being different to everyone else. He saw the way the traditional politicians talked and acted and dressed and then did something different.
It was supposed to be a choice between three major politicians and one guy that no one has heard of. But just by being different, Corbyn turned it into a choice between him and a traditional politician. Traditional politics has a bad rep so his victory was secured.
The same can be said of the likes of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Just by positioning themselves as different from the regular lot, their support has skyrocketed.
You see, with these 3 questions you can build a powerfully effective brand. And it’s not even that difficult, once you have your statement down. It’ll write itself.
Focus on the basics. Answer these questions. Get the heart of your business down on paper and build around it. That’s when you know you’re going to be making something successful.
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