Can you clearly define your brand to your audience in one short, sweet statement? If you can’t, you have some work to do. These days, brand authenticity is at the forefront of customer loyalty — but how can customers be expected to be loyal to a brand that isn’t sure of its identity and purpose?
When clients come to Red Orange Studio for help, we lead them into discovery with the following questions so we can craft our design and content to effectively reach their goals and communicate their key messages. Taking the time to think through these questions will get you closer to uncovering the core of who you are and what you do and on your way to building a successful, lasting brand.
Who are you?
Take a mental step back. Do you truly know your company identity? Try to think about how your brand is perceived from every perspective — by other businesses, by employees, by current customers and by someone who knows nothing about your brand. If you have them documented, review your company mission statement, vision and values; do they accurately reflect the essence of your brand?
- What is the culture or personality of your company? (Which adjectives best describe your brand personality or culture?)
- What do others think of your company vs. what do you wish they thought?
- What keywords describe your business? (Which keywords do people use when searching online for your product or service?)
- Do you have a main message you want to convey through your brand?
- Can you think of any images that explain what you do?
What does your company do?
Think about the things that you do and offer to your customers, and focus in on where the real value is. We often work with clients to refine their strategic purpose to create shared value with their customer and make for more effective design. This may shift or change as your business grows and evolves its capabilities.
- What are the key features of your product or service? Focus on how these features are a benefit to your customer.
- Aside from offering a product or service, what makes you different from your competitors? (What is your unique selling proposition or key differentiator?)
Who is your client/customer?
Harvard Business Review found that 64% of consumers say that shared values are the main reason that they have a trusted relationship with a brand. If you can identify these commonalities, you can better relate and communicate with your customer, and in turn, with some relationship building, raise your brand awareness.
- Describe your target audience (gender, age, geographic location if applicable, etc.)
- What is your ideal client/customer’s problem or challenge?
- How does your product/service solve this problem or challenge?
Who is your competition?
Depending on the industry and location, your market could be entirely saturated with other businesses that provide essentially the same service. Performing a competitive analysis can give you a clear idea of who else is in the arena, as well as their strengths and weaknesses relative to your own. This information is useful if you are trying to differentiate yourself from others in your industry.
- How do your competitors compete with and/or differ from you?
- What do you like and not like about their brands?
- Do they have a strategy that you think would work well for your business?
What’s your brand’s visual style/aesthetic?
Does your brand have a recognizable “look?” A University of Loyola study showed that a signature color can boost brand recognition by 80%. Because people are so visual, your brand should be able to appeal to your target customers with more than just words. You can always reach out if you need help translating your vision into strategic visual solutions.
- What are your favorite brands and what do you admire about their marketing?
- What kinds of visuals or themes do you want to avoid?
- If you have a creative vision for you brand, try to collect colors, logos, images, sketches and themes that will help convey your style, ideas and thoughts. Be as visual as possible.