|Brand. From Flickr user DentalBen.|
Your company name? Sure.
Your main product? OK.
Your visual identity - your logo and colors? All right.
That's a start.
But the strongest brands mean something. The strongest brands stand for something.
Now it's time for you to decide what your brand stands for.
Here's a simple exercise to get you started - ask yourself these questions:
1) What do you do? This is the core of your brand. Do you make clothes for children, sell organic produce, provide computer repair service, help people plan vacations?
2) How are you different than the competition? This is your value proposition. Are those children's clothes more affordable? Is the produce locally grown? Is the computer service guaranteed? Are the vacations more luxurious? These key differentiators help you articulate the value you offer to your customers.
3) What do you stand for? The very best brands are memorable because they stand for something larger - something bigger than a product or service. Do you believe that great children's clothes help kids stay more active and learn more? Do you believe that locally-grown organic produce is the key to our health and our economy? Do you believe that businesses are hurt by poor IT service? Or do you believe that travel can be a transformative experience that causes people to change the world?
Attempt to answer these questions, and you'll be closer to understanding how to strengthen your brand. These answers should be reflected in all of your communications - from your in-store merchandising to your catalogs, to your web site, PR, and social media.
You'll notice that I didn't say a word here about your logo, colors, or company name. While these things can make a difference to your business, the real difference is defining what stands behind them.
Need help articulating your brand? Drop me a line.