Brand: The entirety of how you’re perceived and distinguished from others. You can control some, but not all, aspects of a brand.
Building your brand identity is like building your profile on a dating app. It sounds easy. You know who you are, what you like and don’t like. But when you have to put it in a response that’s funny, intelligent and unique, all in 140 characters or less, the question becomes harder to answer.
“I like to travel and spend time with friends” is short and simple, but vague and boring. It doesn’t differentiate you from anyone else. “Investor by day, sushi connoisseur by night” is still short but actually gives you more specific information and is entertaining.
My point is that when you are considering the core aspects of your brand, you have to think creatively about what your company represents, how you’re different and who you are targeting. Today’s most influential brands are successful because they offer short, memorable brand positions that seep into everything they do.
Here are some questions you should answer as you build or revisit your brand identity.
- Have you clearly defined your reason for existing? Can your leadership team, employees and customers easily voice this?
- Does everyone internally understand and believe in your brand’s organizational vision?
- Have you determined your core audience? Do you know how to talk to these people? Tone, personality, language?
- Does your internal brand identity match how it’s seen in the marketplace?
- What differentiates your brand from your competitors?
- What methods do you use to communicate, and are you consistent across channels?
- Do your brand assets represent your current brand positioning? Name, logo, tagline, brand guidelines, messaging?
Your brand is the most valuable currency you have to spend, and it’s constant no matter what the world around you is doing. When positioned effectively, it can be magnetic, attracting prospective customers and building brand loyalty.
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