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27Jan2017

What's your brand DNA?

Design

 

If you charge for your products and/or services and operate in a competitive market, you are a brand.

Every business can differentiate in some way that is relevant to the marketplace. If you look closely enough, there's always something that is significant to prospects and customers that they can't get from your competitors.

 

 

Today's consumers are overworked and overstressed, with low attention spans and even lower desire to commit to anything that takes time to decipher. This is why simple design - be it in product, packaging or marketing - is imperative to a company's brand position in the marketplace. Consumers already feel overwhelmed by marketing messages and they won't try to understand your brand message if it's complicated or confusing - confusion leads to negative association.

 

The process of defining your brand doesn't have to be complicated and can be an interesting and engaging activity for key members of your team.

 

Six simple questions to define your brand

 

  1. Who are you? Describe your business to a complete stranger in simple terms. Keep it simple and cut out any industry terms or jargon.
  2. Who is your target market? If you could only have one type of customer for the rest of your business life, who would it be?
  3. What's good about your company? Why should customers use you? List all of the reasons why customers would want to use your products or services. Ask other team members to make a list and rank the top five reasons.
  4. What do your competitors do better than you? Assess your top four key competitors and list how they are better than you. Ask your team members to put themselves in the shoes of the other competitors and list whey they are better than your company. Each of you should present back on why you are better than your competitors. Some key USPs should be clear after this activity - ideally you are looking for five key benefits.
  5. What is your brand personality? A brand personality can be defined as human descriptors that express the brand's style, tone and attitude. List some key buzz words that you can attribute to your brand personality, e.g. professional, dynamic, fun, etc. A good group activity is to pick up a glossy magazine or look online for a picture that reflects the personality of your company. You can then collate and shortlist the words that best describe your brand.
  6. What is your tone of voice? Tone of voice embodies and expresses a brand's personality and set of values. It's about the people that make up the brand - the things that drive them, their loves and hates, and what they want to share with the world. Tone of voice are words used to support the brand personality. For example, if brave is one of your personality words your tone of voice words could be: dynamic, confident, bold and outgoing. This is how you sound on all communications, from your website to social media posts.

Lastly, whilst the external projection of a brand is crucial, if there is disconnect with internal views and behaviours it will not be sustainable as people will not buy into your brand values. Good brands need great people to champion them and must work inside-out.

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