As you start the entrepreneurial journey, you will soon realize that to have a successful product you need to have a solid brand identity. Without a clear sense of who your brand is, you risk failing due to a whole list of issues, including lack of leadership, uniqueness, and value. Even though these issues are big, don’t fear, with our brand identity guide you can increase your likelihood of success and avoid these issues altogether.
Before you continue reading, ask yourself these questions with your product (or future product) in mind.
- What makes your brand unique?
- What problem does your brand solve?
- What solution does your brand provide?
- What kind of people can you help the most?
These are important questions to have answers to. If you don’t, it can be helpful to go through brand identity coaching. A coach can help you see the big picture of how your brand can grow.
Discovering Your Brand Identity
What makes your brand unique?
Your brand is entirely unique. While other brands might seek to solve a similar problem, no other brand offers exactly what you offer. Your passions, skills, and experiences as an entrepreneur will translate into your product and it is those unique traits that will make your brand successful.
What problem are you solving and what is the solution?
So your brand can be distinguished from others, you need to be clear on the problem you solve and the solution you offer. Your brand is dependent on the products you offer and your product needs to solve a problem. If you aren’t clear on your problem or solution, go back to the drawing board and discover what you are uniquely equipped to solve.
Who is your brand targeting?
Once you have discovered your problem and solution, the next step is to figure out who your brand’s products can help. Finding the people who want what you offer will grow your brand. These followers are the best source of marketing and future growth.
Proper Alignment of Your Brand’s Fundamental Beliefs
As you define your unique brand, you must consider how to get your future customers to know, like, and trust you. Those attributes will only be gained by clearly articulating the fundamental elements that prompted you to start your business and then by reinforcing them every day. You might feel like you are repeating yourself through this process, but that’s okay! Your customers need to hear these statements multiple times before they take hold in their minds.
When your beliefs are not properly aligned you will forget your brand’s purpose and this could cause you to lose customers. Let’s go through the fundamental elements that need to be aligned for your brand’s identity so you can start earning customer’s trust.
At the core of your brand’s identity are its beliefs. You decided to start your company because you believed that it would help solve a problem. It is that passion that your customers will see and want to take hold of. What beliefs are the foundation of your business?
A ‘Belief Statement’ is what your company believes and what your customers will see. Here is an example: “We believe that we have a responsibility to end suffering when it is within our power to do so.”
Your beliefs drive you to do something to make a difference in the world. This drive is called your purpose. Customers are more likely to do business with a brand that is conscious about how they can make the world a better place for others, not just themselves.
Brands have a ‘Purpose Statement’ that is broad and covers multiple missions they may have. Brands use purpose statements to help drive the mission and company goals.
For example, here is a good purpose statement from Inspire Brands, “Ignite and nourish flavorful experiences.” For a brand that owns restaurants and wants to make a difference in their customer’s lives, this purpose statement expresses that.
As you develop your brand, don’t be afraid to dream big. Your vision is where you should dream big about the positive difference you will make in the world.
Your vision should answer the question of what your business will look like in 5 years, 10 years, and beyond. You can do this with a ‘Vision Statement.’ To craft your vision statement, try starting with something like “We envision a world where..” or “We will become…”
The mission of your brand is how you plan to make the vision a reality. Brands love to show customer’s big statements talking about the work they are doing and how they will change the world, but how do you actually get there?
The ‘Mission Statement’ should be unique for your brand and should give customer’s a clear picture of how you will accomplish your vision. For example, PayPal’s mission statement is: “To build the web’s most convenient, secure, cost-effective payment solution.” They have clearly stated what they plan to accomplish in an easy to understand way.
Values are what define how you plan to work as a team. Your values as a brand owner are important and as you hire team members you want to make share that they share the same core beliefs and that they will embrace the same vision and mission.
Values for your brand should be a word or phrase that is easy to remember by all. Your values could be something like: “Ethics, transparency, responsibility, professionalism, and teamwork.” Once you have identified your values, they should be visible and reinforced by all employees frequently.
A promise is your brand’s commitment to your customer as to how you will conduct business with them. Promises help to show your customers that you are trustworthy. Your team members should use the brand’s promises as a guide for how to build and preserve trust with every customer interaction.
Your promises might be something like “satisfaction guaranteed or your money back,” “all products made in the USA,” and “24/7 support.” If you promise your customers something, make sure that it is something you can actually accomplish. When you break promises with a customer, you lose trust and it can be hard to earn that back.
Continuing to Define Your Brand
Once you have discovered and carefully crafted each of these sections you will have a clearer idea of your brand identity. Each section takes your customer through a foundational step in the relationship so that they grow to know, like, and trust you.
As your brand develops and grows, you will need to periodically review and update the sections. While some might stay the same, others might change due to new products or a new direction you decide to take.
Our next set of articles will continue down the journey of discovering your brand identity. We will discuss finding your customers, validating your problem, and designing your brand image and personality. Check back in next week, but until then get started on aligning your brand’s beliefs!