A brand is a promise, a shortcut for customers to impute the quality of something. When building your business, a brand can carry a huge value in helping new customers understand your product and services and help build loyalty in your repeat customers.
In fact, it’s an indispensable part of building your company, so here are five critical questions you must ask while you’re building your company and your brand.
What are your principles?
So it’s worth asking, what do you stand for?
In other words - when people think of your brand, what comes to mind?
Warning: having real principles means you’ll probably polarize some people. That’s okay, you can’t appeal to everyone - and if you do - you’ll probably appeal to no one.
What’s your market position?
What part of the market does your brand appeal to? Are you going after a very small group of high-spenders? Are you going after a larger market that wants something of a good quality for a great value.
Again, like the previous question, picking a set of customers necessarily means saying "no" to other customers.
Wherever your end up, be honest with yourself about where you are in the market.
What’s your logo?
To be 100 per cent transparent, most people overthink this. They spend more time on their logo than any of these other questions.
While it’s easy to over-estimate it’s importance, the logo is a "shortcut" for your brand. Often, before they even read your company name, they’ll see your logo and associate it with your brand.
For that reason alone, it’s important to have a strong logo - as long as you’re taking care of the other details.
Keep in mind - a good logo doesn’t have to be convoluted. The Virgin logo was written on the back of a napkin. The Nike logo was created for just $35! I drew the IMPOSSIBLE logo in a notebook. A logo is "instant-association" with a company’s name. Choose it wisely.
What are your brand guidelines?
As the company grows beyond just you, you need to keep in mind how the company should "act". In other words, what are your brand guidelines?
- How does your brand write?
- What types of content should customers expect to see?
- What colours should you use?
- What’s the customer experience like?
- What’s the experience like "after-purchase"?
As the company grows, think through your brand guidelines and what customers should grow to expect.
What’s your voice?
Your brand’s voice is the culmination of the previous four questions. What are your principles? Who are you targeting? How will customers easily recognise you? What should customers consistently expect from you?
In other words, if your brand was a person, how would it speak?
Your brand is your business. Build it wisely.