10 questions to define your brand
Defining your brand position
The first thing that I work on with clients is positioning their brand. What is the essence of their brand? How do they want people to feel when they interact with it? Where do they stand in relation to their competitors? Finding clear answers to these questions helps you to firmly ground your brand. If you would skip this step, chances are that the visual identity will not be a good fit for the products or services that the brand offers.
I know that it can be tempting to do a Pinterest binge and gather visual inspiration right away. Or to fall in love with the branding of another company and ask a designer to make something similar. Please don't do that though, as it will lead to branding confusion. Instead, figure out where you stand first.
10 questions to define your brand position
So take out a notebook or large sheet of paper and write down your answers to the following questions:
- Why did you start this company?
- What is your big vision for the company?
- What do you deeply care about? How is that reflected in your work?
- What do you absolutely not believe in?
- How are you showing up when you’re at your best and most powerful?
- What are some of your quirks that pop through in your work?
- Who are your favourite people to work for?
- What are your clients deeper needs that you provide for?
- Which emotions would you like your brand to evoke?
- What are your competitors doing well? What makes you different?
You may wish to take a break at this point and get back to it in a few days. It will clear some of the clutter in your head.
Once you are ready to move on, read your answers again and highlight key themes and words that pop up. You might notice new patterns or notice that something feels a little off. Perhaps there is one direction that you feel that you should go into but there is another that has a more intuitive, stronger pull on you. Notice the words and answers that make you smile or that touch you. You will know when it feels right. Now see if you can sum up the essence of your brand in 3-5 keywords.
It can be nice and helpful to do this brand clarity exercise with other entrepreneurs. Take a long afternoon to go over each other's answers, ask those deeper questions and help each other see the most important threads of the brand. For clients I will take this role, helping them find clarity before we move to the design phase.