There are hundreds of questions that we ask when doing a brand development project. We ask questions of the brand owners. We ask questions of the employees. We ask questions of the brand’s customers and vendors. People get tired of our questions before it all over.
As I think about the branding process and some of the more valuable questions we either ask or try to get to the bottom of, these ten questions float to the surface. We’d really love to understand the answers to these questions before we start the branding process.
1. What value does your brand provide the market?
This question comes in lots of different flavors, but it boils down to what’s your Unique Sales Proposition (USP)? In other words, what do you provide the market that no other brand provides in quite the same way, with the same quality, timeliness, or whatever.
If I had to pick between your business and another business down the street that appears to me to be the same, why would I pick yours?
2. Why should the market believe you?
What evidence can you provide for #1 above? You SAY you’re the best at something, how can you prove to the market that your story is true?
3. Do you understand the markets perception of your brand?
What does the market think of your brand? Not what you want, hope, or desire, but what do the individuals in the market really think about your company? It’s easy to get yourself turned around on this question because you want the market to love your brand. You want to be like Nike or Apple, but you’re not. Understanding from where you start can be a sobering proposition. But if you want to develop a remarkable brand, you need to understand the truth. You need to know how the market views your brand so you can begin to improve.
4. Have you identified your ideal brand position?
Quite opposite of #3 above, this question asks where you’d like to be. If you could be thought of in any way, what would that be?
5. What is your brands story?
What’s your story? What is your brand all about? Why did you start this company anyway? There’s got to be a story there somewhere, hardly anyone is really that boring.
In the current market, we are surrounded by brands. In fact, researchers suggest that we see over a million brands every years. How do you stand out from that crowd? You need an interesting story. Just having a story is only the first part. You need to be able to tell your story in a way that endears you to the market.
6. Does your brand have a strong point of view?
Your brand might have no point of view. On the other hand, you might be a political talk show host with a list of points a mile long.
7. How do you align your culture with your marketing?
This is one of the most important questions in the list. Creating a company with a great corporate culture is really difficult. Once you do, how do you keep it great? How do you help your market understand what your culture is all about? How do you behave as a company, in a way that is consistent with your culture?
8. When people think about your company, what feelings do you want them to have?
On the surface, this is a simple question. But like most on this list, it has implications that might not be first apparent.
9. Share 5 adjective or phrases that best describe your company.
This is my favorite question. As we look at developing a brand promise, develop stories, write copy ad create tag lines, these adjectives and phrases are key to getting the message right.
10. What is your favorite cookie?
Wondering why this question made the list? Well, as a business owner, so much of your company is directly tied to who you are as a person. Learning simple identifiers like whether you like snickerdoodles vs. oatmeal raspberry cookies aids us in defining who your brand will be based on who you are.
So these are the more important questions we need to get to the bottom of a branding assignment. As these all the questions, certainly not. But they are some of the ones the get asked regularly and on a repeated basis.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll we asking these questions again to some of our former and current clients. We’ll reveal their logo choices and final decision and share some of their answers to these questions. It should be fun.
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Originally posted on Feb 16, 2016