Lightening in a Bottle: How to Capture Your Brand’s Essence!
If you’ve never developed a Brand Strategy before, it can be confusing. Where do you start? In some of our previous blogs, we’ve given you some questions to think about when considering your personal brand. But one of the best places to begin a brand strategy, is with a brand’s essence… We’re not talking about a branded perfume. So then what is brand essence? Think of your “essence” as the heart of your business and the base of your strategy. A starting point, that will allow you to build up your brand in a significant way.
Building a Brand from the Base Up
If your brand strategy was a beautiful house, your Brand Essence would be the foundation. You have to pour the cement first, before you begin to build. Otherwise, your house will sink into the ground.
To discover what that base is and its make-up, you have to drill down to the very heart of your business. Explore what makes your business special. How is it different from other brands?
The best way to do that is to sit down with old fashioned pen and paper and write it all down. Yes, it sounds like homework, and we’re not going to lie. It is.
Think how much effort you put into your business plan, your start-up, or developing your brick and mortar or online store. An effective brand strategy requires the same amount of effort and the same amount of careful thought.
It’s worth it, though. Especially if your content marketing campaigns haven’t been working as they should. That might be a sign that your strategy isn’t quite there yet. And the only way you can find that gap is to start at the base of your brand and work your way up.
How to Drill Down to the Essence of Your Brand
Your brand essence is basically a summary of all the things that make your business unique. It’s like the short profile blurb on your LinkedIn page. It should capture the essence of your business, its core characters, values and beliefs.
How do you begin any profile blurb? By asking yourself some questions.
This might mean you have to start thinking about your business as if it were a living, breathing person. Pretend it’s a “friend” that you would like people to meet. What words would you use to describe this friend (aka your business)?
Essential Questions to Ask Yourself…
It’s sometimes challenging to think objectively about your company. You might not see all the good points because to you they’re commonplace. You don’t think about it. Vice versa, you might not see all the bad points, because who wants to point out flaws? It’s not always a great feeling to think about the things you might be doing wrong.
But by looking at your business from an “outsider” point of view, you will be amazed at what you can find. Sometimes it’s the little things that endear you to customers, that make your brand likeable.
This is where a Brand Discovery Workshop comes in handy. When we help clients, we have a very detailed questionnaire that we ask them to fill out first, before we develop their customized brand strategy. It’s quite lengthy, so we can’t reveal it all here.
Imagine your brand foundation: built for growth and future success
Unlock Access to Our E-book:
The Small Business Guide to Brand Strategy
This guide is full of information on how to create an overall brand strategy that will help you successfully market your business. It helps you craft an authentic brand story, then helps you uncover when, where and how to communicate it to your target audiences.
It asks key questions that can help you discover your business’ essence. Such as:
- What do you believe? What ideas does your business support? And what does it not support?
- What is your purpose? More than what you sell, what does your brand sell? Does Volvo sell cars? Yes. But what else does it sell? Safety, reliability, craftsmanship. Think of your business beyond the actual products and services you sell.
- How does your brand benefit its customers? What are the benefits of working with you versus others? What problems do you help solve for customers?
- Does your brand have a target truth and vision? Why did you start this business? Think back to the reasons that motivated you to become an entrepreneur. What vision led you to this point and is it still relevant to who you are today? Or has your vision changed over the years?
Now, start formulating positioning statements.
These are statements that describe your brand’s core traits and beliefs.
Things like: “My brand is ____________________ (fun/innovative/daring/compassionate etc.)“
Or, “If you’re a person who believes in ___________________________ (helping others/supporting families/caring for the community/safety etc.) you will want to support my brand.”
Fill in those blanks with any descriptive words that come to mind and see what happens.
You might just uncover some interesting truths about your business and some excellent insights that will give you a fresh starting point for future promotions and content marketing campaigns.
Want to jump start your brand strategy? Book our comprehensive Original Brand Discovery Workshop and get your business on the fast-track to brand success!