The Four Branding Questions You Must Answer
Building a strong brand isn’t difficult, but it does require focus. It’s not uncommon for new business owners—and experienced ones, too—to drop the ball when it comes to branding. It’s not that they don’t know what they’re doing. Rather, it’s that they can’t articulate it.
The good news is that there’s something you do about it. Answering four key questions about your brand can help you focus on what’s most important. And that will make it easy to create a consistent and memorable brand.
Question #1: If your brand were a person, what three personality traits would it have?
It might seem strange to attribute human traits to a brand, but it’s one of the most essential elements of branding. Brands have personalities, or they should. Why? Because consumers want to identify with a brand. Often, they project themselves onto the brands they use.
A brand like Dove might choose these traits: warm, compassionate, and confident. A quick perusal of their website or Facebook page shows all three traits in spades. Their content celebrates women as they are, and encourages followers to share their stories.
Question #2: Which celebrity would you choose to narrate a documentary about your brand?
The second question is one that can help you determine the right voice to use for your brand. A brand’s voice should spring from its personality. It’s important to think about tone, language, and who the audience is for your brand.
A brand that targets affluent people who care about appearances might choose someone like Sean Connery or Gwyneth Paltrow. A young, hip brand might prefer a very different narrator. The key is to come up with someone who would be a good spokesperson for your brand.
Question #3: How do you want a prospect to feel when they read about your brand?
Branding is a two-way street. Ultimately, you want people to identify with your brand. They can only do that if their reaction to it is something you consider. You can’t control how people react, but a carefully created brand is likely to evoke the emotions you want your customers to feel.
A brand like Nike, for example, might want its followers to feel these emotions: empowered, inspired, and strong. You can see these feelings being evoked by their slogan, Just Do It, which encourages people to pursue their athletic goals and overcome any obstacles in their path.
Question #4: What characteristics do the people in your target audience have in common?
Your fans and followers aren’t all the same, but the chances are good that they share some common traits that can help you create a strong brand that appeals to them. These characteristics may be demographics, or they might be personality traits like the ones you assigned to your brand.
A brand like Red Bull, which uses a rather brash, irreverent tone in its marketing, might identify the following traits for its customers: young, daring, and unconventional. By contrast, a brand like Rolls Royce might choose words like affluent, educated, and status-conscious.
The words you choose should describe your target audience. They can also help you define and flesh out your brand so that it attracts the people who are most likely to buy from you. In other words, they work in concert with your brand’s personality and voice.
Creating a memorable brand is a cornerstone of good marketing. When your brand is clearly-defined, it will inform every aspect of your marketing. The voice, characteristics, and feelings you want to evoke will show up in every email, social media post, and ad campaign you run.