5 Key Elements for Developing Your Brand
- by Shala Graham
Every organization, ministry, and entrepreneur has a brand, whether they've intentionally built it or not. There are 5 key brand elements you need to establish to lay a strong foundation for all of your marketing and design materials that you want to develop. Because each one builds upon the other, those brand elements are listed below in the order they should be addressed.
#1: Brand Values
Brand values, also known as brand character, are about what the company is—its principles and beliefs. Values don’t typically change, even when messaging or target audiences do. Think of your values as who you are. You may change your hair or your outfit, but who you are as a person is still the same. The same goes for your organization. Values also have the power of pointing you to true north. When you hone in on what you really value, you can filter all opportunities and decisions through those core brand values.
#2: Brand Personality
Personality is the way in which the organization's character manifests itself—what the company does, its behaviors. Personality is about action. For instance, if you value honesty or authenticity, your personality might be warm, friendly and trustworthy. Your values and your personality will ultimately define your culture, which should be evident in your design and marketing materials. Knowing your personality will equip you to articulate what you are looking for when you communicate with your creative team, pointing to specific personality traits that are lacking or should be highlighted.
#3: Ideal Client or Supporter
Most people know that understanding your target audience is very important, but few actually detail their ideal client or supporter. We also have a habit of defining more audiences than necessary. I recommend honing in on a very specific person because it’s far easier to speak effectively to a specific person than to many people. When you understand who she is, what she is thinking, and what pain points she is experiencing, you can develop a message and position that will resonate with her.
#4: Brand Message
It’s always important to be clear on how you define what you do. Brand messages can be an entirely internal tool or even a boilerplate for how you describe your organization to external audiences. Once adopted by an organization, you should be able to walk up to any member of that organization and get the same answer to the question, "What do you do?" Sadly, this is not usually the case, and it leads to confusion in the market about who you are and what services you provide.
#5: Brand Position
Developing your brand position is about determining what your organization does excellently and uniquely—what your differentiator is in the marketplace or sector. Your positioning statement should clearly say why your audience should work with your organization. It is the reason to buy or support and it gives value to your brand. Be sure to analyze your competitor's brands before deciding on your brand position so that you don’t claim the same thing that another organization already does.
Once you’ve worked through these 5 key elements, you will be well on your way to having a solid brand that will make your design and marketing development a breeze. If you need help developing your brand, I’d love to talk with you about your needs. Schedule a call with me now to talk.