Before you can really build out a plan of how you’re going to market your business or organisation, a simple but really valuable exercise is to brainstorm your brand identity. Why? Because it’ll help ensure that you know how you want your marketing activities to come across to your target customers. Doing this ensures that each “thing” you do will look and feel like the other “thing”. It’ll ensure that you’re able to build a cohesive marketing strategy that really represents your company, not just random acts of marketing.
You may have already done something like this when you created the name or the brand of your company, but it’s surprising how many organisations aren’t sure of what their business represents. When was the last time you took a few minutes to think about how exactly you want your business to be perceived? What is it you want your existing or potential customers to think about you and how should they feel when they think about your company or brand?
Now you’d be forgiven if you weren’t already thinking that the question of “how should my customers feel about me” is only something a marketing agency would care about. It’s something that you’d see Don Draper in Mad Men discussing when he’s pitching an idea to a group of company executives in a room full cigarette smoke and whiskey. Well this in fact is one of the first mistakes that companies make when it comes to building out a marketing strategy…. Yet it’s often one of the fastest to resolve.
Brainstorm Your Brand…
- Start by getting yourself a notepad, a large piece of paper or just open a programme like Microsoft Word. Whatever you choose make sure it’s something you can keep or store safely as the results of this exercise are something you’ll want to keep hold of.
- Write the name of your company in the middle of the page and if you can add your logo, do it!
- Now spend 20-30 minutes writing words, phrases or even feelings that ideally you want your customers to think when they consider your organisation. This could be things like “Professional”, “Affordable”, “Premium”, “Local”, “Creative” or whatever else you feel is relevant and represents your ideal perception.
- When you’ve got around 30-40 (more if you like) words and phrases, work back over them and highlight the top 5-10 that you feel are really important.
- Write these down separately and read them back to yourself.
So what did you just achieve? Well, you just created/ defined your organisation’s brand values!
Moving forward these are the things that you’re going to want to keep in mind each and every time you do anything. Planning to send an email…does it represents your brand values? Updating your website….does it represent your brand values? Just keeping this in the back of your mind whenever you’re executing an activity or doing something that will engage with your audience will add a ton of value.