Cornerstone Creative Agency, A Denver Branding Agency

Three Tips on Defining Your Brand

A Denver Branding Agency Spills The Beans

A brand is more than a logo

A Brand is a living, breathing thing. Your business changes over time, it evolves for better or for worse. By taking practical and strategic steps to map out what the brand is, what it stands for and how you differentiate from the competition you can build something more than a commodity.

Without a strong brand identity, you risk having to competing solely on price – running the race to the bottom. This is a bad place to be if you aspire to be more than the cheapest thing going in your segment.  We’ve listed a few tips to help you get started. It’s wise to consult with an agency or branding a professional who has the depth of experience to guide you through this process.

Discover who you are

A great way to start this process is to determine who you most often interact with on the customer/prospect side. You probably call this your target audience or key audience. Be sure to define them in detail. These are people like the CEO, Account Manager, Technical buyer, Administrative person, CFO. There will be more than one, but limit to three or so.  Next, it’s important to determine what are the most important tangible benefits you offer each. Follow that by what you want each group to feel when working with you. These emotional benefits are a bit more “conceptual” than the actual tangible product/service benefits. The CEO may feel trust and confidence working with you, while someone like an admirative person may feel empowered or supported. Some audiences will have the same feeling, but they shouldn’t be exact as you saw in the example above.

Now you can begin to meld your brand values with a brand personality, or archetype. You may have your company values printed in an internal document, employment manual, on your website or painted on your reception area wall. If not, time to put pen to paper using those benefits listed above as a guide.

As mentioned before, your brand should have a personality. This allows customers and potential customers to better relate to the company and your products and services. In the branding world, these are called archetypes. Studies have shown that current and potential customers are much more likely to resonate with your company when they can envision a personality type. A good example would be Harley Davidson – the outlaw archetype. You can picture him/her easily and know what the brand is all about.

Here are the 12 classic brand archetypes with an example:

Hero (Nike), Outlaw (Harley Davidson), Explorer (Jeep), Lover (Chanel), Creator (Apple), Sage (Google), Jester (Dollar Shave Club), Innocent (Nestle), Care Giver (Volvo), Magician (Disney), Ruler (Rolex), Regular Guy (Gap)

Define what is unique 

Once you’ve got a handle internally on the key benefits, tangible and emotional, values and the personality (archetype), you can naturally see the pattern forming which makes your brand unique. Take this a step further by outlining your brand essence. This is a short statement that epitomizes your brand, it’s heart and soul. For example, Disney’s is fun family entertainment. It’s not a marketing statement but rather a filter for you internally to measure initiatives, new products, or services. Use it to ensure things remain in line with the brand. The last rung on this ladder is to create a a brand promise, the value or experience that all customers can expect to receive every single time they interact with the company.

Emphasize the extraordinary

Now you have compiled the parts of the classic brand pyramid you can craft unique positioning statements to be used in marketing (ads, social media posts, sales collateral, etc.). With the steps brand superstardom completed you have a way to stay on brand and keep points of differentiation alive and well. Do this consistently and you will separate your company from competitors, creating value beyond price.

Questions about branding?

If you have questions about how Cornerstone Creative, a Denver-based branding agency,  can help build your brand, please contact us! or 970-331-0592.