I’ve found that branding, or re-branding a business can be quite easy. There’s nothing mystical or magical about the process as long as you aretrying to develop what I call a true brand.
The key is to do the process in it’s correct order. Here’s the method we use:
Values: We start with identifying the the business owners business values. Why? Remember, we are building a true brand; one that will have legs for the long journey. Nothing is more basic and true than a person’s values.
I know, I know, you want to get to the fun stuff of branding like getting a logo. But you’ll be disappointed to know that The Importance of a Logo in Branding is over-rated.
Mission: Now that we have values, it’s time to build a mission for the business. Not a mission statement, but a mission. Again, why? Well, a brand has to have merit and meaning to the potential customer. In order for these customers to spend money with you, you have to do something for them. You can’t just sell stuff. No, you’re on a mission to do something. And that something should be significant.
Vision: OK, mission accomplished. Next we need a vision for the company. Stop asking me ‘Why?’ I was going to get to that. The reason is that you need to see what things are going to look like when the mission is realized. What will your company look like?
The mission and the vision are like bookends. On one end the mission is the beginning of the brand; it’s what you’re going to do. On the other end is the vision or the completion of the brand; it’s what’s been done. When you can see the beginning and the end, you can now fill in the missing middle piece, and that’s the brand promise.
Brand Promise: The brand promise connects the dots between the vision and the mission. It’s what you’re going to promise to customers, based on your mission, that will fulfill your vision. As you can imagine, that’s going to be a very substantive promise. It won’t be anything like ‘We promise to give you great service.’
The brand promise is the key to your branding efforts, not the logo. Remember, the goal is to build a brand that can be sustained over time. When you start with your values, mission, vision to build the brand promise up front, the rest of branding really becomes quite easy.
That’s because you won’t have to make things up. You are building a true brand.
Note: Although he doesn’t call it true branding, you can learn more about this entire process in Microbranding: Build a Powerful Personal Brand and Beat Your Competition by T. Scott Gross.
For more small business marketing ideas and case studies, see our other blog: The Idea Spot