Realizing your business is extremely challenging and infinitely rewarding. There are countless steps to bringing your business to fruition. Creating a timeless, powerful, and meaningful public persona is a huge step in that process. It can be absolutely overwhelming. The goal of this workbook is to guide you through the first steps and get you well on your way to creating an impeccable brand.
This workbook is in three sections: Brand, Brand Identity, and Brand Strategy. You might ask, “What’s the difference?” There is a subtle yet important distinction. Brand is the name of a company, individual, organization, or product as well as the emotional and/or cultural associations attached to that name. Brand identity is the visual and verbal articulation of the brand. Brand strategy is the culmination of your brand and brand identity into a roadmap for growth and success.
The first time that you answer the questions, do it instinctually. Try not to over-analyze. Just let answers come to you. If an answer doesn’t flow out right away then skip to the next question and come back to it later.
When finished, put the workbook in a safe place and take some time to process the information. After a few hours or even a day, re-read the questions and your answers. You will recognize where answers need to be flushed out, ones that you want to completely change, and ones that are perfect. Go through this same process a couple more times and you will see your brand unfold in front of you.
Now that you’ve worked through Part 1: Brand and Part 2: The Brand Identity, you’ve begun to see your brand unfold. Use this final section to clarify and perfect your thoughts, goals, and aspirations for your business.
Section 3: Brand Strategy
This section is where the magic happens and the brand strategy of your business is revealed. Write your initial response based upon the information that you gathered from Sections 1 and 2. Once you’ve done so, put the workbook down, let it sit for a while and then come back to it. Repeat this process a few times and before you know it you will have a detailed roadmap laid out before you.
Writing down your business goals is a great way to maintain focus and keep your business on track as you navigate towards success. The For You items might not be seen by the public-at-large; however, this information is crucial to move a business successfully forward and is required for business plans, grants, certifications, and any other legal documents that might pertain to your business in the future.
Write one, fully honed, extremely detailed sentence establishing your target market, the person(s) who your product/service is designed for.
Stakeholders are the people who are directly and indirectly affected by your service that can build your brand and affect your success. This list should start from your target market and radiate out to the farthest scope that you can think of (i.e. media).
This section establishes the public persona of your business. Honing
these items will not only guide you along your journey, it will let everyone know exactly who you are, what you do, why you are doing it, and why
they should care.
The mission statement is a broad overview of your business goals that should include your moral/ethics, geographical domain, target market, and purpose.
The vision is your dreams for the future and how you plan to move towards them.
Not everyone needs or wants a tagline but it is an eye-opening exercise in narrowing down the focus of your business to extract what my mentor, Alina Wheeler, calls The Big Idea. This statement should be only a few words and should encompass everything that your business stands for. It can be literal or abstract. Think about the big brands that catch your attention. Does it say who they are, what they do, how does it say it? Some examples: Target, Expect More. Pay Less or eBay, The world’s online marketplace.
Perfecting an authentic and humanistic 1-minute pitch that covers the highlights of your business will not only get the word out readily and easily but will also help with those awkward first encounters.
For when time is really of the essence, the 3-second pitch should cover The Big Idea of your business without sounding like an infomercial.
You’ve taken a huge step towards establishing your brand and making your mark on the world. There is a lot of road left to travel but the journey is sure to be smoother now that you have a map.
As Alina Wheeler would say, “No one does it alone.” The following is a list of resources that I referenced as well as drawing upon my own experience in the field to compile this workbook for you.
Designing Brand Experiences, Robin Landa
Designing Brand Identity 3rd Edition, Alina Wheeler