Branding 4: Defining Your Brand

defining your brand

You’ve thought of a name and you’ve come up with a logo and already you should have started to ask yourself those essential questions on who exactly your business is selling and what you represent. This should inform everything about your brand and I have a great little exercise for you to help and even an example.

Name Three

Get a piece of paper and write down the three attributes that you would like your company to be known for. These can be as specific or as detailed as you like but you can only name three and for every piece of your branding you must ask yourself the question “does this reflect my three core attributes.”

An example: I was playing around with some branding ideas for a company that produced Ceramic Coated Car Exhausts. Originally I had in mind the below. With this early draft I knew that red was a very popular colour with the audience and was commonly used in the industry. The ‘B’ itself was given longer lines to represent speed and the slightly chequered look of the background was meant to represent a starting flag.

I was relatively happy with it, the client seemed happy with that direction but I took a step back and performed this exercise. The three key attributes we needed to get across with this product were: Speed, Cold and Tough.

To elaborate, a ceramic exhaust can help you go faster but it does this by acting as a heat insulator, reducing surface temperature within the exhaust meaning cooler intake temperatures and more power. In short it keeps the rest of the car cool.

With the racing lines I felt we had captured the speed element, but bright red is associated with heating up not cooling down and so I changed the colour scheme to a cold blue. Not only would this instantly communicate this core product message, but it now stood out alongside other business too.

The ‘Tough’ element was another key selling point we had to get across. It’s possible to ceramicly coat your own exhaust with paints (which judging from amazon feedback I would not recommend) but this company used a robotic arm and thermal spray system to ensure the strongest, flake free coating of their product. As such I removed the checked circle and kept everything simple and bold.

These three core aspects of the product were fed into all of the marketing. Speed,Cold and Tough. Despite being a relatively technical product we used short strong headlines throughout the marketing with my personal favourite being “We can make you hard and make you last longer…that’s our message to exhaust parts.”

If you are struggling to define your brand, try this little exercise, you could even ask your customers what 3 words they would use and see how close that reflects. The words they think of may not be the ones you wish to be associated with!  The bigger and more complex your company gets, the harder this task becomes to define these core attributes, but without this in your mind you could easily get lost.