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Defining Your Brand

When clients come to the table with a very broad definition of who they are, I always know my new branding project is off to a fun start. Under the category of being direct (our personal mantra) an overencompassing brand can easily miss it’s mark. Despite its goal of reaching more, the broad-services approach to self-definition tends to attract fewer.

What I would like to encourage clients to do is to think in terms of much larger percentages of the audiences they should be focusing on. (And this is where good research comes in pretty handy.)

Clients who take the “jack-of-all-trades” approach to developing messaging will go one of two ways. 1. They will overpromise on service areas and fail to communicate what makes them special in the process, or, 2. They will develop messaging so broad and generic that it really fails to communicate much of anything. A brand shouldn’t speak to an audience through a broad laundry list of services. It should define “how” you work your magic every bit as much as “what” it is you do. Armed with good information going in, and a client can:

  • define what areas of their brand is working and which aren’t
  • explore ways of modifying their brand and corporate culture to meet additional needs of their market
  • prepare messaging and strategies that will reach their target audience better

After the information gathering is done and potential branding products and approaches tested, it becomes clear that specific messages to specific people garners more attention than broad messaging to the masses.

Tools: We use two very important resources when defining a brand. A Branding Questionnaire that gathers basic information from the client on who they are and what they do. And a Creative Brief that we develop and hone, that guides all aspects of a company’s self-definition. Small but powerful tools in developing the best ways to guide branding and identity programs.

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