How to start to define your brand. The Black Coffee way.
Understanding how to define your brand is one of the keys to unlocking inbound marketing.
Being able to start to define your brand is vital to your success as inbound marketers. Yet for many B2B companies it just hasn’t happened.
Your brand is made up of multiple things.
Your voice, your colours, your font, your why and your what are all involved (amongst many other things).
When it comes to defining your brand though there are some simple starting points.
Of course, in an ideal world you would involve a brand specialist.
Making use of their skills, knowledge and experience to really deliver a brand uplift.
But for many SME’s this simply isn’t something that they can do.
Financial constraints are often given as the biggest reason that marketers in SME’s can’t follow best practice.
It isn’t all doom and gloom though.
With some time and discussions, you can start to define your brand internally.
Before we go any further, some of this information crosses with defining your brand voice, You may want to read that blog next…
Talking to the stakeholders.
You may feel that, as the head of your marketing function, you are the only real stakeholder in this area.
The reality is that your brand is much bigger than just your marketing.
It should be a driving force in everything from recruitment to sales to research and development to IT.
Your brand should become central to your decisions.
After all, the point of building your brand is to ensure that people know who you are.
Start with talking to other people in the business, not just managers but the boots on the ground.
After all, as a marketer, you are less likely to have time with your sales prospects or clients.
Whereas your account managers, sales team or even ADM’s will do.
In the tech industry, your engineers, coders, support teams etc. will all speak with your audience regularly.
Even if your management team do not fully understand the needs, they will still have vital knowledge to put into the mix.
It is also important not to rush these conversations.
Make sure that you give people in the business the chance to think through your questions.
And give you honest, detailed answers.
The key questions to ask.
If you haven’t already done so, start by looking at our blog “people buy the why”.
Understanding your companies why is vital.
And is one of the first questions you want to start with.
After your why, the next thing to ask people is;
“what does our company believe?”
This will be linked to what your company does. You may make the latest in standing desks…
But what drives you to make them?
It could be;
“we believe that ergonomically built standing desks are vital to the long-term health and happiness of any team, in any company”
Now, the next question to ask your team is;
“how do we do, whatever it is we do?”
Is there something specific that you do differently to your competition?
Perhaps, in this example, that could be the way in which your product is built to extend its durability.
Perhaps using some unique material for the product…
This may well lead into your unique selling points for your product or service.
And finally, for this part of the process;
“what does this do for our clients?”
This may be heavily linked to the what your company believes. Why you make these desks.
But if you don’t ask account managers, sales teams etc. you cannot be certain.
Unless you are fortunate enough to have a decent amount of time that you spend with your existing clients.
Why do we exist as a company?
What does our company believe?
How do we do what we do?
What does this do for our customers/clients?
Simplify, use and define your brand.
Once you have these questions answered and have had time to compile the information next will be to simplify your answer.
We generally recommend that this should be reduced to no more than 3 sentences.
And ideally 2.
Using the same standing desks example, this could result in something like:
“We believe that standing desks are vital to employees health and happiness in the workplace. Making use of the latest materials, and manufacturing methods we ensure that our client’s investment really does benefit them and their employees.”
Even at this stage we would suggest that you try and simplify the wording more.
Keeping things simple makes sure that everyone can understand you.
Whether this is someone that has worked for you for years, a new starter, or your prospects and clients.
Finally, make use of your work.
Send the result to everyone in the business.
Explain to them what this is.
Be ready for questions, because there will be some. There always is.
Explain that this is designed to explain your brand to people.
To allow everyone in the company to make use of it.
It can be used as an elevator pitch.
It can drive content in your next campaign.
Perhaps copy on your website and social channels.
When the final version is completed it should be written in your brand voice.
Shown in your brand colours, using your brand font.
It may be far more exciting that what I have come up with, but I don’t make and sell standing desks.
This article is not designed as a step by step for how to define your brand.
And it doesn’t include everything that you will need to do.
But we do hope that it gets you thinking, starting the process, and making steps forward.