2020-02-21 20:28Blog post

3 Steps for Creating a Strong Brand

3 Steps for Creating a Strong BrandDon't blend in...stand out.

The fact that a strong brand sells is not news.

However, if you look at companies in North America, generic, product-specific communication still seems to permeate the market. Few brands dare to simply stick out or do not know where to start.

Not to worry. We've developed 3 steps (with related questions) so you can easily get started with new branding work or fine-tune your existing brand positioning. 

In short, it's about:

  1. Determining your brand identity.
  2. Determining your brand position.
  3. Evaluating the intended position.

You can use these questions as a way of determining who you are and how you differentiate yourself from your competitors, or test how clearly your position is stated internally by having employees in, for example, marketing and sales answer.

Hopefully, there aren't completely different things being communicated to customers from each department!

After that, feel free to let creativity flow to produce personas, create memorable phrases and a visual identity that fits your company's personality. Just remember to be consistent and that everything in turn should originate in the answers you give below. The advantage is that you then get a visual profile and striking copy that actually matches who you are and what you stand for. 

Sound good? Let's begin.

Step 1: Determine Your Brand Identity

Just as we humans have a personality, so does a brand. Thus, brand identity refers to what makes you unique; how you look at yourself and how you want others to see you.

Before you can charm people with your personality, you need to actually know who you are and what you stand for.

  • Who are our main competitors?
  • What is our vision/mission?
  • How are we different?
  • What need do we meet?
  • What is our competence? What legitimizes us?
  • What kind of personal beliefs do we have?
  • What do we stand for?
  • Describe your company's personality with one word.

Tip: People are looking for authenticity and want to be able to trust companies. Your brand should stand for something. Establishing this also makes it easier for you to become more emotional in your brand position and communication, where there are many rewards to be gained.

Why limit yourself to creating only satisfied customers? A chef serving his guests would never be content with people simply describing the meal as "satisfying," so why should you?

After all, personalities that make us feel happy, inspired, excited, safe, cheeky, daring, special, etc. are the ones you keep in your life.

Step 2: Determine Your Brand's Position

Once you have determined how you look at yourself and what is important to you, it is time to decide how you want to be perceived by potential customers.

Above all, it is about what sets you apart from your competitors and what long-term sustainable customer benefits make you unique.

What makes people want to hang out with you?

Here is a simple 3-step process that results in a clear brand position:

Part 1:

  • What is the main customer benefit we offer?
  • Who is our main target group?
  • Which features (product/service) support the customer benefit?
  • Who are our main competitors?

Part 2:

  • Which feature or attribute differentiates us from other competitors? e.g. iPad is user friendly, Dell is affordable.
  • What's one subjective advantage? e.g. IBM feels safe (they know what they are doing).
  • What's one word that reflects your brand's personality?
  • What's the description of your ideal consumer? e.g. American Express: Successful people.
  • What are your values? e.g. Always empowering girls to show that they can do anything.

Part 3: - Formulation of the Position:

"For… (target group / ideal consumer),… (your brand) is a… (type of competitors we want to compare with / reference) .. that gives… (the main advantage or promise you give)… thanks to… (arguments that substantiate the benefit or promise)."

Step 3 - Evaluate Your Brand's Position:

The final step is to evaluate the intended brand position.

Is it lasting? Do some points need to be reviewed and discussed in a larger team to improve it together? Does the position make us stand out?

  • Is the position in line with the product/service characteristics?
  • To what extent is the position in line with what motivates customers to buy?
  • Is the position credible? Does it feel genuine?
  • Do you share values with your intended ideal customer? Common views on what is important builds long-term relationships. However, it is also possible to act as a pioneer with the hope of winning over people.
  • Does the position benefit from competitors' weaknesses?
  • Is the position specific and peculiar?
  • Is the position sustainable in the long term and cannot easily be taken over by competitors?
  • Does the position justify a higher price?
  • Does the position enable growth?

Good luck!

About Notified

Notified was founded in 2010 and quickly became a disruptor in Sweden and across the Nordics. From the beginning, our goal has remained the same: to create a truly unique platform for PR and marketing professionals; one that delivers deeper, more actionable insights from social data and earned media, and brings the entire communications workflow into a single platform. In April 2019, Notified was acquired by Intrado, a global leader in digital communications.